Wevber on Capitalism

Jim Farmelant farmelantj at SPAMjuno.com
Sun Jun 24 08:28:17 MDT 2001

On Sat, 23 Jun 2001 21:04:52 -0400 "George Snedeker"
<snedeker at concentric.net> writes:
> Weber defined capitalism by the rational calculation of profit, not
> the
> process of exploitation and the production of surplus value. this
> leads to
> quite different conclusions about the nature of the capitalist world
> economy. Weber did not deny the existence of class conflict. for
> him, it was
> not the motor of history. rationalization was the dominant trope for
> Weber.
> in 1918, he gave a speech where he claimed that capitalist crises
> were a
> thing of the past. in the future, government management of the
> economy would
> do the trick. oh yes, then there was 1923...

That sounds about right.  Weber was an opponent of socialism, and
part of his argument against socialism was that socialism rather
than alleviating the negative side effects of rationalization would
further exacerbate them because, socialists in relying upon
state planning rather than upon markets to organize the
economy, would have to create huge new bureacracies
which would intensify the rationalization of all aspects of
human life.

Weber was also an early participant in the socialist calculation
debate in which he and such other bourgeois theorists like
Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek squared off against
socialists like Otto Neurath and Oskar Lange over whether
a socialist economy could operate in a rational manner.  Weber
contended that in the absence of markets, that economic
rationality would be impossible.

Jim F.
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