Mental illnesses are epidemic diseases. In the course of capitalism’s history we have more and more atomised as individuals: earbuds in, consuming music or podcasts; in limited contact with our neighbours; spending less time outside work with people beyond our housemates; decreasingly involved in community organisations.
Marx’s account of capitalism’s economic logic and failings is intimately connected with his explanation of the system’s self-camoflage mechanisms and damaging effects on our well-being. Capitalism distorts our needs, capacities and feelings as species. Marx dealt with this in his early work and melded it with his discovery of the roots of economic exploitation in Capital.