Max Weber: the "Iron Cage" & the Commercialization Model

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Thu Dec 7 22:43:16 MST 2000



> At 8:51 PM +0000 12/7/00, Justin Schwartz wrote:
> >>Also, you neglect that Weber
> >>thought that Z-R was a very mixed blessing, leading ulrimately to the "iron
> >>cage" in which he thinks we moderns are caught. --jks
> >>(((((((((((
> >>CB: What's Weber's solution to the problem ?
> >
> >The problem that we are caught in an iron cage of bureaucratic,
> >instrumentally ratiobal societies? He doesn't have a solution. Live
> >with it, he says. Suffer. --jks
> Weber was a liberal pessimist (as well as nationalist).  Ellen Wood,
> in essence, argues that the acceptance of the commercialization model
> -- even in its more refined forms, like Weber's -- as the explanation
> of the origin of capitalism tends to be tied up with the equation of
> modernity with capitalist modernity as well as naturalization of
> capitalism -- hence Weber's resignation in the face of the "Iron
> Cage."  For he could not see why modernity could be exist otherwise,
> that is, without capitalism.
> Moreover, the acceptance of the commercialization model tends to
> reproduce asceticism even in critiques of asceticism (like Weber's
> remarks upon Puritanism).  It is no coincidence that Weber draws upon
> Werner Sombart in his analysis of capitalism; recall that for
> Sombart, the origins of capitalism lie in love and luxury among the
> aristocracy & in towns.  While Weber differs from & criticizes
> Sombart, their shared acceptance of the commercialization model
> inclines both of them to ascetic attitudes of their own.
> Yoshie

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