Rahel Jaeggi’s theory of alienation has received less attention than her work on forms of life and capitalism. This theory avoids the problems of traditional theories of alienation: objectivism, paternalism, and essentialism. It also sidesteps post-structuralist criticisms of the theory of alienation. However, Jaeggi’s theory is flawed in two ways: it is not historically specific, and so cannot explain why alienation is a problem for modernity rather than other historical periods, and it is difficult to connect to social critique. I argue that Karl Marx’s later theory of alienation, as interpreted by Moishe Postone and others, is able to avoid the problems that Jaeggi’s theory avoids, and is also able to avoid the flaws in her theory. This suggests that critical theory should focus on a theory of capitalism rather than normative social theory.