ALIENATION (Marx) : the process whereby the worker is made to feel foreign to the products of his/her own labor. The creation of commodities need not lead to alienation and can, indeed, be highly satisfying: one pours one's subjectivity into an object and one can even gain enjoyment from the fact that another in turn gains enjoyment from our craft. In capitalism, the worker is exploited insofar as he does not work to create a product that he then sells to a real person; instead, the proletariat works in order to live, in order to obtain the very means of life, which he can only achieve by selling his labor to a capitalist for a wage (as if his labor were itself a property that can be bought and sold). The worker is alienated from his/her product precisely because s/he no longer owns that product, which now belongs to the capitalist who has purchased the proletariat's labor-power in exchange for exclusive ownership over the proletariat's products and all profit accrued by the sale of those products.
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