The power of capitalism to shape social relationships resulting in the political internalization of a mindset which enforces separation and alienation, treats the self and others as commodities, mere objects to be bought and sold, in sum, the objectification of human consciousness in defense of capitalism's essence, exchange values as the cornerstone of social organization and individual identity. Humankind is thus a form of property, those within society relating to each other as, and through the institutional nexus of, property wherein we are all buyers and sellers (what's in it for me?) giving only a small part of ourselves to others as though inhabiting a transactional framework of profit and loss.
The worker is a commodity, a factor of production, in the process depersonalized as an extension of the machine with no more personal worth to ownership, even less, than the machine. The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates. Marx before/different from Freud has the psychodynamics of dehumanization a fundamental feature of capitalism.
It is this pathology of the human condition, an epistemology of narcotized servitude governed by the structural principles of exchange-value, that I think has greater importance than the revelation of exploitation to be Marx's contribution to the critique of capitalism. We become our commodities. Marx states: "The worker puts his life into the object; but now his life no longer belongs to him but to the object." (We are our cars, our bank accounts, everything but ourselves.)
Man as a being must not treat himself or others as a means to life rather than life itself, for the individual, "a universal and therefore a free being." The necessity of identifying enemies both as a way of fending off self-criticism and of projecting onto others the fallacies, psychodynamics, and hatreds we share in our pursuit of global hegemony.
Only when one takes account of our self-manufactured fears, a Commie under every bush, Russian missiles descending from the heavens, China swallowing Asia with the US next, does it become evident America is in a state of decline, the national mood that of wanting to have a certitude of moral supremacy over all others which nevertheless, deep-down, is recognized to be beyond our reach. Foreign policy would supposedly arrest the decline, which in the first place can never be admitted, making the militarization of capitalism the more imperative, stripping away any pretense, except to Americans themselves, of a democratic society devoted to peace and social justice. (Norman Pollack)