Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2014

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Marc Herold


Many Americans are pessimistic about their country's medium or long-term economic outlook. A century ago, Big Business was born as an economic force, but it has powerfully infiltrated the realm of politics now. The corporate scramble for natural resources has caused global disharmony and domestic economic conflict in the U.S. The capitalist system, which many have come to realize is unsustainable and oppressive, has thus come to fulfill some of the predictions made by earlier critics from Kierkegaard, Rousseau, to Marx. Each believed that a society which is forced to accommodate an oppressive system will inherently display alienation. That is, a person will begin to feel isolated from himself, unhappy (as amply documented in the growing happiness literature), and work without enthusiasm (resulting in lower productivity). Alienation is inextricably linked with all aspects of our lives; it occurs on a material level and we are forced to deal with it on a daily basis. How then does mankind overcome the difficulties posed by alienation? If not capitalism and democracy, then what? This paper discusses these issues in an attempt to give the reader a better understanding of how to overcome alienation and the problems/root causes associated with it.