Marxism & Alienation

Alienation is an idea developed by the young Marx in the 1844 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts and later developed in his critique of political economy in Capital.

Marx developed the idea out of his study of Hegel. Hegel believed that history was the manifestation of the movement of Spirit acting “behind the backs” of actors in history; Marx however held that Hegel’s “Spirit” was nothing more nor less than human activity itself.


Estranged Labour, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844
Private Property & Communism, 1844 Manuscripts
Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy in General, 1844 Manuscripts
Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, 1843
Comment on James Mill, 1844
The Fetishism of Commodities, Chapter 1, Capital
The Grundrisse
The “omitted Chapter Six” of Capital
The German Ideology


The General Theory of Law and Marxism, Evgeny Pashukanis, 1924
Marx’s Theory of Alienation, István Mészáros, 1970
Marx’s notion of commodity fetishism, Geoffrey Pilling, 1980