Max Weber And The False Consciousness Of Karl Marx

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As a practical sociologist, Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times embodies the ideas of hyper-rationalization of Max Weber and the false consciousness of Karl Marx. His film critiques the structural evolution caused by modern society. Through satire, the film reflects the lived reality of modernity by showing how individuals fail to realize that their agency succumbs to ruthless pragmatism because of their false consciousness. Europe’s shift from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism facilitated the creation of hyper-rationalism. Through the practice of Protestantism, Max Weber conjectures that citizens were encouraged to show their faith in God through hard work and perpetual reinvestment in their business(Weber, 377). Through the accumulation of capital, business owners were supposed to increase their capacity production to greater benefit society. Over the centuries this idea manifested itself into hyper-rationalism where everyone from business owners to members of the bureaucracy made their decisions in increasingly rational yet myopic ways. They decision making became increasingly precise and qualitative, relied on long term cost benefit analysis, and lost sight of the original intent of the businesses and government and bureaucracy. The hyper-rationalization of the world prompted the shift from Mercantilism to Capitalism. The transition from Mercantilism to Capitalism facilitated the creation of false consciousness as it gave people agency over their own lives without

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