Questioning the Individual in Capitalism: Alienation and the Iron Cage

Aydin D.

AMME IDARESI DERGISI, vol.43, no.2, pp.17-32, 2010 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.17-32
  • Keywords: Marx, alienation, Weber, iron cage, dynamic instability
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The capitalist system is by nature unstable and open to change and most of the destructive tendencies of the system depend on its internal variables. Capitalism commodifies labor, which is the basic element of production as Marx put forward in his analysis, and, it imprisons the individual in the iron cage of rational bureaucracy as Weber argues. Such a case can be regarded as unexpected consequences of rational behavior. In this study, Marx's theory of crisis will be analyzed taking the instability of the capitalist system as basis on the one hand, and the fact that capitalism is a system that mostly leads to unintended consequnces and can dehumanize the individual within the process of capitalist development, will be scrutinized on the other hand.