Essay Alienated Labor Please Write Two Page Resp

Please write two page responses to EACH of THREE of the following five questions. You will turn in a total of six pages.

Upload the three responses as ONE file, not as separate documents. Do not rewrite the questions as part of your response but make sure to put the number of the question on each response.

Make sure each response is two full pages long and substantive. Avoid repetitive responses. Be concise and make every word count. Your essays should relate directly what the thinkers are arguing (in your own words). Each should also be a fairly direct answer to the question. Each response should stand on its own.

Review the writing guidelines and rubrics before and as you write.

  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Karl Marx each address how private ownership of property impacts upon political freedom. Remember that for Rousseau, “property” is an expansive concept including possessions (homes, land, income and wealth) while when Marx refers to “property” he is referring specifically to the primary means of production (capital) that create the social product (everything that is produced and consumed) in any given historical era. Examine the differences in what they argue to be the problem(s) that private ownership of property creates. How do the differences between their approaches change how we think about our power as citizens (in the case of Rousseau) or as producers (in the case of Marx)?
  • Karl Marx argues that, in capitalism, the alienation of labor is a fundamental injustice while the productivity of society increases and becomes more complex. Using the multiple references to the alienation of labor in the essay “Alienated Labor,” discuss how his criticism of the conditions of labor in capitalism compares to Plato’s argument that justice is contingent upon “everyone doing what they do best”? How does each think our daily activity (our craft/labor/work/social productivity) impacts on our political lives?
  • Machiavelli argues that hunger makes men industrious while the laws make men good. In the Social Contract, Rousseau agrees that the laws are necessary for us to live in peace and freedom once we have moved away from conditions of radical equality and innocence in the state of nature.
  • Max Weber elaborates on the problem of political leadership in the context of the modern state. Explain each form of legitimation for the use of force that Weber identifies. Why is charismatic leadership the primary concern of this essay? What are the terms on which he admonishes the charismatic leader must understand his political responsibility?
  • The problem of political power and the potential for corruption, conflict, and decline is addressed very differently in each text we have studied this term.

Elaborate on at least two claims Rousseau makes about the social contract as the means by which we will become free of the radical dependence relationships of inequality otherwise impose upon us. For example, you could focus on his claims about the proprietary domain, about the respective responsibilities of the legislature and executive powers, about voting and citizen participation, and/or about civic religion.

Through simple communal lifestyles, Plato’s philosopher kings and queens will be free from the desires and concerns of everyday life that would otherwise distract them from their task, thereby corrupting them, as rulers. Machiavelli argues that to rule in his self-interest is the very definition of a corrupt ruler. He relies on the desire for honor and future glory that drives individuals who take up the task of ruling. Rousseau calls for a separation of powers in the government itself and for a general material equality among citizens to hedge against the corruption of absolute power. Marx argues that as long as class distinctions exist in terms of who controls the means of production in any given society, that ruling will always be partial and corrupted.

Taking up two of these approaches, discuss what you find most persuasive with respect to molding and constituting political power toward the ends of sustaining a political community.

 
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