Alienation and the Origins and Prevention of War

Authored by: Hall Gardner

The Ashgate Research Companion to War

Print publication date:  January  2012
Online publication date:  March  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754678267
eBook ISBN: 9781315613741
Adobe ISBN: 9781317041115


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The concept of alienation has multiple meanings, which can possess a number of social and political ramifications with respect to separation or isolation from the power to make key decisions that directly affect an individual’s life, if not an individual’s very survival within a larger historical context in the broadest sense. 1 1

Karl Marx recognized the dual aspects of man’s alienation from man and from nature, but focused his analysis primarily upon socio-economic aspects of alienation. Marx gave very limited attention to man’s alienation from the natural environment and to the artificial division of the earth by the territorial divisions between states. See Karl Marx, “Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844,” in Robert C. Tucker (ed.), The Marx-Engels Reader (New York: Norton, 1978), 75.

As the nature of power is at its roots a socio-psychological interrelationship, the separation or isolation from the processes and sources of decision-making can possess profound consequences that can impact issues involving conflict and war.

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