„This situation [alienation] can therefore [according to Durkheim] be remedied by providing the individual with a moral awareness of the social importance of his particular role in the division of labour. He is then no longer an alienated automaton. but is a useful part of an organic whole: ‘from that time, as special and uniform as his activity may be, it is that of an intelligent being, for it has direction, and he is aware of it.’ This is entirely consistent with Durkheim’s general account of the growth of the division of labour, and its relationship to human freedom. It is only through moral acceptance in his particular role in the division of labour that the individual is able to achieve a high degree of autonomy as a self-conscious being, and can escape both the tyranny of rigid moral conformity demanded in undifferentiated societies on the one hand and the tyranny of unrealisable desires on the other.
Not the moral integration of the individual within a differentiated division of labour but the effective dissolution of the division of labour as an organising principle of human social intercourse, is the premise of Marx’s conception. Marx nowhere specifies in detail how this future society would be organised socially, but, at any rate,. this perspective differs decisively from that of Durkheim. The vision of a highly differentiated division of labour integrated upon the basis of moral norms of individual obligation and corporate solidarity. is quite at variance with Marx’s anticipation of the future form of society.
According to Durkheim’s standpoint. the criteria underlying Marx’s hopes for the elimination of technological alienation represent a reversion to moral principles which are no longer appropriate to the modern form of society. This is exactly the problem which Durkheim poses at the opening of The Division of Labour: ‘Is it our duty to seek to become a thorough and complete human being. one quite sufficient unto himself; or, on the contrary, to be only a part of a whole, the organ of an organism?’ The analysis contained in the work, in Durkheim’s view, demonstrates conclusively that organic solidarity is the ‘normal’ type in modern societies, and consequently that the era of the ‘universal man’ is finished. The latter ideal, which predominated up to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in western Europe is incompatible with the diversity of the contemporary order. In preserving this ideal. by contrast. Marx argues the obverse: that the tendencies which are leading to the destruction of capitalism are themselves capable of effecting a recovery of the ‘universal’ properties of man. which are shared by every individual.“
— Anthony Giddens