For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Economic-Philosophical Manuscript

by Marx, Karl (1844)

Key Passage

This fact expresses merely that the object which labor produces – labor’s product – confronts it as something alien, as a power independent of the producer. The product of labor is labor which has been embodied inan object, which has become material: it is the objectification of labor. Labor’s realization is its objectification. Under these economic conditions this realization of labor appears as loss of realization for the workers;objectification as loss of the object and bondage to it; appropriation as estrangement, as alienation. So much does labor’s realization appear as loss of realization that the worker loses realization to the point of starving to death. So much does objectification appear as loss of the object that the worker is robbed of the objects most necessary not only for his life but for his work.  (p.29)


No Keywords


Marx on Alienation



How to contribute.