Q1: What does Marx mean when he says that people are “species-beings”?
“Species being”, according to Marx means that people are always conscious of each other as part of the human others. Also, Marx reckons that being reliant on each other and having common interests make human nature a matter of interconnection of social relationship. Therefore, species being in contemporary society relate to the biological and psychological elements of human beings. In other words, human needs have common biological needs such as eating and sleeping and so forth. They also have psychological desires such as affection, motivation, and other different qualities and features. Therefore, as a “species being” a man requires physical, physiological and intellectual aspects to survive and thrive in the society.
Question 2: Why does Marx think that capitalism is dehumanizing for workers?
Marx thinks that capitalism is unjust. According to Marx, capitalism possesses almost all the means of production while the workers have nothing to show rather than their bodies and minds. The only way that workers survive in the world is through working for the capitalists. The remuneration that workers receive for the services they offer is insignificant and seldom commensurate with the volume of work. Therefore, there is a form of injustice in the employment relationship. Workers receive only a small percent of the total value of the goods and services, yet they do much of the work, while the capitalists receive the lions share. This is dehumanization of the working class because it denies workers a fair wage.
Question 3: Can you give any examples of this dehumanization?
One of the examples of dehumanization is the alienation of the workers from the rest of human beings. In a capitalist economy, workers are expected to compete with each other for employment opportunities and promotions. Such competition between each other tends to bring down remuneration. Therefore, the beneficiary in such a situation is the capitalists and not the workers. Besides affecting workers materially, the workers also suffer alienation from each other. They start considering each other as allies especially in front of the capitalists who seek to destabilize the unity of workers for own benefits. Also, when workers do not receive a wage that does not commensurate the work, that can be termed as dehumanization.