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Marx and Alienation in Contemporary Society Barry Padgett

Marx and Alienation in Contemporary Society

Barry Padgett

Published June 15th 2007
ISBN : 9780826490292
Hardcover
176 pages
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 About the Book 

In light of events of the late 80s & early 90s, some naively suppose that capitalism has emerged victorious over communism, & hence that the former is practically & philosophically justified by its historical dominance. Even so-calledMoreIn light of events of the late 80s & early 90s, some naively suppose that capitalism has emerged victorious over communism, & hence that the former is practically & philosophically justified by its historical dominance. Even so-called analytical Marxists argue that in his later works Marx abandons an earlier humanistic perspective & with it his conception of alienation.Is Francis Fukuyama correct to assert that we now have a glimpse of the end of history, given that capitalism has seemingly triumphed over its alternatives? Some authors, such as David Schweickart, answer with a resounding, no. He is adamant that, getting beyond capitalism is the best hope for our species. Altho he does his best to offer an alternative to contemporary capitalism, his model is fraught with difficulties & doesnt answer the question of the application of Marxs alienation theory to contemporary society.This book argues that Marx doesnt abandon the alienation concept. Contrary to analytical Marxists & pro-capitalists, its application remains relevant to the world economy. This account analyses four fundamental manifestations of the corrosive nature of American-style capitalism: excessive consumerism, negative globalization effects, cruel economic inequalities between persons & a deep irrational exuberance intensifying our interaction in the material world (from the pace of our work-lives to our relation to the environment). Padgett argues that new forms of these four traditional aspects of alienation are still present in our world, & hence that Marxs analyses of negative aspects of capitalism are still widely relevant.