Weberian marxism

Greg Schofield g_schofield at
Sun Jun 24 01:21:41 MDT 2001

Comrade Weber was one of thegreat minds of last century of that there is no-doubt,
influenced by marxism perhaps but not without reason was Weber dubbed the "Bourgeois

The key question is Weber's neo-kantianism, a philosophy he consistantly applied and
was a leading proponant. Pre-hegelian thought has become a curse today as relativism
is rife, in this Weber was a leading theorist - the social structuralist from which
so-much poststructuralism derives.

Weber is not without insight, but theorectically the gap between him and Historical
Materialism is vast and unbridgable. Unfortunately today this is probably not as clear
as it should be with so many varieties of pre and neo-kantian thought calling itself

Weber's later writings, and the ones for which he is best know, are a conscious
reaction against Marx and the concept of class struggle, but I am affraid I know very
little of his early works or for that matter the relationship to Luckas' thesis.

I am one of those who has fought against the intrusion of pre-hegelian philosophies
into marxism, I still cannot see in any place for them and I have not yet come across
anything which has countered Hegel's historic defeat of Kant's unknowability (the
pinancle of his work). It is true that Hegel stood on Kant's shoulders, just as Marx
summounted him, what makes be sick at heart is how many philosophies so ill-developed
as to be considered pre-kantian, indeed medieval, have muddied the waters around
Historical Materialism.

Comrade, I can understand something about what you are driving at, certainly any
insight from any quarter deserves inspection, however, this is merely propsepcting for
raw materials. Weber has more than most, but he is very raw, indeed theorectically
without merit. There may well be something calling its weberian marxism, but then
again Stalin did pretty well for a while doing something similar.

My opinion for what it is worth, is to drop the word marxism altogether (as I find
more and more of what passes itself off as marxism to be poor or distastful, I can
well understand Marx's well known quote that he was no marxist). Instead just by using
the term Historical Materialism, it can be seen that a weberian "Historical
Materialism" would be no Historical Materialism at all.

One of the problems we do have is the preference for all embracing terms like marxism
instead of more precise and meaningful terms like Historical Materialism. Marxism is a
large shed under which all types of vehicles can be parked, Historical Materialism is
much less open to intruders and much more consistant.

Sorry to sound so forbidding, but I have had to dance with Weber more often then I
would like and take little pleasure in the prospect of doing so again.

Greg Schofield
Perth Australia

From: Ivonaldo Neres Leite <ivonaldo.leite at>
To: marxmail <marxism at>
Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2001 14:27:15 -0400
Subject: Weberian marxism

The expression weberian marxism was created by Merleau-Ponty. It's an
expression utilized to refer to marxist tendency inheritor of Max
Weber. It seems a paradox, can Marx and Weber be together? Is it
possible? If we consider Luckács' theses, this connection is possible
sometimes, because he uses the Weber's rationalization theory. Dispite
of this, the expression weberian marxism almost is not
utilized. Obvious, the Weber's background is not marxist, but it is
not also that what Talcot Parsons affirms be. So is needful to
research the relationship between the marxism and Weber.

Ivonaldo Leite

More information about the Marxism mailing list