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Philosophical Relationships of History, Culture and Politics, Essay Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1312

Essay

Introduction

The aspects of history, culture and politics are considered as the primary factors that make up a society. The contributory influence of all these aspects as a whole create a system of understanding and structured function that humans utilize to impose a sense of progress. Marx and Weber both contributed their own principled description on how all these social aspects define the process of development that the human communities take in consideration with the time and the transformation of era that they are currently engaged in.

In relation to this, Marx called his conception of history, “historical materialism”. This specifically defines the ideal process by which humans intend to create a material response towards the material needs that they are presented with. Utilizing what the environment gives according to what they need is a system of materialization that humans adapt into as the change of era occurs. In this particular concept, Marx intends to impose a sense of definition on how progress occurs towards a new sense realization, which is specifically dependent on how humans view their needs in relation to the resources that they have. What the humans perceive to be necessary becomes a source of belief as to what aspect of life should be expanded, what specific elements of the environment should be utilized or developed to further create a sense of connection between the needs and the responding factors that could suffice the said demands for survival. From this point, the other operations of social development continue to exist.

In a way, what seems to be needed in the field of politics or culture is responded to by the human society according to how they understand that importance of the said need. This is the reason why politics take different facts every change of year especially in relation to the kind of problems that the society being governed upon is facing. On the other hand, culture also evolves in connection with the kind of norms that the society recognizes.

Seemingly, while Marx recognizes human nature to be at a course of defining the path of development that history, culture and politics take, Weber views the matter to be strongly affected by the existence of politics and the innate desire of humans to rule and make a name. His theoretical understanding of how history makes a mark in the society specifically insists on the occurrence of differential stratification of the social condition according to what the government dictates. In the discussion that follows, further defining what Marx and Weber dictates to be specifically important in defining human progress shall be presented and examined according to their practical application to the real situations in the society today.

Further Exploration of the Thinking of Marx

Marx was a firm believer in history being driven by materialistic interests (Hodgson).  Concepts, ideas, religion, and other theoretical ideas were without substance or structure.  The cornerstone of history was economics.  The economy drives all matters of history throughout time (Ahmad).  Therefore, the student of politics cannot understand history or how a certain political system functions without knowledge of how its economic system works.  Marx worked exclusively within the practical side of economics.  Marx considered theoretical ideas about economics as pointless and a waste of time (Fine). Marx states that as long as people are unable to be at one with their true selves, they can never be free (Fraser).  Only under the system of Communism can people be free.  Marx said that society is organized in such a way that people are simply productive beings (Peterson).  They are just spokes on the wheel of society, and they do not have the opportunity to act freely (Peterson).  Communism, Marx says, can remedy all of this.

Marx predicts that since there are always going to be more employees (Proletariat) than employers (Bourgeois), the Proletariat will eventually become tired of the situation and revolt against the Bourgeois (Hodgson).  Once this happens, the Proletariat will be the rulers and the Bourgeois will have no place in society.  After the revolution, there will be only one class left, the Proletariat.  With only the Proletariat left, the community becomes a classless society (Moseley).

How Weber Defines Social Development Based on Politics, History and Culture

According to Weber, politics is striving for influence over the distribution of power (Weber).  This can happen between states or groups of people living in the states.  The politician is engaged in the pursuit of power.  All political history can be judged on the tripartite distinction between the three ideal types of leadership.  Weber pointed out that there are three types of political leadership charismatic domination, traditional domination, and legal domination (bureaucracy) (Bendix).

Weber says that physical violence is what establishes a state.  Violence is not always the means by which a state is established, but social formations rarely work without violence (Weber).  Since the state is a human community, it has a monopoly over physical force.  The determination of whether to use physical force depends on the situation that is unique to a particular territory of the state. Weber was a strong advocate for the bureaucratization of society.  This was the theme of his famous work, “Economy and Society.”  The field of modern public administration owes its beginnings to Max Weber.  “Weberian Civil Service” is a continental type civil service that is organized as a hierarchy (Hooghe).  As a rationalist, Weber thought that bureaucratization was the most effective way of organizing a society (Bendix).

Conclusion

As a product of the Enlightenment, Karl Marx based his politics on a scientific theory (Moseley).  This theory was based on the association of humans with other humans.  The most fundamental principle of politics, according to Marx, was individual freedom (Peterson).  Politics should not be based on ideas; rather it should be based on scientific theory.  Marx was opposed to Utopian Socialists like Weber whom he considered as wishful thinkers (Padan).  Marx based his theory of history strictly under the auspices of a materialistic conception.

Weber based his idea of a state on the idea of hierarchy and order.  Another term for this is bureaucracy.  Weber believed that society was best run from the top down, rather than the bottom up.  Karl Marx believed that the working class should rise up and overthrow the ruling class.  Max Weber thought that if a strong enough hierarchy was set in place, society should function in a rational manner from the top down.

Although Weber allows that there will often be violence when a state is organized, he does not specifically advocate violence.  He leaves the decision to enact violence up to the state, not a group of individuals.  Karl Marx, on the other hand, promotes a physical revolution as the only way in which men can be free.  Both men believe in the innate right of man to be free as individuals.

Works Cited

Ahmad, Aijaz. “The ‘Communist Manifesto’ and the Problem of Universality.” Monthly Review June 1998: 12+. Questia. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.

Bendix, Reinhard. Max Weber: An Intellectual Portrait. Sacramento: University of California Press, 1978.

Fine, Robert. “The Marx-hegel Relationship: Revisionist Interpretations?.” Capital & Class (2001): 71+. Questia. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.

Fraser, Ian. “Two of a Kind: Hegel, Marx, Dialectic and Form.” Capital & Class (1997): 81+. Questia. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.

Hodgson, Geoffrey M. “Varieties of Capitalism from the Perspectives of Veblen and Marx.” Journal of Economic Issues 29.2 (1995): 575+. Questia. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.

Hooghe, Liesbet. The European Commission and the Integration of Europe: images of governance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Moseley, Fred. “The Value of Marx.” Capital & Class (2003): 210+. Questia. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.

Paden, Roger. “Marx’s Critique of the Utopian Socialists.” Utopian Studies 13.2 (2002): 67+. Questia. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.

Spalding, Roger. “The Communist Manifesto.” History Review (2000): 8. Questia. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.

Weber, Max. Political Writings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Lassman, P. and Speirs, R. The Profession and Vocation of Politics. Cambridge University Press. 1994. Writings on Historical Materialism. The German Ideology.

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