Meaning of ALIENATION:

Literally, alienation means estrangement or separation. While the term alienation was given by Ficht, the concept was originally associated with G W. F. Hegel who considered it to be purely an intellectual phenomenon, the result of seeing the world in a certain mistaken way. Karl Marx on the other hand, developed alienation as a sociological concept, the causes of which lie in the material and social conditions of capitalistic society. At a general level, the feeling of estrangement occurs due to social structures that deny man his basic nature. The basic human nature is to perform productive labour, a creative activity, in co-operation with others. Man is a creator and it is through his creativity that he realises himself. However, the process of production is one of objectification, whereby man tends to dissociate himself from the material objects or the ideas that he had made but they tend to obtain a life of their own, they become more important than the inventor. They become fetishes or objects of mystery. This is the root cause of alienation.