Essay on Marx, Weber and their Critique of Global Capitalism

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While Marx and Weber had divergent analyses of capitalism, their evaluations of modern global capitalism have a common thread of thought. They both view the implementation of global capitalism, where subordinating individual needs and desires to achieve the end goal of accumulating wealth for wealth’s sake, as irrational and unreasonable. Because of that commonality, it is feasible to draw from both analyses to explain global capitalization today.
Karl Marx believed that the ultimate end of society is an imminent and significant, consisting of happiness, which can only be achieved via organized collectivism. Reality is controlled by financial necessity (historical materialism). In practical application, this theory means that the
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97). While Marx sees capitalism purely from economic need, Weber states that capitalism is a combination of economic, political and social strata. Weber's analysis indeed had a similar scope to Marx, not surprising as he came from the same German tradition of thought and faced many of the same issues as Marx. But Weber examined issues which Marx marginalized – in particular, the influence organized religion had on the incarnation of capitalism. Weber was less passionate, more scholarly, not viewing classes of people, but rather the individual within a very structured approach. Marx believed that “religion was the opiate of the people” (Marx, 1). Marx viewed capitalism as a form of religion, where the worship of wealth and capital replaced the traditional worship of a deity. “The more a worker estranges himself in his labour, the more estranged, objective world he has created becomes more powerful, while he becomes impoverished…The same happens in religion. The more man puts things in God, the less he keeps in himself.” (Marx, pp. 57-58)
Weber, conversely, felt that capitalism had its roots in the Protestant Work Ethic, based upon the concept that the Calvinist emphasis on hard work and diligence was a person’s way of fulfilling one’s duty to God. The resultant accumulation of wealth was a reassurance of one’s predestined Salvation. By the time Weber wrote “The Protestant Ethic

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