A Boundary Between Collectivism and Consciousness: The Nature of the Unnatural Machine

Table of Content

Collectivism and consciousness are separated by a dividing line.

The Unnatural Machine’s Nature

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The concept of an inevitable revolution by the Proletariat and its potentialities are intellectually intriguing, but it will not necessarily occur. The German Ideology presents a general consensus that a revolution is necessary to reestablish individuals as productive, fulfilled, and valuable members of society. The Proletariat is adversely affected by being shackled to meaningless labor and exploited solely for their ability to create “things,” which dehumanizes them and preys upon them. The question at hand is whether it is essential for individuals to find fulfillment and break free from the constraints imposed by years of Capitalist expansion. Are they so entrapped in the very objects they create that they become extensions of the machinery itself? Can individuals no longer speak for themselves because they are so mechanized, in a sense? In my opinion, individuals cannot transcend these distractions while deeply immersed in the system of money, commodities, Capitalism, and power. As workers, individuals lack agency and only gain power when they detach themselves from the system and refuse to work in this manner. However, this is an individual action that inevitably isolates them from the collective, alienating themselves instead of uniting with others who may conspire to revolt. Nonetheless, it ultimately leads individuals to confront their own humanity and recognize their inherent solitude in the world.

Men lack collective consciousness of the natural world, which frightens them when they realize their solitude amidst nature’s forces. Consequently, men find themselves ensnared within a self-made machine, an artificial power that either unites or divides them. Upon attaining this newfound awareness, men may recognize the superficiality and self-interest driving their relationships. Their actions and associations in the realm of work lack genuineness. If this foundation crumbles, men will either grow suspicious of their work-related connections or forsake them entirely for simpler bonds with nature. Neither response facilitates a revolution to emancipate them from confusion and Capitalism. This consciousness refuses to reconcile the unnatural concept of work with their innate desires for happiness and humanity. If only men could believe that both work and these natural aspects can coexist harmoniously, perhaps a revolution would be possible. However, history has proven otherwise, making it unlikely to change in the future.

From its inception to its conclusion, consciousness is a social construct. Initially, it only comprehends the immediate sensory environment and the limited connections with others and external entities, while also acknowledging nature’s overpowering and unattainable force. This recognition of nature’s supremacy resembles an animal’s perception, as historical modifications have not yet occurred. It is crucial to note that this perception of nature and the specific relationship between humans and nature are influenced by societal structure, and vice versa. Ultimately, the constrained bond between humans and nature determines their restricted bond with one another, and vice versa (Marx & Engels, 1845, pp.35-37).

When individual consciousness overrides the necessary mechanisms outside man’s machine to initiate self-transformation, the collective consciousness emerges in the future. Initially recognizing that the mechanisms crafted and perpetuated by humans are unnatural, it becomes instinctive to avoid personal accountability for this destructive materialistic design and renounce any potential action to eradicate it. Moreover, the overwhelming forces of the machine hinder a conscious dialogue regarding our ethical responsibility to dismantle this unearthly flaw of suffering and servitude. Building connections with others and instigating a revolution necessitates moral action and responsibility. However, it is simple for individuals to claim “I did not create this,” yet they would be mistaken as it is their continued daily contribution to the Capitalist wheel that sustains it. Even when withdrawing from its influence, individuals inadvertently foster an environment of acquiescence through their inaction. While each person experiences moments of self-awareness, they often feel ashamed and reluctant to accept blame for their creation – even if at a distance.

The conditions for individuals to engage in sexual intercourse with each other are determined by their own individuality rather than external factors. These specific conditions are unique to individuals who are in certain relationships and are essential for them to create their own material life and related aspects through their own actions. Initially, these conditions align with the inherent nature of production until a contradiction arises. At that point, these conditions become an accidental constraint and later individuals recognize them as such. It is believed that individuals from earlier periods were also aware of this constraint (Marx & Engels, 1845, 81).

Man must create a collective, individual consciousness by reflecting on his relationship with industry and others, and sharing his feelings of exploitation and directionless life. However, the circular nature of the Capitalist system confuses this process. Yet, a collective pause and realization of their situation, triggered by a shared catastrophe or extreme event, will prevent action due to shame for allowing exploitation. Man has become so trapped in his circular life that stepping out leads to a spin in self-consciousness. As a group, the shame of creating this cycle out of ignorance will silence dissent. In this panic, man will long for the circularity of either the machine or nature. Ultimately, nothing can be changed.

The constant need to replace slaves resulted in their frequent death, making slavery a fundamental aspect of the productive system. The plebeians, who were neither free nor slave, were unable to elevate themselves beyond being a working class mob. Rome, ultimately, never expanded beyond being a city and its political ties with the provinces were easily disrupted by political upheavals (Marx & Engels, 1845, 84).

The presented negativity is the reality of man, nature, consciousness, and the machine. The Capitalist machine keeps running with many cogs and will continue to do so, even when individuals step into consciousness. They may distance themselves from the machine that binds them to an unnatural life with unnatural needs, but someone else will take their place. This circularity of slavery to commodities is deeply ingrained in daily life, replacing the natural circularity of the earth’s rotation. Capitalism is like the earth, a spinning wheel that constantly encourages work and consumption. Those who reject these premises are completely alone, as nature intended, and cannot connect with others on a different wheel to revolt against a power stronger than the entire universe.


In Volume 5 of the Collected Works, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels talk about their book “The German Ideology” along with other writings they produced in April.

The online accessibility of the content extends from 1845 to April 1847.

http://www.ucc.ieacad/archive/cw/library/marx/mia_2/p/socstud/tmp_store/volum/e05/index.htm> was last accessed on 17, November 2008.

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A Boundary Between Collectivism and Consciousness: The Nature of the Unnatural Machine. (2016, Dec 20). Retrieved from


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