Weber vs. Marx: What Drives Historical Development Modern capitalism, an ongoing process involving the continual accumulation and subsequent reinvestment of capital, is an end that both Weber and Marx reach in their analyses of society and agree on in definition. However, while Marx tells us that phantoms of the brain i.e. morality, religion, ideology, cannot develop independently of material production or influence it, Weber argues that ideas and religion can indeed determine life and the processes of life, namely our material production. The key difference between the two is their scope of factors that can cause historical development. Marx only allows for one factor, productive forces and the economic conditions resulting from them; Weber, on the other hand, acknowledges that while ideology and religion can support the economic relations as a driving factor, they can also develop independently and become a factor, a force on its own that can alter production, economic conditions, and thus history. By accounting for the multiple ways in which a society can be altered, Weber provides a more complete and applicable understanding of historical development and the powerful concept that an idea from an individual or group of individuals can have a legitimate and significant effect on the direction of society.
Socialism allows the government to regulate all aspects of production, sales, and wages. Socialism is used to benefit the people as a whole, not as individuals. Economic equalization eliminates income inequality by lessening income extremes by creating a collective mentality among the people. Implementing socialism protects the middle and lower classes from poverty and prevents the wealthy from accruing too much power by creating shared responsibilities, social programs, and incomes; its unseen flaw is limiting the aspirations of society (Socialism UXL). In a traditional capitalist economy, wealthy elites hold political power; the elimination of economic elitists voids political elitists. Opposers argue that socialism isn’t fair. Wealth is equally distributed among the people due to government interference, despite the amount of work or career aptitude. Unlike capitalism, motivation is not a factor when there is not a direct relationship between work and outcome. Consequently, socialism clashes with natural human behavior. The lack of incentives leads to _______. Socialism is an ideology that fails through
At the time Marx started writing his theories, the Industrial Revolution was taking place. Feudalism had been done away with, and the people who had been living on the common land allowed to them by lords were forced to leave. Without land or a livelihood that had previously been found in farming, people flocked to the cities to find work. With the Industrial Revolution also came an advance in technology. Ambitious people with enough capital goods and money started factories and soon came to be known as capitalists. An economy based on capitalism, a system that revolves around private ownership of the means of production, typically by a select few, was born. With the flood of newcomers to the cities, there were more than enough people to work the factories, so the capitalists did not have to take into account the workers opinions for fear of losing laborers. Marx felt that this allowed the capitalists to exploit their workers and not pay them what their labor should be worth. He also felt that capitalism was a system that thrived off of havoc and
He believed that the society was too economically driven which resulted in men becoming “an appendage of the machine … losing all individual character and all charm for the workman”(Lecture Marx 1/25/17 slide #14). This had led to an alienation of labor and commodification of labor. Individuals started making products and working only for the economic purposes rather than for the emotional joy of creativity and innovation. The technological uses were advanced to reach the maximum efficiency of mass production and Proletariats were used as tools or as hands to keep the production going.
Karl Marx Social Change Karl Marx believed societies evolved through different stages: feudalism, capitalism, and socialism. He suspected social change to be strongly linked with the economy; class struggle caused by 19th century capitalism. With the decline of the aristocracy and the industrial revolution Marx believed more opportunities would be available for the poor, but that was not the case, instead the aristocracy were "replaced ' ' by capitalists. The wealthy
Together these comprise the mode of production; Marx observed that within any given society the mode of production changes, and that European societies had progressed from a feudal mode of production to a capitalist mode of production. In general, Marx believed that the means of production change more rapidly than the relations of production (for example, we develop a new technology, such as the Internet, and only later do we develop laws to regulate that technology). For Marx this mismatch between (economic) base and (social) superstructure is a major source of social disruption and conflict.
In their materialist reading of history, Marx and Engels proclaim that with the necessity for survival driving history/ and man to the development of social interaction and thus the establishment of the economy, staged progressions will come forth as a result. To Marx the economy will ultimately be responsible for all aspects of society. It will be from the development, and circumstance stemming forth from such development of the economy, that the stages of history will progress. And as such to Marx and Engels Capitalism will be a stopping point upon this staged progression route of history. In this way it is concluded that Capitalism is a mode of production stemming from the economy [means and relations of production], which in itself is a result of the history of materialism [the innate struggle for survival and the social relations built upon this struggle].
Marx, through political involvement, witnessed the third social stage of development known as capitalism. In this Marx came to see the world system as a whole and recognized the many evils of capitalism. Marx saw capitalism as the worst stage of human and social development, for its foundation lay in the oppression of the working class.
Weber destabilizes the relationship between base and superstructure that Marx had established. According to Weber, the concept of historical materialism is naïve and nonsense because superstructures are not mere reflections of the economic base. ("The Protestant Ethic" and "The Spirit of Capitalism (1904-5) Weber agrees that the economy is one of the most faithful forces in modern life. However there are other social and legal factors which exhibit power and thus influence society. These factors help define bureaucratic society or Weber's concept of modern society which operates through the rational administration of labor. According to Weber, the condition of modern society is disenchantment, which, through rationalization (division of
Karl Marx class structure he proposes isn’t one found in income or wealth but rather who owns the means of productions. The bourgeoisie own the means of production and the proletariat who provide the labor to utilize the means of production. Marx references that the “dominate ideas of any era are the ideas of the ruling class”. In the age of where nobility reigned in much of Europe the merchants began over time to shift the ideas of the ruling class by becoming the revolutionary class and promoting change with such voices as Adam Smith, john Locke, Jean Jacques Rousse. In the communist manifesto Marx’s lays out the best reasoning to why the bourgeoisies play such a historic role in revolution when it has gotten the upper hand, it has put an
Historical materialism plays a key role in deliberating the relations between economic production and everything else that falls in society. Later in the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx discusses the concept of religion and how it ties into this image of capitalism. According to Marx, capitalism is the worst situation any society can be placed with in. Religion plays another big role in instigating materialism in such a society. Karl Marx adopted the concept of creating a division of labor which works in a classless society, in order to determine which individual is capable of what job. The transition between communism and capitalism involves the financing of personal relations such as the relation of man and nature. The Proletariat, or also known as, the people go hand in hand with the Bourgeoisie in a capitalist society. The justification of exploitation, globalization, homogenization of culture, urbanization and political centralization all are consequences of capitalism which Karl Marx warns capitalist societies
Karl Marx and Max Weber were influential sociologists that paved the way for modern sociological school of thought. Both, Karl Marx and Max Weber contributed a lot to the study and foundation of sociology. Without their contributions sociology would not be as prominent as it is today. From the contribution
Karl Marx’s view of society was based around the economy. All other social structures according to Marx, such as religion, family values, and politics stem from the base, the economy. Religion played no part at all in Marx’s sociological views. He is known as an atheist. He believed that religion was nothing more than a burden on society. “The
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
Both Karl Marx and Max Weber assert that capitalism is the dominion of abstractions and the irrational accumulation of abstract wealth for the sake of wealth. For Marx, the state of capitalism is entrenched in the social classes to which people have bben assigned. Capitalism, according to Marx, is a result of the bourgeoisie 's ascent to economic and political power. This fuels the manifestation of a system that exploits the labour power of the lower socioeconomic classes for the gain of the higher socioeconomic classes. Weber understands the state of capitalism to be the end product of the work ethic of the Protestant branches of Christianity and the secularization of Protestant puritanism, which helped fuel rationalism. Capitalism, according to Weber, is to be understood as the relations and methods of production and commodities, now rationalized. Ultimately, Marx ascribes the ascent of capitalism to the exploitation of people and power, while stressing that such a system can be overcome by a communist revolution, whereas Weber states that such a system is the result of cultural choices and is not as convinced that capitalism can be overcome.