The names Karl Marx and Max Weber are synonymous with important thinkers of the nineteenth century. Some may claim that Marx and Weber's views share many parallels, however the sociologists arrived to quite different conclusions when they explored comparable concepts. My goal in writing this essay is to investigate whether there are any parallels or differences between the theories of these two renowned sociologists. Marx and Weber's similarities and differences will be examined to see if they can be classed as having comparable understandings of essential concepts....
Hegel had a major influence on Marx, who developed the concept of base and superstructure. What we call "the superstructure" is what emerges from "the foundation" (the relationships formed as a consequence of production) (S.H.Rigby). The classical political economists who developed the labour theory of value also had a significant impact on him. To put it another way, how much labour went into making a thing determines its true 'cost' (Evans). These and other elements shaped Marx's ground-breaking theories on the general economy.
For his part, Weber was influenced by Kant, who argued that there is only one possible interpretation of each given situation. Weber learned from Kant that in order to comprehend the human sciences, you must understand the motivations of the individuals who participate in them. ' By rejecting the concept of universal rules, Weber argued that you must first look at the historical conditions. "The German model" seems to be the driving force behind most of Weber's work (Giddens).
History, according to Marx, is shaped by the means of production; the techniques in which people manufacture things are the triggers that regulate Western civilization, according to Marx. It was Marx's contention that when employees were no longer in control of the products they created they were obliged to sell their labour, which in turn alienated them from their employment. A growing concentration of power would lead to a split between "the property owners and the property-less workers" as capitalism progresses, according to Marx's theory (Marx)
Rather of focusing on the importance of exploitation in Capitalism, Weber focused on the Protestant faith's connection to the movement. According to him, the "ultimate form of moral action" is "the fulfilment of duty in earthly matters," which is a protestant view. Because of the division of labour and social stratification that resulted as a result, Max Weber saw this as an impetus for Protestants to work hard and conserve their money (Sztompka).
For starters, I'll point out certain parallels between Marx and Weber. As a starting point, both theories agree that "individuals are governed by abstractions." Feudalism is a good illustration of how they see the world. Feudal economics dictated that goods be sold at a fair price for their "use value" rather than for a profit (Marx).
Féodalism, according to Weber's theory, may be explained as 'private property is the outcome of military aggression' inside the political order. The means of production inside an economic system, on the other hand, is how Marx describes feudalism (Mannheim).
It is also possible to draw a parallel between Marx and Weber's views on capitalism's irrationality. Religion has a role in both attempts to interpret this irrationality, but the relevance is different. According to the Weberian school of thought, religion holds the key to understanding capitalism's genesis.
According to Weber in 'The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism,' Protestantism's principles and technology work together to change society. ' (Weber). According to Marx, religion is nothing more than a tool for the ruling class to convey its ideology to the masses. Marx's and Weber's views may be said to have some similarities, but the primary distinction is that Weber believes that God directs the actions of humans, whereas Marx believes that capital controls them.
The main distinction between Marx and Weber, which I'll now go through in detail, is that Marx emphasises economic effects, whereas Weber emphasises political ones. By "surplus value" they mean the money the Bourgeoisie makes after compensating the Proletariats for their labour, according to Marxist theory.
Marx said that the ruling class (the bourgeoisie) exploits the proletariat because they have the capacity to do so. According to Marxism, the state serves as a vehicle for ensuring that those who are affluent are well-off. Weber, on the other hand, focuses on politics and extrapolates his findings to economics.
He emphasised that the class structure couldn't be explained just by economics. Max Weber, An intellectual picture, p. 86. ). When it comes to stratification, Marx and Weber's perspectives diverge. Status groups, proposed by Weber, are distinct from classes in that they are based on communities. According to Weberian theory, these'status groups' may be found in any society. According to Weber, the failure of Marx's forecasts on future civilizations was due to Marx's class-centered beliefs. (Coser)
Marx and Weber have quite different ideas on social class. Beginning with the'modes of production' that Marx felt formed social classes, Marx places a strong focus on structures that he considered to control behaviour. When it comes to designating social classes, Weber thought that such structures were irrelevant and that they were the product of human behaviour.
Second, Marx maintains that social groupings are formed solely on the basis of one's class. Marx's theory is criticised by Weber because it is unable to identify social groups based on inequality. According to Weber, the creation of social groupings is not a one-way street.
Third, Marx sees class conflict as a battle between the dominant and inferior class members, whereas Weber sees class conflict as a struggle between the dominant and lower class members based more on domination. Finally, Marx asserts that the way a person interacts with production is directly related to his or her place in the social strata.
For Weber, the creation of social groupings relies on the individual, who is seen as a key player in the process of group organisation. Most of these thinkers' views seem to rely on the logic they employed to explain social class. (Morrison)
Numerous sociologists would contend that Marx and Weber each provide a sliver of an explanation for the complexities of social reality. The two reasons they offer can both be disputed. In any case, Marx and Weber's theories have been around for centuries, and this shows that they were two of the most important doctrines of their period.
Despite the fact that some sociologists believe Weber's contribution to capitalism was more subtle than Marx's, it is apparent that studying both Marx and Weber's ideas on capitalism helps us better comprehend capitalism as a whole.
Coser, L. Masters of sociological thought: Ideas in historical and social context. Page 228, 229, 230
Evans, M. Karl Marx. Pages 96, 97
Giddens, A. Politics and sociology in the thought of Max Weber. Pages 40, 41, 42
Mannheim, K. From Max Weber; essays in sociology. Pages 46, 47
Marx, K. (1847). The Communist Manifesto.
Morrison, K. Marx Durkheim Weber, formations of modern social thought.
Nisbet, R. A. The sociological Tradition. Page 285
S.H.Rigby. Marxism and history, A critical introduction, second edition. Pages 176, 177, 178.
Sztompka, P. The sociology of social change. Page 238
Weber, M. The Protestant ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Page 54
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