Karl Marx on Workers’ Relation to Products of Their Labour
The object is the product or the commodity the worker has produced. Objectification is the “loss of and bondage to the object, and appropriation as estrangement, as alienation”. The worker is reduced into an object, or he becomes a slave to the object he has created. He is alienated from his product or object; he is estranged from his own commodity.
The more he works hard, the more he loses for himself. His life becomes not his own now, but to the object, he has made. This philosophical concept is typical of the Romantic ideas of Karl Marx to which he denied (that he was a Romantic).
Marx places this idea further to a comparison of man’s worship of God which states that the more man worships or put himself to God or for God, the ‘less he retains within himself.’ Moreover, in the work he does, he puts all of himself – time, effort, energy, talent, etc. – into the realization of the commodity or object for it to increase in value. But as the worker increases more effort, he is reduced to an object in the process, and the object is more valued than himself. That’s why it is called ‘alien’ because it is outside, not himself. The commodity becomes bigger, more important than the worker. The bigger and more important the commodity, the smaller he becomes.
The worker is alienated from the products of his labour. He is being alienated because of the activities inside the production site. He hates his work; he only does it for survival because he has nothing to eat if he won’t work. He is just forced to work. It is forced labour. He is not satisfied with his labour; it is “a labour of self-sacrifice, or mortification.”