Alienation

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Alienation, from the Latin alienus meaning 'strange', or well, alien, became a popular term in the discussion of social theory and criticism, used as a blanket term for a variety of social evils with psychological effects. People are said to be alienated from one another or from their governments, and even from their own beliefs and values. In his Phenomenology o f Spirit (1807), Hegel says the Geist or spirit of the universe becomes alienated from its logical essence by becoming part of the physical world. In 1844 Marx adapted this to produce the more powerful notion of workers being alienated from their own labour by capitalism.