Prof. Norman Pollack. DR.
Mohsen Abdelmoumen: Is the capitalist system compatible with life?
Norman Pollack: I think not, not as a reflex-action, but because the commodity structure, which is the salience of capitalism, is the source of alienation. Human beings are reduced to commodities, valued—if at all—for their exchange value. The characteristic impulse or query under capitalism is, what’s in it for me? There is no intrinsic respect for others; in fact others become no more than means to the satisfaction of one’s own ends. The classic statement of this analysis is Marx’s Economic-Philosophical Manuscript of 1844, and an excellent statement built on that is Fritz Pappenheim, The Alienation of Modern Man.
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