The main aim of the essay is to examine three philosophical narrations. One of them, Hegel’s master-slave dialectic, clearly inspired the other two, that is: Marx’s reflections in his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 and the interpretation of the Odyssey in Horkheimer and Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment. Whereas Hegel’s dialectic opens a perspective of mutual recognition of individuals, permanently codified in their fundamental rights, the two remaining narrations lead to totally different conclusions. According to young Marx, the subjects not only do not recognize themselves mutually but even, under the influence of economic relationships, treat each other with disregard. Also in Adorno and Horkehimer’s view the labor processes, which according to Hegel led towards the freedom of individuals, distort interpersonal relations and strengthen the growing coercion. At the end, the proposal of Jürgen Habermas is taken into consideration. He argues that communication acts instead of labor processes are the real emancipating factor.