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

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at
Fri Dec 8 14:22:40 MST 2000

En relación a Re: Max Weber: the "Iron Cage" & the Commercializ,
el 7 Dec 00, a las 20:47, Jim Farmelant dijo:

> >
> > Lots of intellectuals in the so-called West have been deeply
> > influenced by Max Weber.  They have sunk their intellectual capital
> > in his stock.  I intend to bring down Weber's stock.
> Among those intellectuals have been many who considered
> themselves to be Marxists.  Georg Lukacs was a protege
> of Weber's, as well as the logical empiricist-Marxist Otto Neurath.

This is wrong (and probably unfair), at least if we are speaking of the Lukacs
of the first years.  Though G.L, for a time during his transformation into a
Marxist, made part of the Weberian group, he soon made a thorough criticism of
their positions.

_History and class consciousness_ was the answer he gave, from Marxism, to
Weberianism, that is the most elaborated forms of bourgeois philosophy and
ideology of his time. The hypothesis has been made that Heidegger's _Sein und
Zeit_ was conceived as a bourgeois answer to that work by Lukacs.  While Weber
assumed that the "iron cage" was a natural and in the end welcome development
of history, Lucacks insisted in that the "iron cage" was simply the expression,
at the level of the organizational models of human society, of the
dehumanization of social and historic life, an immanent tendency that
capitalism could not escape (nor did it "wish" to escape), since it was already
present in the mercantile relationship. Thus, Marxists opposed through Lukacs
the thesis of the fetishism of commodities to the false "sadness" of Weber at
the stolidness of bureaucratism in modern capitalism.

> The Frankfurters were clearly very much influenced by Weber too.
> What might be of interest here is the extent to which many
> prominent Marxists have been influenced by (both positively
> and negatively)by Weber.  Did these Marxists manage to
> uncover the "rational kernel" of Weber's thought or
> has this influence been detrimental to the development
> of their own ideas?

Well, this is a good question. But I would also pose a different one, which I
believe to be adequate in this, mostly Anglo Saxon, environment: did Marxists
nurtured in the empyricist philosophical tradition uncover the "rational
kernel" of their anti-Hegelian matrix, or has this influence been detrimental
to the development of their own ideas?

I believe that both questions should require proper consideration and a serious

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at

More information about the Marxism mailing list