About The Problem of “Human Alienation”

Dear Editor:

Something that has always fascinated me is what I refer to as the causes and sources of “Human Alienation.” This is a problem in society which finds us being very coldhearted to each other and of hurting others in various ways and of having almost no empathy and compassion for those who suffer and struggle in life. I always wondered where this came from.

Karl Marx attributed it to what he believed to be the evil effects of capitalism.
Max Weber attributed it to the effects of bureaucracy. He predicted that we would all become so alienated from each other that the only thing that could save us would be the appearance of some kind of “charismatic savior” or “hero.”

But my favorite theory comes from R.D. Laing who believes that, beginning in early-childhood, we all create an “outer false self” in order to protect our “inner true self” from being hurt by the unkindness of other people.
I wonder if that resonates within you and speaks to you as it does to me?

Stewart B Epstein