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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Essay on Alienation and Estrangement

The 21st Century is a period marked by technological progress, improvement in communication and infrastructure and advancement in the Internet and Information Technology.  Because of this trend the entire world has become a whole global village.  It made possible for a person from one part of the globe to trade with another person in another part of the globe.  Trade and commerce were greatly benefited as it allowed multinational companies to expand their operation to other countries making it possible for them to do their business.  For instance, many companies have started to outsource the functions previously being done by the locals from the domestic country to other countries.  The trend has given them several advantages insofar as getting cheaper manpower to perform key business functions.  Individuals who avail of these services were also benefited as it allowed customers to avail of services which were previously not available to them.  For instance, customers can now purchase goods and services online, and deposit and withdraw money online.  In addition, because it has become easier to trade goods and services, the prices of these goods have become cheaper.  The latest in gadgets and technologies from Developed Countries have now become accessible to Developing Countries. 

The world will continue to become smaller in the coming years.  As individuals continue to want to live a more convenient lifestyle, new technologies will be developed.  While these developments are desired by everyone, these changes also triggered certain problems for the common man.  Some are lucky enough to notice this problem while some go on living their lives not knowing and realizing that they are trapped and enslaved by these technological changes (W.P. Archibald, 2000, p.2).  On the other hand, it is also possible that those who do not realize their wretched conditions are more fortunate compared to those who are not conscious of their condition.  The problems of alienation and estrangement in today’s society have been revealed by a number of existentialist philosophers.  They attempted to awaken man from toil and drudgery of living in the modern society. 

Alienation and estrangement can be defined as the social and economic condition resulting from capitalism.  On the other hand, there are those who define alienation as psychological or even spiritual malaise which is pervasive in the society.  Because the concepts of alienation and estrangements are inextricably linked in these two senses, this essay will refer to the concepts of alienation and estrangement as a social and economic condition and as a psychological and spiritual malaise. 

Alienation and Estrangement are the sum total of the description of man’s condition in the modern society.  It refers to man’s limited and distorted vision of himself and of his needs and desires which are defined in accordance with what is dictated by others.  Alienation and estrangement may also mean the loss of sense of self by man as a result of increasing reliance on everyday technology.  Alienation and estrangement could also be the effect of man’s search for economic improvement.  Man, according to the existentialist philosophers, has lost relationship to himself as a result of the changes that have happened in his external environment.  As man continuously searches for economic progress he continuously loses himself in the midst of these struggles.  The reality however is that not everyone who works hard and searches for economic progress reaches his goal.  A handful of people will achieve what they are searching for but a large majority of the population will fail.  They will realize that slowly they are losing control of the product of their labor and that they are continuously being subjected to the will of others.  The goal therefore of man is to be able to transcend this alienated condition.  

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