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Lectures on the History of Moral and Political Philosophy$
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Jonathan Wolff and G. A. Cohen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149004

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149004.001.0001

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Bourgeois and Proletarians

Bourgeois and Proletarians

(p.247) Chapter 8 Bourgeois and Proletarians
Lectures on the History of Moral and Political Philosophy

G. A. Cohen

, Jonathan Wolff
Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the question of the nature of the alienation of the bourgeoisie under capitalism. In particular, it considers the distinction made by Karl Marx in The Holy Family between the alienation endured by the worker and the alienation endured by the capitalist in bourgeois society. According to Marx: “The possessing classes and the class of the proletariat present pictures of the same human self-estrangement. But the former class feels at home in and confirmed by this self-estrangement.” The chapter analyzes the meaning of this passage by focusing on a characterization of the human essence in The German Ideology and on the doctrine of alienation articulated in the Paris Manuscripts. It also discusses the worker's alienation in his relation to the machine, and the capitalist's alienation in his relation to money, as well as the latter's relation to his capital. Finally, it restates the contrast between bourgeois and proletarian.

Keywords:   alienation, bourgeoisie, capitalism, Karl Marx, The Holy Family, worker, capitalist, self-estrangement, human essence, proletarian

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