In the “Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844”, Karl Marx examines the condition of alienation from the essay “Alienated Labour”. He mentions that in order to maintain a physical existence in the work field, alienation is a necessary feature in a capitalist society. The wage earner, also known as the proletariat, “has little, if any, control over the production process.” He also mentions how working just for the money is “akin to selling your soul”. I agree with this because I have been in this position along with the rest of American workers who are not CEO’s of companies.
When one goes to work, they do not act the same way they would outside of it; they may be a whole different person. Once this becomes a routine, people start not to feel like themselves at work and become robotic in a sense. As Marx states, “Hence, the worker feels himself only when he is not working; when he is working, he does not feel himself. He is at home when he is not working, and not at home when he is working. His labor is, therefore, not voluntary but forced, it is forced labor.” We see here that labor is forced because it is not voluntary anymore. This proves that the worker has just sold his/her soul to money and the bourgeoisie.
If a labor worker is unhappy with their job, they might choose another alternative, whether for better or for worse. In the song, “Gimme the Loot”, by the Notorious B.I.G., Biggie reenacts a scene of him and his friend choosing to rob people instead of actually working for someone. In his rap he says: “When it’s time to eat a meal I rob and steal, ‘cos Mom Duke ain’t giving me s**t so for the bread and butter I leave n****s in the gutter.” Biggie does not want to become an alienated worker and chooses to get his money in an illegal but faster alternative. He wants to live his life on the edge, still be himself, and still get his money. In actuality, he even sold drugs to raise money for his newborn daughter–even after he was selling records as an artist.
“Money so they say,
Is the root of all evil today,
But if you ask for a rise it’s no surprise that they’re
giving none away” -Pink Floyd, Money