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Also by Sam Whimster



Max Weber and the
Culture of Anarchy
Edited by

Sam Whimster
Reader in Sociology
London Guildhall University
First published in Great Britain 1999 by
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS and London
Companies and representatives throughout the world

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
ISBN 978-0-333-73021-8 ISBN 978-1-349-27030-9 (eBook)
DOI 10.1007/978-1-349-27030-9

First published in the United States of America 1999 by

Scholarly and Reference Division,
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010
ISBN 978-0-312-21302-2
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Max Weber and the culture of anarchy I edited by Sam Whimster.
p. cm.
Includes letters in German.
Includes bibliographical References and index.
ISBN 978-0-312-21302-2 (cloth)
l. Weber, Max, 1864-1920--Views on anarchism. 2. Anarchism-
-History. 3. Political culture. I. Whimster, Sam, 1947-
HX828.M34 1998
320.5'7'095-dc21 97-42334

Selection and editorial matter © Sam Whimster 1999

Text © Macmillan Press Ltd 1999

All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made
without written permission.

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Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to
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This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and
sustained forest sources.
List of Plates vii
Preface viii
Notes on the Contributors x
Editions and Abbreviations of Weber Texts xii

Introduction to Weber, Ascona and Anarchism

Sam Whimster 1

2 Letters from Ascona

Max Weber 41

3 Weber and Lawrence and Anarchism

Martin Green 72

4 Max Weber, Anarchism and Libertarian Culture:

Personality and Power Politics
Carl Levy 83

5 Max Weber: a German Intellectual and the Question

of War Guilt after the Great War
Karl-Ludwig Ay 110

6 Sexual Revolution and Anarchism: Erich Miihsam

Ulrich Linse 129
7 Max Weber, Leo Tolstoy and the Mountain of Truth
Edith Hanke 144

8 Weber and Dostoyevsky on Church, Sect and

Charles Turner 162
9 The 'Science of Reality' of Music History: on the
Historical Background to MaxWeber's Study of
Christoph Braun 176

vi Contents
10 Love and Death. Weber, Wagner and Max Klinger
David Chalcraft 196

11 Max Weber and German Expressionism

Mary Shields 214

Index 232
List of Plates
All plates are taken from Graphic Works of Max Klinger, by 1. K. Vamedoe
and E. Streicher (New York: Dover Publications, 1977).

l. Eve and the Future: Eve

2. Eve and the Future: First Future
3. Eve and the Future: The Serpent
4. Eve and the Future: Second Future
5. Eve and the Future: Adam
6. Eve and the Future: Third Future
7. A Love: Happiness
8. On Death, Part I: Death as Saviour

This volume of essays was triggered by a visit I made in the summer of
1992 to the Prussian Secret State Archive in Merseburg outside Leipzig
where I was a guest lecturer for the semester. I decided to pay the archive
a visit as it was known to contain Max Weber's Nachlass. With no parti-
cular plan in mind I looked at some of the files and came across three
marked 'Max Weber an Frieda Gross'. The correspondence and docu-
ments seemed mostly legal - wills and court cases - and belonging to
long-forgotten private lives. Then another file revealed letters by Max
Weber, written in Ascona to his wife Marianne. Frieda Gross was the wife
of the infamous Otto. Ascona was, of course, 'The Mountain of Truth'
well known from the books by Martin Green and Harald Szeemann. Not
only had Max Weber stayed in Ascona for over six weeks, he had sent
35 letters to Marianne, only a fraction of which she had published in her
The letters were circulated at the 1995 Max Weber Study Group confer-
ence on 'Max Weber - Politics - Culture', which was supported by the
efforts of David Cha1craft and by the British Sociological Association.
There were many unexplained threads in the letters; private and public,
intellectual and political. This volume grew out of the conference. Not
only did the contributions bring an understanding of the issues that were
talked about in Ascona, but they also showed how the public and private,
and the cultural and the political, intertwined. Equally the world of per-
sonal encounters interweaved with the textual Weber. Was Weber bring-
ing his own sociological mindset to Ascona, or did this strange
incongruous world impact on his aloof intellectual cosmos? More the
latter than the former, is my conclusion.

My thanks are due to John Eidson, Harald Homann, and Johannes Weiss
for initital discussions back in Leipzig. Subsequent visits to Germany were
supported by the Department of Sociology, London Guildhall University,
and by the German Academic Exchange Service to whom I am most grate-
ful. The road to Ascona passes through Munich's Schwabing, where I was
looked after by one of its resident spirits, Klaus Friedrich, to whom many
thanks are due. Dr Karl-Ludwig Ay provided unfailing support and advice

Preface ix

at the Max Weber Arbeitstelle in the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. In

Heidelberg the letters editor of the Max Weber Gesamtausgabe, Birgit
Rudhard was generous with her help and advice, and Professor Rainer
Lepsius was, as ever, courteous, humorous and helpful. James Joll, who is
greatly missed, read the Ascona letters and gave me much encouragement.
The publication of this small selection of letters was only possible through
the services of the Geheimes Staatsarchiv, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, in
Merseburg, to whom I acknowledge my debt. A debt is also owed to the
staff seminar in the Sociology Department at London Guildhall
University, who had to experience the amateurish narrative at my first
attempts to work out what was happening in Weber's and the anarchists'
lives. I am also greatly indebted to Sven Eliaeson, Edith Hanke, Carl
Levy, Ulrich Linse, Ralph Schroeder, Mary Shields, Christopher Stanley
and Guenther Roth for numerous chats and letters. Martin Green has been
an unfailing source of information as well as communicating to me why
these people and the values they held matter.
Notes on the Contributors
Karl-Ludwig Ay is the Redakteur of the Max Weber Gesamtausgabe
(the editor's editor). He is a historian and member of the Commission for
Social and Economic History at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. He
has published on the Bavarian revolutions of 1919 and is now writing on
regional variations of the Protestant Ethic thesis.

Christoph Braun is a researcher at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau.

He is the author of Max Webers 'Musiksoziologie' (1992), which was
awarded the Amalfi Prize for most promising young sociologist.

David Chalcraft is Head of Sociology at the University of Derby and is

currently preparing a new edition and translation of Weber's essay on the
Protestant sects.

Martin Green was Research Professor at the Center for Advanced Study
in the Behavioural Sciences, University of Stanford 1996-7 and is profes-
sor emeritus of English at Tufts University. His books have covered some
of the major figures and movements of the twentieth century: D. H.
Lawrence, Max Weber, Frieda and Else Richthofen, Countess Reventlow,
Otto Gross, Laban, Gandhi, Tolstoy and, in Children of the Sun, the
English upper class of aesthetes, dandies and spies. His is currently com-
pleting a book on Otto Gross.

Edith Hanke is Redakteurin of the Max Weber Gesamtausgabe. She

is author of Prophet des Unmodernen. Leo N. Tolstoi als Kulturkritiker
in der deutschen Diskussion in der lahrhundertwende, 1993. She is
currently researching Weber's 'Herrschaftssoziologie' for the Max Weber

Carl Levy is an historian at Goldsmith's College, London. He has pub-

lished extensively on anarchism and Italian politics and has editied
Socialism and the Intelligentsia 1880-1914. He is currently writing a
major work on the social history of anarchism.

Ulrich Linse is professor of modem history at the Technische Hochschule

in Munich. He is Germany's foremost historian of the anarchist movement
in Bavaria and is the author of several books on the subject.
Notes on the Contributors Xl

Mary Shields is a writer and translator who lives in Oxford. She did her
doctorate on German expressionism in the Department of German,
University of East Anglia.

Charles Turner lectures in sociology at the University of Warwick. He is

the author of Modernity and Politics in the Work of Max Weber (1992).

Sam Whimster is Reader in sociology at London Guildhall University.

He is currently undertaking research on Marianne Weber, and his previous
publications include Max Weber, Rationality and Modernity (1987, edited
with Scott Lash), and Global Finance and Urban Living (1992, edited
with Leslie Budd).
Editions and Abbreviations of
Weber Texts
ES Economy and Society, ed. G. Roth and C. Wittich (New York:
Bedminster Press, 1968)
FMW From Max Weber, ed. H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills (London:
Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1948)
GStA Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preussischer Kultur Besitz, Berlin
MSS Methodology of the Social Sciences, ed. E. Shils (New York: Free
Press, 1949)
MWG Max Weber Gesamtausgabe, I. Schriften und Reden; II. Briefe
ed. H. Baier, M. R. Lepsius, W. J. Mommsen, W. Schluchter,
J. Winckelmann (Ttibingen: J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1984-)
PESC The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, trans.
T. Parsons (London: Unwin University Books, 1930)
PW Political Writings, trans. and ed. P. Lassman and R. Speirs
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994)
WuG Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, ed. J. Winckelmann (Ttibingen:
J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1972)