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Publication Details

The Problem of Alienation in Relation to Socialism

(Original title: Problémy socializmu a odcudzenie)
Otázky marxistickej filozofie, 20 (1965), 1, 37-51.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
The abolishment of private ownership and the establishment of social ownership were only the first prerequisites for the abolishment of alienation, they did not fully abolish it. As long as the present-time character of work is in existence, i. e. a character of work representend in our times by classical mechanical production, there will be a division between people working either psychically or psychically, and their work will be looked at either as work of control Or of execution, either creative work or work of manipulation, either qualified or unqualified work. There is also an alienated existence of a majority of people working manually, fully subjected to a machine mechanism which they serve by carrying out some mechanical movement. Working people as co-owners of the entire national wealth cease to be a merchandise, and their work becomes ap immediate socially determining factor. However, in view of the given degree of development of labour technique their work cannot be immediately social. The realization of its social determination is still being mediated by market relations. Also its motivation has an alienated form, the form of earning. However, ignoring market relations in these conditions causes conditions in which individual interests are apt to become increasingly alienated from the interests of the society as a whole. A consequent realization of the “Motion of principles to bring about the perfection of planned control of national economy“ elaborated under the guidance of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia creates a new system of economic impulses based on the relationship of goods/money; in the field of economics this system is to bring about a maximum measure of harmony in observing private interests in relationship to the interests of society as a whole. Also public-administrative institutions are apt to create potentialities for man to become alienated from his social determination. Special attention is given by the author to these potentialities; he concludes that also in the field of public administration it will be necessary to discover, to premeditate and to create a whole system of means, a system which would to a maximum extent reduce the tendencies of members of the controlling institutions to realize their personal interests as interests of the entire society, and to prevent these tendencies from turning these institutions into a kind of bureaucratic power independent on people and not controllable by people; to prevent to turn them into confirmed controlling systems deforming the character of people involved into them, and to annihilate people trying to overcome by different means their power alienated from social interests. A system of means is needed which would to a maximum extent compell the proclaimed principles of democracy to become realized, and which would create from democracy an auto-regulative open mechanism, not alienating itself from people, a mechanism leading to the deepening of democracy.
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