It’s funny that my sociology professor would speak of alienation this week, considering that I’ve had two incidents where I have felt extremely alienated from others and thought of them as commodities: when I needed help from the maintenance staff at my apartment to move my furniture, and today while waiting for brown rice at Chipotle.
Warning: the definition of alienation below isn’t perfect. I still have trouble finding the words to define alienation.
Karl Marx is famous for his theory of alienation, an effect of modernity that he predicted would occur.
Alienation occurs when workers are seen as commodities. For example, in the assembly line, the guy who is in charge of just one tiny job in the process of making a car… He’s easily replaceable. He’s useless. His job is so simple that a robot can replace him.
Sorry for the negativity above, but this is essentially the direction our society is headed. We value efficiency at the drive thru at McDonald’s, and we get mad at the slow employees that just can’t keep up with demand. We reduce them to a commodity.
I felt bad for getting annoyed with the girl at Chipotle, but when I noticed the slight panic on her face that the line got super long and the beans weren’t coming fast enough, I just realized that the whole system is messed up.
We can’t get our food fast enough, and they are kept on their toes constantly.
I don’t like feeling entitled. It’s not Christ-like, yet I constantly have this feeling.
Hurry up, I’m giving you my damn business. I want what I want at the speed I want.
When in reality, if I were to stop going to Chipotle, no one would notice.
Sociology is known for being the major that has the most atheists, or so I’ve read, but oddly enough it’s helped me fall more in love with my Creator.