- Jan 14, 2016
Professor Steve Keen gives a rather different, but very interesting, take on Marx.
This is might go a ways to answering my question above!Kant's famous advice to the world on how best to live was to always treat human beings, including yourself, as an end and never a means to an end. That means never to exploit other people as a way to get money or fame or whatever, and, indeed, never to exploit yourself either. Of course, Jesus had also said: Treat others as you would have others treat you.
Hegel and Marx pointed out that the human individual is what he or she does. The person\subject is not inside the human being, ready made and always the same no matter what that human being does. Instead, the person is always in the process of being created - by his or her actions - by their labour (and labour simply means any human activity, including thinking.)
So, is it not true that if you sell your labour as a means to an end (to get wages), that you are selling yourself, and treating yourself as a means to an end? After all, you spend most of your waking day getting ready to go to work, going to work, working, coming home from work, and then being too exhausted to do anything else after work.
If work is to be regarded as a means to an end, i.e. wages, then the people who do that work are also a means to an end.
And this holds for all types of human labour\activity. If we are not in the process of self actualisation in our everyday lives, then we are becoming alienated from ourselves, and becoming a pawn in someone else's game.
Marx believed that this is the reason why Capitalism must fail as people become more and more self aware, and demand that they be treated as an end in themselves and that they treat themselves as an end in themselves - not a means to the enrichment of the Capitalist Oligarchs - and their own daily survival.
Why is that?