more from K Marx / F Engels

Single Idea 5282

[catalogued under 24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 9. Communism]

Full Idea

As long as a cleavage exists between the particular and the common interest, as long, therefore, as activity is not voluntarily, but naturally divided, man's own deed becomes an alien power opposed to him, which enslaves him.

Gist of Idea

If the common interest imposes on the individual, his actions become alienated and enslaving


K Marx / F Engels (The German Ideology [1846], 1.A)

Book Reference

Marx,K./Engels,F.: 'The German Ideology', ed/tr. Arthur,C.J. [Lawrence and Wishart 1985], p.54

A Reaction

An isolated individual could feel 'alienated' doing menial tasks for themselves when they yearned to get on with their poetry. Alienation is not all-or-nothing. Compare working for a good employer with working for Nazi conquerors.