Comments on Edith Hanke’s Four Theses: On the meaning of the concept of democracy in the late Max Weber)

The decisive question in our discussion can be formulated in a concise manner: Was Max Weber a Democrat? As the historical-systematic approach proposed by Edith indicates, it would be more appropriate to ask how he became a democrat and what form of democracy he favored. It is clear, on the other hand, that the question cannot be answered once and for all. We need to take many nuances into account, but it is precisely for this reason – I believe – that our discussion becomes interesting.

Weber, Kelsen, and the Rule of Law: Liberal Ideologiekritik?

Weber and Kelsen avoided the terms Rechtsstaat and Rule of Law, but they each painstakingly constructed alternative descriptions of the kind of legal order that these terms have been used to describe. Their motives were similar: they sought a demystified and de-ideologized language which respected the fact-value distinction, and the distinction between sociology and jurisprudence. Weber’s category of rational-legal authority was defined by the belief in an impersonal legal order to which officials submit; this was also Kelsen’s concept of the Grundnorm. Parallel to Weber, Kelsen used a strategy of de-ideologization to critique elements of the idea of “the rule of law,” such as the separation of powers. Their redescriptions are intentionally subversive. They show that there is nothing more to the “rule of law,” either in the realm of fact or the realm of legally meaningful norms, than conformity to the law itself.

Weber & Stock Exchange (Boerse/Bourse)

Weber & Stock Exchange (Boerse/Bourse) by Sam Whimster The fundamental contradiction driving the Bourse inquiry and the controversy over the bourse was the social-political need to protect the public and the private investor (almost 2 million of them) and the aim of ensuring the functional capability of the economy. A liberal, open trading economy had … Leer más

Max Weber and Walter Benjamin

In his critique of modernity, Walter Benjamin had many interlocutors. One of them was Max Weber. In Benjamin’s text Capitalism as Religion written in 1921, he referenced the thesis that Weber developed in 1904 and 1905 in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. He argued that if Weber had demonstrated that capitalism was “a formation conditioned by religion» (2002, p. 288), he intended to understand capitalism “as a religion” .

Value Polytheism and the Pandemic

In what follows, I will try to briefly sketch out a possible direction for the analysis of some crucial social and political aspects of the coronavirus pandemic. It seems to me that this direction – Weberian in its inspiration, to the extent that it focuses on the various ever-conflicting values which inspire social action – can be proven fruitful and help us reach at a better understanding of this recent momentous phenomenon.

Interview with Stephen Turner: Part IV

Interview with Stephen Turner: Part IV Stephen P. Turner (University of South Florida) is a Weber scholar and social theorist. He is also a member of the so-called “disobedient generation,” which left graduated programs and incorporated to US faculties in the years after the 1968 student movement. Departing from his own personal experience, in this interview … Leer más