Weber Vs. Marx : What Drives Historical Development

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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. Marx’ ‘The German Ideology’ starts from the first premise of human history itself, “the existence of living human individuals”, and ends at the current stage of historical
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