Karl Polanyi, Max Weber And Robert Heilbroner

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Material and ideological conditions are present in the modern society and those before, each influencing the other. Material conditions determine an individual’s way of life, the wages they collect, and how such earnings determine social class. It is through ideological conditions that ideas derive, which give birth to the ways civilization behaves and operates. This paper will look at a series of theoretical works by Karl Polanyi, James Rinehart, Max Weber, and Robert Heilbroner, deliberating the market society and its progression in relation to the material and ideological conditions that are constantly transforming throughout societies pivotal points in history. Each theorist offers excellent insight into the modes of production and …show more content…

Members of society are no longer able to fathom how those who live in small communities are able to grow and harvest their own foods for survival (Heilbroner 3). Just as Polanyi argues, Heilbroner concludes that the market indeed runs itself with a dialogue that reaffirms the notion of the system being in control of all modes of production and distribution without human intervention (13). Before the great transformation, no economy was subject to being a prisoner of the market (Polanyi 43). Polanyi discusses previous forms of economic organization that function effectively without the system of markets (43). It can be said that through the social being of man and his relationships, that he values material goods only as they serve to an end (Polanyi 46). Within Tribal communities, each member takes on the ideology towards noneconomic ends, that is, not connecting the means of production or distribution in significance with the ownership of goods (Polanyi 46). Members of the tribe place no desire upon economic interests of the individual, but rather on the collective. Reciprocity and redistribution are certain behaviours that communities maintain (Polanyi 47). Reciprocity, regards the sexual organization of society, and redistribution is functioning under a common chief representing domain and authority

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