One of the fundamental issues of most socio-political
debate in recent years is ALIENATION, which means “estrangement”. This essay
will elucidate the doctrine of alienation in its origin until the era of Karl
Marx. Much attention will be focused on the way Marx conceived alienation, its
causes, types and effects. Attempt will be made to use this doctrine to
explicate the circumstances of the majority of Nigerians, who are predominantly
The approach will be a theoretical exposition of K.
Marx theory of alienation. An attempt will be made to juxtapose the arguments
for and against the Marxist doctrine of alienation, and how it tallies with the
Nigerian society. This will aim at correcting the defective systems of the
Nigerian society. Here it will be explained, whether the suffering and the inhuman conditions
that most Nigerians pass through can be termed, “alienation” following Marx
theory. If this doctrine is applied to the Nigerian society, the question will
then be; how does the Nigerian system alienates its citizens?
The purpose of this essay, is to show whether there is
any connections between the Marxist doctrine of alienation and the condition of
the average Nigerian worker. Here, I will examine the solution proffered by
Karl Marx. I will also show that though his alienation doctrine seems to
elucidate the conditions of many Nigerians, the causes and solution proffered
by Marx cannot be adapted to the Nigerian society. To put it precisely, the
solution proffered by Karl Marx is not workable nor attainable in the Nigerian
system. Finally, I shall propose that alienation can only be mitigated within
the context of solidarity.
OF THE STUDY
It has become
increasingly common to hear life in the present age characterized in term of
alienation1 The concept of alienation has become an almost obsessive
concern in areas of socio-political philosophy, as a condition of man in this
modern age. The subject matter has become the isolated individual. The
individual is estranged from other people, the fruit of his labour, and his
self. The alienating condition of modern man shows that we are confronted by
the symptoms of a morbid and acute social sickness.
In this present
Nigerian society, there has been lamentations of oppressions exploitation and
dehumanization. Nigerians are exploited by fellow Nigerians, hence, M. I.
Akimbo exclaimed, “we have done very estimable evil to ourselves in this
land”.2 Thus, a lot of thinkers now term Nigerian workers as alienated beings.
The question, which seems to be cropping up, is whether some Nigerians are
really alienated and marginalized?
OF THE PROBLEM
ontological evil that can happen to being
in its essence, existence and expression is alienation.3 There has been various
attempts to interpret the conditions of the Nigerian workers following the
basic tenets of the Marxist doctrine of alienation, over the years. The worst
part, is the attempt to proffer solutions to the alienating conditions of
Nigerian workers following the pattern of Karl Marx’s-revolution.
created by alienation are multifarious. There is a problem of man’s inhumanity
to man dehumanization, as exemplified in the way the rich treat the poor in
Nigeria. There is also the estrangement of some Nigerians; from the fruits of
their labour, from friends and from family. Added to the above is the
exploitation of the resources in the Niger Delta to develop the northern region
of Nigeria. This exploitation is in all regions; employers exploiting
employees, the rulers exploiting the ruled, the clergy men exploiting their
members, some lecturers in the university exploiting their students and so on.
How do we reconcile alienation with global call for freedom and human dignity?
How can man exercise himself fully in a society that is characterized with all
forms of alienation.
OF THE STUDY
The aim of this
research among others is to assess the doctrine of alienation and the
applications of the solutions proffered with reference to Karl Marx, and why
this solutions cannot be applied to the Nigerian society. An attempt will be
made to give an elucidation of a workable solution to address the alienating
conditions in Nigeria.
OF THE STUDY
of this research work is bipolar, firstly, it will serve as assessment of the
much esteemed doctrine of alienation enunciated by Karl Marx, secondly it will
serve as awareness to many Nigerians that there is a workable solution to this
alienating condition which characterize their society.
It will also
create the awareness that the solutions to the problems of alienation in Nigeria
cannot be located in the solutions proffered by Karl Marx.
OF THE STUDY
shall be limited to the doctrine of alienation and its solutions as enunciated
by Karl Marx. This is not to neglect what other theorists have said about the
concept of alienation. This work will also attend to alienation of Nigerian
workers and the workable solutions to these alienations or estrangement. The
role of the labour unions’ strikes will be examined to see if it is justified.
The reactions of the Nigerian government to the conditions of the labour class
will not be neglected.
applicability or non-applicability of the solutions proffered by Karl Mark will
be examined critically to show how workable it is in the Nigerian context.
My approach to
this research work will be critical and analytical (a method where the issue at
stake will be dissected and evaluated to show its good and had qualities.
To this end,
therefore, materials to execute the research will be gotten from the library.
This is not to undermine the importance of relevant books gotten from friends,
relevant class notes and interviews.