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Mueller and Max Weber Source: The British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 33, No. 2 (Jun., 1982), pp. 151-171 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The London School of Economics and Political Science Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/589930 . Accessed: 05/06/2011 18:23
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in and Socialism capitalism the workof Max Weber
in Thereseemsto be little roomleft for socialism the thoughtof Max Weber.For him the marketand its free play of forceswasthe basis of freedomand rationality.Still the 'socialquestion'accompanied him throughouthis life. His last lecturewas on socialism. His speech on socialism demonstrateshis staunch liberalism. What he discusses as 'state socialism' is really state capitalism. values. Socialismseemsto reduceto ethicaland egalitarian Still towards the end of his life he systematicallyopposed patternthus 'marketeconomy' to 'plannedeconomy.'A universal emerges: capitalismand socialismas polaroppositeswhich denote for alternatives society. fundamental I
THE SOCIALISTS OF THE CHAIR: WAGNER, BRENTANO AND WEBER
The problem of capitalismand socialismappearsnot to have been central to the thought of Max Weber:at least when comparedwith his favoritethemes such as rationality,bureauctacyand charismatic him throughall his leadership.Still 'the socialquestion'accompanied (1864) was also the year of the foundation life. The year of his birth DeutscherArbeiterAllgemeiner Lassalle's of the first International; had movementin Germany, been verein,the first organizedworker's before (in 1863), to be followed by the foundation founded the year Partyby Bebel Workers' of the (staunchlyMarxist)SocialDemocratic parties into the GermanSocialist in 1869 and the union of both of ' WorkersParty at Gothain 1875. Whenthe repression thatpartyby lawsbeganin 1878, MaxWeberwas 14 years anti-socialist Bismarck's a of age. When he died in 1920, he was in the process of preparing lectureon socialism. The decade from 1878 to 1890 was markedby the continuing sociallegislation of politicalrepression the socialistsandby Bismarck's
TheBritishJournalof Sociology Volume33 Number2 (3 R.K.P. 1982 0007 1315/82/3302-0149 $1.50 June 1982
which institutedpublic insurance for occupationalaccidents(1884) and, workersagainstsickness(1883), most far-reaching, age ( which, together with the old uninhibitedgrowth of cartels and 1889) made Germanyone of the trusts, This policy also created leading industrialpowers in the world. the conditions which made the Socialists the strongestMarxist party in the world and theGerman force in the Second leading International (1889-1914).l It was in this socialand politicalsettingthat MaxWeber his study of completed jurisprudenceand joined the Policyin 1888, the organand Association for Social rallyingpoint of the so-called ofthe chair' 'socialists (Kathedersozialisten) whichhad been foundedin Scorned the Marxistsas by 1873.2 'bourgeois socialists'and attackedby the entrepreneurial camp for sympathizing with socialismand colluding with the Marxists the association combined people variety views who were, of with a wide however, unanimousin one rebuttal classicalManchester of point: laissez-faire the advocacyof the and active of the state in role an sociallegislation(i.e., 'social at improvingthe condition of the policy') aimed workingclassesandreducing strife. class It is obvious from this were Marxists;they descriptionthat the 'socialistsof the chair' no were social revolutionaries, though at the reformersrather than socialist even time of the foundation of association ideashad a their the ring on members,most of revolutionary and an inspiring its effect whom believedin the ideal of 'social Prussiaas a monarchy.3 If this ideal was one which allowed the association a gross illusion, it was a useful to developan uninhibited without of repression.4 fear activity The associationcombined and Wagner Lujo Brentanoasconservatives liberalswith Adolph and theirmost outstanding BasedHegel'sexaltationof on representatives. tion socialism,5Wagner the state, and on Rodbertus'sconcepof and the conservatives advocateda sort of Staatssozialismus pointed to and Bismarck'screation of the state owned run postal service and and Reichsbahn (which also provideda railways,the Reichspostand the nice thus cushioningthe military budget revenueto the government, Parliament). need only extend againstthe interferenceof the One this industry, tobacco, alcohol,etc.,6 to get asystem to the coal and steel live pictureof the potential of 'state-socialism' which, it shouldgo without saying,approximated 'state-capitalism' more than much socialism a freeassociation as prime of the producers.7 The liberal 'left' wing of the associationwas well aware of the implications of Wagner's Under the leadershipof Brentano, called for'state-socialism.' they a sort of 'social would constitutionalism' combine an active legal which protection of the workingforce the diminution workinghoursand of (e.g., factoryinspectionasin with right to free the England) coalition and association.The liberalsthus
Gert H. Mueller
in and Socaalism capitalasm the workof Alax Weber
hoped to strengthen the position of the workers so they could and benefit from the free balance the power of the entrepreneurs play of powers. Ratherthan expectingthe handoutsfrom the 'social monarchy,' this would allow the workers to hold their own and citizens.8 become self-reliant One needs only to juxtapose these two opposingviews to realize liberal that Max Weber was much closer to the anti-conservative camp of Brentanothan some of his politicalviews suggest.Whatever and his advocacyof imperialist expansionistpower politics (particulecture in 1895 on 'The National State and its lary in his inaugural economic policy'), at no time in his life was he a conservatlve.9 the Invarsably, individualand his freedomratherthan the state and its power stood in the centerof his concern. His methodology and theory are thus in full harmony with his values: as he espouses free individualchoice over collectivism,and his self detetminationoverregulation, preferenceis for freeenterprise rather than bureaucraticorder, for methodologicalindividualism ratherthan 'the social fact,' for Kantiannominalismratherthan for for his Hegelianrealism.l°Whatever admiration Marxas a scholar,his aversionto the cruderealismof Engelsand Kautskyas well as that of Roscherand Knieswas elemental;it was, as it were,not an epistemological issue, but a moral ('existential')one. His deeply felt need to hammerout freedom may even underliehis most fundamentaldisas covery: to groundindividualfreedomnot only subjectively, Kant had done, in the unfathomablespontaneity of the 'transcendental ego,' but also in opposite 'objective possibilities' or 'pure types' between which the individualcould choose but which exist indepenwhim, feeling,or sentiment.ll dently of mereindividual II THE 'RADICALS' OF THE YOUNGERGENERATION:WEBERAND
of The year 1890 was marked,politically,by the dismissal Bismarck laws, usheringin an illusory and the terminationof the anti-socialist ratherthan weakenedby the repression,the 'new era' strengthened Party into Partyreorganized the Social-Democratic SocialistWorkers' of Germany,the SPD,whosevote continuedto increasedramatically in the following decades until in 1912 it constitutedthe strongest fractionin the Reichstag(with 110 deputiesand 34.8 per cent of the vote). This developmentfostered the 'revisionist'belief within the SPD in a possiblepeacefultransitionto socialism.l2At the sametime it triggeredattempts of the clergy, both Catholicand Lutheran,to stall the increasingshift of workersinto the atheist camp and to socialismto Marxism.l3 oppose some sort of Christian was Congress convenedin 1890 in Thus the first Evangelical-social
Gert H. Mueller
which Weber'smother took a keen interestand which she attended togetherwith her eldest son who wouldbecome a regular participant in the years to follow. Significantly, Congress the split in 1894 when its left oriented 'christlichsozial'wing opposed the conservative Stoecker, mostly because of their opposition to the big agrarian interestseast of the Elbe. Two years later, the split crystallized into the foundationof the National-social zcociation A underthe leadership of Friedrich Naumann, Lutheran a pastorand a populistwho believed in a 'social monarchy'which would be able to combinemonarchy and democracy.l4 (Note that the avoidanceof the term 'Christian social'indicatesthe wishto separate politics fromreligionand eventually, in 1903, clearedthe way for a fusionwith the Progressive Party of mainly petty bourgeoisDemocrats.Also, note that Naumann's National-social Associationof 1896 is not at all identicalwithHitler's 'National-socialist Party,'the Nazi Partywhich was foundedin 1920). For variousreasonsincludingthe onset of his illnessin 1897 Weber did not get deeplyinvolvedin Naumann's National-social Association, which was a political failure and finally disintegrated. the same At time, Weber continued his cooperationwith the Evang,elical-social Congressand with the Associationfor SocialPolicy whichwas much more prestigious.It was on a commissionof these associationsthat he organizedtwo broad surveysin 1892 and 1893 on the condition of the rurallaborforce east of the Elbe, i.e., mostly on the estatesof the Junkers. This survey was not well receivedby the Junkersand theirconservative retinue.At the sametimethisexperience becamethe source of his unsparing criticismof Prussia's then firmly established rulingclass. A rare phenomenonin Getmansociety, this stance made him an unusually clear-sighted,class-consciousbourgeoiswho was equally disillusionedwith the conservativeagrarian interests, the Nationalliberal upper bourgeoisie,the national-social populistsand the progressivistpetty bourgeoisie. In terms of the 18th Brumaire, Max Weber the prototypeof a 'republicain is pure.'A deep-seated aversion, sometimes bursting into open hatred, of the feudal-bureaucratic establishmentoccasionally pushes him fartherto the left than he belongs. S At the sametimethe Associationfor SocialPolicyremained l his intellectual homesteadwhich allowedhim, under the bannerof value-freedom, remainuncommittedto everyone. to More precisely, it was not the Associationbut ratherthe Archiv fuer Sozaalwissenschaft Sozialpolitikupon which his work and und mind were centered, with EdgarJaffe and WernerSombartas his co-editors. Startingin 1904, the Archiv became the leadingjournal in its field for a decade and a half. It was at the same time the undeclared organof the anti-conservative wing of the Association left which received Marx in its midst albeit on the condition that he strictly stick to his second nature:the 'red Prussian' bourgeois and radical,the 'purerepublican' had neverceasedto be.l6 he
in Socialismand capitalism t/zeworkof Max Weber
Two eminent bourgeois thus met intellectuallyin the Archives: Marx';l7 one the and the Marx,the 'purerepublican' Weber, 'bourgeois advocatingsocial revolution,the other, the free play of powers;yet the both of them classconscious,disgruntledwith feudal-bureaucratic establishment, contemptuousof the petty bourgeoisieand machiavelan lian in their concept of power;the one, the 'redPrussian,' engrained the liberaland neo-Kantian; discipleof Hegel;the other, an engrained the first, never consideringany concessionto capitalism; second,unswerving his liberalconvictions.Still, the authorof the Communist in Manifesto was able to recognize that the bourgeoise 'cannot exist without constantly revolutionizingproduction'and that 'duringits rule of scarceone hundredyears, [it] has createdmoremassiveand more colossal productiveforces than have all precedinggenerations together.'l8 In a similarvein Weberwas apt to socializewith radicals such as Bloch, Lukacsand Toller and to state, right in the face of a feudal-aristocratic officers' corps, that the Manifestowas 'a scientific accomplishment the first order'and that, so long as therewill be of body of socialists.l9 workers,therewill be an indestructible and Whatcausesboth thinkersto be unwavering still to be broad Whilethey takeopposite but mindedis not fanaticism clearsightedness. sides they seem agreedthat one solutionis out of the question,namely an eclectic confusion of both options. Much as one cannothave the cake and eat it too, they felt that one cannothave socialismand have a free play of forces too, nor can one have capitalismand a 'social they were monarchy.'Thus, if both thinkerswere uncompromising, so first of all in point of logic. At the same time, each of them chose a negativefoil to repudiate his opponents: Marxdenouncedthe anarchyof the marketand exTo bureaucracy the lack of enterprise. an and ploitation;Max Weber, astonishing extent both thinkers embody and personify, without personalrancour,quite oppositealternatives.20 III
CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM AS FORMAL AND MATERIAL RATIONALITY
The precedingdiscussionhas shed some light on the reasonsfor the lopsidednessof Weber'sthought. This pertainsnot only to his substantivepreferencesfor it also affects his methodologyand the conobviousin the ceptual frameworkof his thought. This is particularly rationality.2l use he makes of the notions of 'formal'and 'material' is On the one hand,capitalism equatedoutrightwith 'formal'(instrumental, purposeful) rationality, whereas socialism is connected, though not equated, with 'material'rationality which is vaguely implies opinion, capitalism defined as informedby values.In Weber's a maximum of foimal calculationwhich is 'relativelyunequivocal,'
Gert H. Mueller
whereasits opposite,material rationalityis considered'full of uities.' It is in this context that socialismand communism ambigappear be reducedto 'valuerationalityor materialrationality,mostly to of an equalitarian ethicalnature.'22 or This formulationis susceptibleto two variantinterpretations both of which shed an interestinglight on the discussionof socialismalthough they are both unsatisfactory. The first interpretation, which seemsobviousfromthe preceding quotations,tends to equatecapitalism with anobjectivesocialstructure ('modeof production,' economic formation,etc.), whereasthe interpretation socialismsuggeststhat of it is mostly an outgrowthof ideology (i.e., of subjective values,sentiments, etc.). To put it into termsWeberused in the context of his sociology of religion,it would seemthat capitalism determined is by materialinterests,and socialism,by ideals.23 This interpretationpartly overlapswith a second interpretation which tends to equate capitalismwith 'instrumental' rationalityand socialismwith 'strategic'or 'consummatory'rationality,i.e., with eithermeans or ends as the decisivecomponent of action.While the firstinterpretation basicallyontological,the secondone is is couched in action theory, i.e., the firstinterpretation focuseson two different layers of reality whereasthe second interpretationfocuses on the two complementary elementsof action. Neitherinterpretation properlyfits capitalism socialism, or although the second version can at least claim a closer semblanceto reality. Afterall, capitalism focuseson productionas a meansto makeprofits, whereas socialismregards satisfactionof needs as the end producthe tionmust serve. It thus appearsthat for socialismproductionis endin itself while for capitalismit is merely a means,the first an subordinating productionto a plan,the secondleavingproductionto the regulation the market of place.Thus,whatthe dichotomyof 'material' ends and 'formal'meansreally amountsto is the differencebetween plan market. and Basically,neither of the two interpretations holds. Capitalism and socialism representneithertwo different ontologicallayers (such as economic structureand ideologicalsuperstructure) two different nor polesof action. Rather, to set the whole confusion straight, two opposite types of socioeconomicstructure(e.g., capitalism socialand ism) must correspondto two opposite types of social such e.g., the 'spirit'of capitalism the 'spirit'ofconsciousness as, and socialism,or, for matter,a 'protestant' a 'catholic'ethic. that and This immediatelyleadsus to ask two questions:(1) Does socialism really lack 'formal' rationality and a distinctive social structure; (2) Does capitalismreally lack 'value'rationality,i.e., a legitimating and motivatingideology?The answeris that Weberwas quite prolific about 'spirit' of capitalismand the 'protestantethic' while, the on the other hand, he was as scantabout the socialistethos as about the
in Socialismand capitalzsm the workof Max Weber
and socialist structure.He vaguelydelineatessocialismas 'egalitarian ethical'; yet the first epithet is tautologicalwith communism,the second, with value rationality. When it comes to socialismWeber seemsto be at a loss. All he offers arethinly veiledtautologies.
IV STATE CAPITALISM AND MONOPOLY CAPITALISM: CARTELS AND MONOPOLIES
speechon socialismgiven is This observation well born out by Weber's to Austrianofficersin ViennaonJune 13, 1918. Forits interpretation, it is importantto realizethe date and the type of audienceaddressed: he spoke seven months after the RussianOctober Revolution and three months after the conclusion of the peace of Brest-Litovsk. pacifistand socialistagitationin Germany Thus,underan intensifying to but audiencewas anything favorable Marxism. and Austria,Weber's On the whole, the speech appearsnot well organized,but a rather concernsandprospects. of loose agglomerate disparateobservations, to was (As one could expect, Weber quite unsympathetic the Russian he communists; predictedthe civilwar (whichindeederuptedonly a the month later,in July 1918) andstoppedshortof predicting collapse majorityof the due of communism to the fact that the overwhelming Russianpeople were peasantsand petty bourgeois.)24 On the other hand, he predictedthat, shouldthe Bolshevicregime but survive,it would producenot the dictatorshipof the proletariat of the officials-a dangerLenin25was not unawareof but which out of proportion.After all, it was Weberwho Weberexaggeraged to role stressedthe purelyinstrumental of the bureaucracy implement goals but not to set them. It is on these premisesthat the supposed 'dictatorshipof the officials' can hardly be taken at face value.26 remarksobviously servedas a politicalstratHowever,while Weber's they are from communism,27 agem to deter potential sympathizers time a wholesome step toward coming to gripswith the at the same of structuralopposite to capitalism.After all, the 'dictatorship the not officials' or, even more pertinently,the 'militarydictatorship, of generals but of the corporals' is something more concrete than rationality.'28 to the merereferral 'material Another step in the same directionis Weber'sdigressionon 'state socialism'which is of the utmost interest.29It hints at the German war economy as a movementtowardssocialismin the sense that it proves that a complete takeoverand regulationof the economy by the state is feasible.After all, this was an economy no longerrunby and privateenterpriseand profit motives but organized collectivized in under the most pressingcircumstances, the commoninterest(i e., the war effort). The Germanworkershad only to seize state power in (as Lenin had just demonstrated) order to take over the economy
Gert H. Mueller
and install socialism.On the other hand,as far as Russiawas concereconomicsystem ned, the Bolshevikshad only to adopt the German fact envisagedin winter to build socialismeffectively (as Lenin in and spring1918 before the outbreakof the civilwar).30 Followingthe usageof the time, Weberdid not hesitateto call this kind of penetrationof the economy by the state, 'state socialism.' cartel:In substance, However,he at once debunkedit asa compulsory the senseof a commodity in it eliminatesthe market(i.e., 'capitalism' economy). If this is what the socialists want, viz. to overcomethe 'anarchyof production' and to regulate the economy, this seems indeed the way to do it. At the sametime Weberpoints out that this is not the socialismor communismthe workersand the Communist of Manifestoenvisage.In his opinion, it establishesthe 'dictatorship dependon experts,in the last analysis the officials'and, asthe officials the dictatorship of the economy over the state rather than the l reverse.3 war Weber'sanalysisof the German economy is indeedstaggering. He recognizedthe almost total regulationof the nationaleconomy of without expropriation the ownerswhichresllltedin the elimination income to the entrepreneur of riskand competitionand a guaranteed which should no longerbe calleda profit but a pension.Ratherthan this of the dictatorship the proletariat, suggestswhatWeberscathingly One called 'socialismof the entrepreneurs.'32 may preferto call this system 'state capitalism'(as indeed Lenin did)*But it seems odd to did, call it, as the conservatives 'state socialism.' turnsout to be a mixed blessing At the sametime, 'statecapitalism' in for the entrepreneurs that whateverthey gainin financialsecurity they lose in realpower.For not only is the power they gainas a cartel collective power, it is also delegatedpower, i.e., power not gained througha free coalition,but delegated,for an unspecifiedtime, from the state. Much as did the feudal baronsat the time of risingmonand lose archicalpower,the entrepreneurs theirindependence become cogs in a machinerywhich is far superiorin power. In the long run, they are bound to become officials, i.e., servantsof the government bare of any semblanceof sovereignty.Sooner or later, the loss of will control (privateenterprise) entailthe loss of ownership. of In this case, a furtherchangeoccurs,viz. the transformation the semblanceto the concartel into a monopoly which, all superficial trary, is qualitativelydifferent from the cartel. After all, a cartelis a coalition of legally free partners(whatevertheir factual economic dependence), whereas a monopoly is a centralized, compulsory mechanismwhich abrogatesany local or individualsovereignty.In other words, the cartel is a voluntaryassociation,the monopoly, a compulsoryinstitution. war of Seen in this light, the compulsorycartellization the German economy was really a monopoly ratherthan a cartel.Consequently,
in and Soczaltsm capitalzsm the work of Max Weber
shrinks and the distinctionbetween 'state-socialism' 'state-capitalism' toleratesprivatepropto the modest differencethat state capitalism erty while it virtuallystripsthe ownersof the control of it. Thus state to is capitalism fit to serveas a transitorystagefrom capitalism socialism, but it is inherently unstable, i.e., it is not a consistent, 'pure' as type. On the other hand, the term 'state socialism'appears a tautology: socialismmust imply monopoly or forego its claimto regulate productionin order to eliminatethe 'anarchyof the market.'As this monopoly must by its very naturebe global,it impliesthe possession of global power, which is but a synonym for the state. In other words, the 'witheringaway' of the state is an illusion, much as the ' 'associationof the free producers. is quite different with the cartels, includingthe quasi The case cartels usually called 'monopoly capitalism'whose most distinctive of featureis the continuationof the privatesovereignty its members. In other words, the coexistence of big, market dominating(quasi) 'monopolies'is really an informalcartel whose partnerscontinue to At risksand responsibilities. the sametime wield sovereignty,sharing it stands to reason that none of the ostensible 'monopolies'is a monopoly in the strict sense; rather, what we are dealingwith are indubitably, oligopolies,loosely boundby informalquasi-cartels,but and indeed stubbornly, sovereign.They recall a sort of feudalism submit transposedinto economicswhich will underno circumstances to centralized'absolutism'or 'orientaldespotism'any more than in politics. this analysis. A closer look at the big corporationssubstantiates extent, they still While they dominatethe marketto a considerable constitutesaninsurance remainsubjectto it. Forwhilethe quasi-cartel against overproductionand underselling,it does not insure against exempt from a obsolescenceand inefficiency.33Nor arequasi-cartels of continuousrevaluation the internalstrengthsamongtheirpartners. To be sure, the strongerimpose their will on the weakerones; still amongthe morepowerfulis ultimatelycontrolledby the relationship the free play of power. To hold their own, even the most powerful have constantly to draw even with their partners(e.g., in point of expansion, investment and inventions) or else they will end up amongthe weaker,dictatedupon, partners.34 However inappropriatethe name, 'monopoly capitalism'is thus the polar opposite to socialismwhich, in its classicalform, is necessarily monopoly socialism and state socialism which purports to eliminate the 'anarchy of production'. Of two things only one and is possible:eithera marketmechanism competition,or regulation (planning)and monopoly. It is for this reasonthat any conflationof the two oppositesis inherentlyunstable.
V CAPITALISM, SOCIALISM AND BUREAUCRACY
Gert H. Mueller
It is at this juncturethat we become awarethat the notions of both and 'socialism'are fleeting and indeed equivocalas they 'capitalism' combine two basically different dimensions:the one dimensionis built around the axis of private(individual)ownershipvs. common (collective) ownership,the other, around the axis of a competitive over these and economy vs. a centralized directedeconomy. Crossing two dimensions, we end up with the four logical types shown in TableI.
TABLEI Profit ortented private ownership 'Classic capitalism' free enterprise 'Monopoly Capitalism' Ricardo, Sombart 'State Capitalism ' nationalization compulsory cartellization Robertus, A. Wagner collective ownership 'Market Socialism' cooperatives Anarcho-Syndicalism Proudhon, Lassalle 'Classic Socialism' totalmonopoly centralized planning Marx, Engels
market economy 'Warenwirtschaft' (exchange value) Want oriented household economy SBedarfswirtschaft' (usevalue)
The point is that the cross-overproduces four alternativesover vs. againstthe simpledichotomyof capitalism socialism.Two of these and types arestableandtypical,viz. 'classic'capitalism 'classic'socialism, and two of them are unstableand atypical,vzz.state capitalism and andmarketsocialism.Of these,classiccapitalism classicsocialism need no further comment (except that they are really two-ditnensional);it is state capitalismand marketsocialismthat remainto be discussed. cartel,it is inherently or To beginwith statecapitalism, compulsory power ownerforfeits his discretionary unstablebecausethe individual itself fromprofitto wants,asis implicit while the productionreorients in any monopoly. For example, having obtained the monopoly in salt, sugar,matches or tobacco, the global social need becomes the only crucial indicator for production. Still, the contradiction the remainsthat in state-capitalism productionis social,i.e., designed for society as a whole, while the profits flow to privateownerswithout any moraljustificationsuch as risk, innovation,etc. In the long run, therefore, this type of monopoly tends to degenerateinto a and combinationof predatorycapitalism inert bureaucracy. On the other hand, marketsocialism(i.e., a communaleconomy or associationof free producers)felicitously avoidsthese vices only to succumbto its own internalweakness,the lack of power,which is
in and Socialasm capitalzsm the workof AIaxWeber
entailedby the lack of monopoly. Unlessthere is strongsupportand open interferencefrom the state the pull of the marketand its comelementsto dissociatethempetition will prod the more enterprising In selves from the collective and to returnto privateenterprise. sum, of benevolentutopianismand instabilityare the hallmarks the associations of free producers,much as compulsorycartel and state monopoly areinherentlypredatoryandparasitic.35 and The precedingtypology has shedmore light on both capitalism socialism.With this in mind, it is amazing,but also very illuminating, to note the lopsidednessof Max Weber'sviews. He stays almost entirely silent about socialism,elaboratingonly on the one variety, which in substanceis not really socialism,but vzz. 'state-socialism,' On state-capitalism. the other hand, collective ownershipdoes not seem to concern Weberexcept for a casual mention of consumer cooperativesto the almost complete exclusion of producercooperIt atives such as, e.g., Lassalleand Robert Owenhad envisaged. does not seem that any variety of socialismbut state capitalismwas conceivableto him. Almost strikingly,he stays silent about the verticalaxis of market, or enterprise,vs. household,or oikos,36i.e., of Erwerbvs. Bedarf,or which had occupiedhim in vs. of Warenwirtschaft Bedartswirtschaft Sociology of Antiquity (of 1909) as well as in the older his Agrarsan Interestingly, (second)part of Economy and Society (of 1911-12).37 this is also the axis of exchangevalue vs. use value (whichgoes back to Adam Smith, RicardoandMarx)which in tum coincideswith the distinction between 'formal'and 'material'rationalityin the sense already discussed:the commodity economy rationalizesthe means and cannot exist without continually revolutionizingthe forces of the production;conversely,the householdeconomy rationalizes ends and cannot but stabilize economy and society. In sum, the market economy is inherently revolutionaryand expanding whereas the The and 'traditional.' household economy is inherentlyconservative first is predicatedon expansion,the second,on 'steadystate.'38 Surprisinglyor not, socialism thus tums out to be intrinsically it conservative; is the competition of the marketthat triggersinnovation and revolution. Both Marx and Weberwere only diffusely of awareof this hiddenmatrix.As for Marxthe 'anarchy production' for became the main targetof his attacks,so 'bureaucracy' Weber.In the case of Marx, this meant killingthe goose that lays the golden whose the eggs, in the case of Weber,it meantdismissing instrument he rationalityandindispensability had beenthe firstto emphasizeand to which he attributedeven a distinct mode of legitimateauthority. in Still, somethingremainsunresolved both systemsof thought:How could a socialist economy work successfullywithout the controlling mechanismof the market,and how could a capitalisteconomy work reliablywithout a bureaucracy?
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VI VERKEHRSWIRTSCHAFT AND PLANWIRTSCHAFT
Except for the passagesmentionedabovewhich link socialismeither there exists another inwith state capitalismor with bureaucracy, and terestingreferenceto the problemin the first part of Economy (i.e., juxtaposes' Verkehrswirtschaft' market,or SocietywhereWeber (i.e., commodity economies) with 'Planwirtschaft' centralized,or planned economies).39The differencebetween them is mainly the contrastbetweenprofiton the one side, and the satisfactionof wants, on the other: while the first is orientedto the market,the secondis step towards centered on the 'household.'He says: 'A preliminary economy is any rationingof the consumpplanned a household-like aimedat regulating whichis primarily in tion, as anyregulation general goods.'(Myemphases.)40 of the distribution consumer which seem of extreme Two points are broughtout in this remark and importance.First, in contrastto capitalism its marketeconomy, to socialismis geared a householdeconomy. The latteris by no means limited to primitivesocieties, families,clans,etc., as the referenceto the Pharaohsindicates where corveessubstitutefor the marketand diminutionof efficiency. the tax office without apparent The second observationconvergeswith our previousdiscussionof monopoly in contrastto competition.Muchas the latteris predicated and on bestingone's competitors on the strictcalculationof exchange on value,monopolyis predicated satisfyingoverallwants.It is, hence, as intimatelylinked with a centralplan as it is linkedwith use-value. the Whatever variationsin a socialisteconomy, its goalsareprimarily is gearedto consumption.In sum,socialism essentially'Konsumentenis it Conversely, is safe to say that capitalism essentially sozialismus.' (a term Weberdoes not use), for it is 'Prodazentenkapitalismus' the production of commodities, i.e., the calculation of profits, the which determines investmentof capital. the In view of these results,we arenow in a position to re-evaluate and in and questionof rationality irrationality capitalism in socialism. rationality For one, the 'formal'or, moreprecisely,the instrumental (i.e., It is of capitalism quite indisputable. is its overall'strategic' goal setting) rationalitythat has been cast into doubt by conservatives if Conversely, the lack of formal-instrumental and socialistsalike.41 weaknessof utopian and anarrationalityhas been the fundamental chistic socialism,it is in the field of strategicand materialrationality that socialism has been able to claim superiorityover laissez-faire capitalism.
VII THE CAPITALIST AND THE SOCIALIST ETHOS
Our analysis has this far focused on the structuralaspect of Max socialism, was Whatever obscureregarding views on socialism. Weber's
in Socaalism capitalism the workof Max Weber and
the Weberwas quite clear regarding dichotomy of commodityeconomy and planned economy. For simplicity's sake, let us equate capitalismwith marketeconomyandcompetition,and socialism,with household economy and monopoly. Both sides are in tum linked with exchangevalue and use value. Thus, the first is tantamountto an open economy, the second, to a closed one.42 about the ethos At the sametime,Weberwas less than unequivocal which corresponds each type. In his famousessayon TheProtestant to that it advoEt/zic (1904-5) we learn about the 'spiritof capitalism' features which and cateshardwork,thriftiness a certainacquisitiveness, asceticism,'a phrase are subsequently absorbedinto 'inner-wordly which denotes no longer an economic but a religiousethos. Its polar is opposite, the spirit of traditionalism, dealt with even more summarily.43Our criticism does not stop here. Much as both types of ethos give food forthought,theirinherentweaknessis theirlimitation to intemal logical consistencyout of context with the specificsocial setting from which they originateand without which they cannotbe ideal types all too fully understood,a featurewhich makesWeberian often look like intellectualcobweb. This holds for Weber'sfavorite type: the 'spirit'of capitalismis Franklin, more illustratedthan analyzedby quotationsfromBenjamin but no attempt is made to analyze the setting to which this ethos is the rcsponse. The question why 'the risingstrataof the industrious lowermiddleclass'behavein the way they do is not raised.The reason for this procedureis not too difficult to find: to properlyelucidate the socioeconomicbasis of the 'spirit'of capitalismwould have imviz. pairedhis dearestende-avour, to attributethis 'spirit'to religion as its most importantsources.44 that the 'spirit' It is due to this kind of intellectuallegerdemain loneliness and and its rationality is attributedto disenchantment) predestinationrather than to the simple and earthy opportunityto invest gainfully. It is this opportunity that drives the 'industrious lower middle class'-artisans, merchantsand peasants alike-to invest and thus to become 'risingstrata.'In sum, contraryto what Weberwould urgeus to believe,the spiritof capitalismis not suspenwhich ded in midair.Rather,it is investmentand its tangiblerewards underliesthe 'protestantethic': to workhardand to savein orderto enjoyment'and spawningdisciplineas well as invest, thus 'deferring rationality.45 is The case with traditionalism not different.Much as investment ethos, monopoly and solidarity andcalculation underliethe 'capitalist' underlie the 'socialist' ethos which lies at the bottom of 'traditionhas alism'. Ironically,while it is indeedtrue that capitalism produced miraclesfar superiorto those of antiquityand the middleages,it was (wantsatisfaction) underthe aegisof monopolyandBedarfswirtschaft that the Egyptianpyramids,Romanaquaductsand Gothic cathedrals
Gert H. Mueller
were raised.It is in the light of this analysisthat the denialof formal and purposefulrationalityto traditionaland socialist societies must appearnothingshortof bizarre.46 In order to come fully to grips with socialismand its ethos, we have to introduceanothernotion whichWeber uses elsewhere:much as capitalismis markedby the market and commodity production for profit, its oppositeis marked, only by monopolyandplanning, not but also by the household,or oikos,asits special'modeof production.' The latter includes production,not for profit and exchangevalue but, rather,for the satisfactionof wants (sufficiency)anduse value. It is from this goal that both the need for monopoly and for planning originatesas, up to this date, every family budget demonstrates.47 We have thus come to the heart of the matter: to conduct a whole economy and society as though they were a singlehousehold,with an equal satisfactionof wantsfor each and for all denotesthe 'lawof motion' of a socialistsociety and economy. A glance at its opposite counterpartis no less illuminating:the marketworks, and must work, for profit for this is its sole rationale once solidarity is ruled out. However, to work optimally, it presupposes competition, for it is only with competition that its own 'law of motion' becomes fully effective: To best the competitorand to sell profitably,goods must be producedeithermore cheaply,i.e., more 'rationally'(and this is the interpretation rationalitywhich of underliesall others),or it must producesuperiorquality.It is for this reason, given competition, that capitalismcannot but revolutionize production.It must aim at cheapness,rationalityand excellencewith the same necessityand inexorabilityas the householdeconomy must aim at sufficiency for each and security (provision)for all.48By the same token, the market is inherentlyexpansionistand inegalitarian (which are only different terms for competition and for marginal utility), whereas the householdis inherentlyconservative egaliand tarian(whichareonly differenttermsfor solidarity).Quite obviously, each 'mode of production' produces its own distinctive ethos: competition spawnscalculating 'rationality,' quest for innovation the and individualism,while co-operationspawns solidatity, the quest for security,and egalitarianism.49 VIII
CONCLUSION: CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM AS POLAR OPPOSITES
The elaborationof two polar types of ethos is apt to shed additional light on Weber's thoughtand method. 1 Whilehis analysis socialismandits concomitantethos remain of quite incomplete,he correctlysensedthe crucialrole of the egalitarian and 'communist'ethos for the espousalof socialism:even wherethe
Socialismand capitalism the workof Max Weber in
socialist revolutionand the planificationof the economy haveleft so much to be desired,the socialistethos continuesto attractthose who cannot, for strictlystructural reasonsquite independentof individual benevolence or meanness,expect to benefit from capitalism,its inherentinsecurityand discrimination againstthe weak. (He once aptly remarkedthat the law of marginal utility invariably worked to the detrimentof the 'underprivileged').50 is in this sensethat socialism, It like capitalism,is virtually indestructible,whatevertheir structural
. >* .
2 In discoveringa polarpattern,Weberrepudiated dominant the unilinearevolutionary pattern. Quitespecifically, deniedthe thesis he that socialism was the inevitablesuccessorto capitalism,anymore thancapitalism been the inevitable had successor feudalism. to Thereis no doubt that in doing so Weber refusedto acknowledge inevitable the demise of his own class-again provingthe incurable liberal was. he At the same time, he opened a new, multilinearavenue to macrosociology. 3 In pursuinghis bipolar paradigmfurther,Webercould easily have arrived at a bipolar universal-historical (macrosociological) model which linked capitalism,market economy and competition (formal rationality) with the ancient city, feudalism and western democracy on the one side, and socialism(substantive rationality), household economy and monopoly with 'orientaldespotism,''patrimonialism'and the 'leiturgical state'5l on the other hand;the first, basicallyexpansionist, 'rational' 'progressive'; second,basically and the stationary,corporative hierarchical. and The much vilifiedmodel of 'orientaldespotism,'the 'Asiaticmode of production,' 'patrimonialism,' etc., far from being defunct, but trimmed of their overweeningethnocentricprejudice,thus finally emergeas the polar opposite to occidental, 'expansionist,' 'progressive,' 'capitalist'society, each with a corresponding ethos in its own right.The east ceasesto be merelythe negativefoil to westernsociety. Rather, a clear cut and comprehensive dichotomyof polar opposites replacesthe 'protestantethic' and the 'spiritof capitalism' the sole as centerof Weber's thought. GertH. Mueller, TheAmertcanUniversity, Washington, D.C.
NOTE S 1. For a detailed history, cf. Guenther Roth, The Social Democrats in Imperial Germany, Totowa, NJ, Bedminster Press, 1963. 2. Cf. Dieter Lindenlaub, Rich-
tungskaempfe im Verein fuer Sozialpolitik. Wissenschaft und Sozialpolitik im Kaiserreich.(1890-1914), Wiesbaden, Franz Steiner Verlag, 1967. 3. For a very sobering appraisal of
166 the Germanhistorical school in economics cf. Joseph Schumpeter,'Sozialpolitik and the historical method,' in A History of Economic Analysis, New York, Oxford University Press, 1954, part IV, ch. 4, pp. 800-14. Also, cf. Fntz Ringer, The Decline of the GermanMandarins.The GermanAcademic Community 1890-1933, Cambridge,Mass.,Harvard UniversityPress, 1964. 4. Under the 'system Althoff' (the Prussian ministerof culture) not everyone was out of this fear, notably Simmel, Sombart, Robert Michels and Ferdinand Tonnies. Cf. Arthur Mitzman, Sociology and Estrangement. ThreeSociologistsofImperial Germany, New York, Knopf, 1973. Also, cf. Edward Shils (ed.), Max Weber on Universities, Chicago, University of ChicagoPress,1974. 5. Whatever errors his theory, the in Rodbertus (1805-75) has played quite an influential role. Like Marxhe was a Ricardianwho was strongly critical of laissez-faire economics. Interestingly, he led a long correspondence with Lassalle, the hated friend and rival of Marx. In particular, Weber gives Rodbertus credit for the term 'oikos' which, as we shall see, stands at the center of non-market (non-profit) economies. Note the judgment of Guenther Roth in his 'Introduction' to Max Weber, Economy and Society, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1978, p. liii: 'As a scholar of antiquity, the conservative socialist Rodbertus surpassed Marx.' 6. Cf. the suggestive passage in Weber's Agrarian Sociology of Antiquity, London, New Left Books, 1976, p. 365: 'To have a true picture of the later Roman Empirein modern terms, one must imagine a society in which the state owns or controls and regulates the iron, coal and mining industries,all foundries,all production of liquor, sugar,tobacco, matchesand all the mass consumption products now produced by cartels.' Also, cf. Guenther Roth's 'Introduction,' op. cit., p. lviii f., who quotes in extenso
Gert H. Mueller
the remarkablepassage from Weber's AgrarianSociology of Antiquity, loc. cit., in which Weber,infringingon his own principles,drew a direct comparison between the liturgical state machine of the New Kingdomand the later Roman Empire in the one side and the Wilnelminian statebureaucracy on the other side: 'Bureaucracy stifled privateenterprise antiquity.... This in applies to modern Germanytoo ....' For a recent study on the same theme, cf. Robert Antonio, 'The contribution of domination and production in bureaucracy:the contribution of organizational efficiency to the decline of the Roman empire,' in American Sociological Review, vol. 44, 1979, pp. 895-912. 7. 'State capitalism' the termboth is Bukharin and Leninuse to characterize the state-controlledGermanwar economy. Cf. NikoliaBukharin, Imperialism and World Economy, New York, Monthly Review Press 1973, esp. ch. XIII, pp. 144-60 on 'War economic and evolution.' For Lenin, cf. footnote 30, below. 8. A very fine and impressive reading is Lujo Brentano,Mein Leben im Kampf um die soziale Entwicklung Deutschlands, Jena, Fischer,1931. 9. After the eulogizing works by Marianne Weber (1926) and Karl Jaspers (1921) which are politically innocent (though not apolitical), a much more critical literature has thrown more light on the vacillations and contradictionsin Weber's political philosophy. Cf. MarianneWeber,Max Weber:a Biography, (1926), Engl. trl. New York, Wiley, 1975; KarlJaspers, Three Essays. Leonard Descartes, o, Max Weber, New York, Harcourt, 1964; Wolfgang Mommsen,Max Weber und die deutsche Politik 1890-1920, Tubingen,J .C.B. Mohr, 1959; 2nd rev. ed. 1974; RaymondAron, 'MaxWeber and PowerPolitics,'pp.83-100 in Otto Stammer (ed.), Max Weberand Sociology To-day, New York, Harper & Row, 1971; Ilse Dronberger, The Political Thought of Max Weber.In Qsest for Statesmanship,New York, Appleton, Century, Crofts, 1971;also,
in and Socialtsm capitaltsm the workof Max Weber
' cf. Wolfgang Mommsen, The Age of pp.45-74 on 'Intellectualorientations. 14. Demokratie und Kaisertum Bureaucracy, New York, Harper & (Democracyand Empire)was the title Row,1977. 10. Cf. Stanislav Andreski, 'Method of the influential book of Friedrich and substantative theory in Max Naumannwhich he publishedin 1900. Weber,' British Journal of Sociology, For Weber's unsparing criticism of vol. 15, pp. 1-16, 1964; H.H. Bruun, Naumann cf. his remarks'Zur GruenScience, Values and Politics in Max dung einer nationalsozialenPartei' of 's Weber Methodology, Copenhagen, 1896, reprintedin MaxWeber,GesamMunksgard,1972; Steven Seidmanand melte Politische Schriften, 2nd edn, Michael Gruber, 'Capitalismand indi- Tubingen,J.C.B.Mohr,1958,pp.26-9. viduation in the sociology of Max 15. This was prominentlythe case in Weber,' British Journal of Sociology, Weber'stwo diatribesagainstproposed vol. 28, 1977, pp. 498-508; Johannes laws in the Prussian Diet to expand Weiss, Max Weber'sGrundlegungder semi-feudalentails (Fideikommisse)in Soziologie, Munich, Verlag Dokumen- 1904 and 1917. Cf. his long article on 'Agrarstatistischeund sozialpolitische tation, 1975. 11. For a systematic elaboration of Betrachtungenzur Fideikommissfrage' such polar alternativeswhich will have of 1904, partly reprinted in Gesamto replace Parsons's'patternvariables' melte Politische Schriften, op. cit., see G.H. Mueller, 'The Protestant and 1958, pp. 178-86. Also, compare his and the Catholic ethic,' Annual Review of writingson 'Capitalism ruralsociety the Social Sciences of Religion, vol. II, in Germany,' 1904, and on 'The 1978, pp. 143-66, and id., 'The di- national character and the Junkers,' mensions of religiosity,' Sociological 1917, both reprintedin Gerth& Mills, Analysis, vol. 41,no. 1,Jan.1980,pp. op. cit. 1946, chs. 14 and 15, pp. 363-95, which closely parallel the 1-24. 12. The blame for 'revisionism' is two articleson the entails. 16. For an unsympathetic appraisal mostly laid to Eduard Bexostein and book of 1899 (English of Marx in this light cf. Leopold his pathbreaking translation: Evolutionary Socullism, Schwarzschild,The Red Prusstan.The New York, Schocken,1961). However, Life and Legend of Karl Marx, New success York, Scribner, 1947. More recently: the impactof the parliamentary of the German Social Democrats was Karl Raddatz, Karl Marx. A Political already clearly reflected in Engels's Biography, Boston, Little, Brown, preface to the secondedition of Marx's 1978. For a most interestingcriticism inFrancewrittenshortly from an insider, cf. Michail Bakunin, ClassStnzggles before his death in 1895. Cf. Joseph 'The International and Karl Mat7s,' Schumpeter, History of Economic 1872, and 'Anarchism and Statism,' A nalysis, op. cit., pp. 759-80 and 877- both in Sam Dolgoff (ed.), and trl., 85 on 'The defeat of liberalism'and Bakunin on Anarchy, New York, ' 'The Marxists. Morerecently,cf. David Knopf, 1972, pp. 286-320 and 323Beetham, Max Weberand the Theory 50. 17. The predicate of Weber as a of Modern Politics, London, Allen & Unwin, 1974, pp. 161 ff. on 'The 'bourgeois Marx' stems from Albert Salomon, 'Max Weber,'in: Die Gesellproletariatand social democracy.' 13. On this development, cf. Joseph schaft, vol. 3, 1926, p. 131. The same Schumpeter, op. cit. 1954; David predicate of a 'bourgeois Marx' was Beetham, op. cit. 1974; Dieter Linden- originally attributed to Pareto in his laub, op. cit., 1967, and Wolfgang obituary in the Italian socialist daily Mommsen, op. cit. 1959. Also, cf. Avanti in 1923; cf. Schumpeter, op. Hans Gerth, 'Introduction' to Hans cit.,1954, p. 110. Besides Weber and Pareto there is Gerth and C. WrightMills (eds), From Max Weber:Essays in Sociology, New still a third candidate for the epithet: York, Oxford University Press, 1946, Boehm-Bawerk (1851 -1914) whom
168 Schumpeter, op. cit., 1954, p. 847, calls 'one of the great architects of economic science.' 'If we wish to label his place in the history of economics, we had better call him "the bourgeois Marx,"'Schumpeter,1954, p. 846. 18. KarlMarx,TheCommunistManifesto, in R.C. Tucker, (ed.), TheMarxEngels Reader, New York, Norton, 1972, pp.338 f. 19. These quotes are from Max Weber's speech on socialism given at Vienna on June 13, 1918. It is reprinted in Max Weber, Gesammelte Augsaetze zur Soziologie und Sozialpolitik, Tubingen,J.C.B. Mohr, 1924, pp. 492-518, and in Eduard Baumgarten, Max Weber.Werkund Person, Tubingen,J.C.B.Mohr, 1964, pp.24370, with interestingcommentaries. There exist two partial translations of this speech into English: (1) by David Hytch in J.E.T. Eldridge, (ed.), Max Weber: The Interpretation of Social Reality, New York, Scribner's, 1971, pp. 191-219, and (2) by Eric Matthews in W.G. Runciman, (ed.), Max Weber:Selections in Translation, Cambridge University Press, 1978, pp. 251-62. Although much shorter, the latter translation is generally superior the former. to 20. It needs to be noted that neither Marx Weberarepledgedto Hegelian nor triads. Ratherthan on 'Auflsebung' and syntheszs, their dialectic is predicated on conflict. It is hence intrinsically dyadic.Cf. Marx'sacid repudiationof Proudhon'shandling of dialectics in The Poverty of Philosophy (1847). 21. On Weber's various notions of rationality,cf. Gert H. Mueller, 'The notionof rationality in the work of Max Weber,' European Journal of Sociology, vol. XX,1979, pp. 149-71. 22. Cf. Max Weber, Economy and Society Totowa, N J, Bedminster , Press, 1968, and Berkeley, Cal., The Universityof California Press, pb., 1978. The paginationof both editions isidentical. The quote referred to is from Economy and Society, part 1, chapter section 9, p.86. Forbrevity's 2, sake, will subsequently refer to: we E8Sl.2.9,p.86.
Gert H. Mueller
23. The juxtaposition of interests and ideals occurs in the important 'Zwischenbetrachtung,' reprinted in Gerth and Mills, op. cit; 1946, ch. XI, p. 280, under the heading:'The Social Psychology of the World Religions,' pp. 267-301. Interestingly,the famous juxtaposition which is veryreminiscent of Marx, is a later insertion in the second edition of 1920. 24. 'The majority of the Russian people is anticommunist.'Cf. Eldridge, op. cit. 1971, p. 217. On the whole, the speech in Vienna must be seen in close context with Weber'sarticle of February3, 1918 on 'InnereLageund Aussenpolitik,' (The internal situation and foreign policy) reprinted in Max Weber, Gesammelte Politische Schriften, op. cit., 1958, pp. 280-93. Also, cf. Beetham, op. cit. 1974, ch. 7, esp. pp.198-203. 25. For example, Lenin ordered a statistical count of government employees in 1921-2. For a penetrating analysis of eastern european bureaucracies, cf. Rudolf Bahro, The Alternative in Eastern Europe, London, New Left Books, 1978. For another searching attempt, cf. Rudi Dutschke, Versuch, Lenin auf die Fussezu stellen. Berlin, Wagenbach, 1974. 26. Ilse Dronberger, The Political Thought Max Weber,op. cit. 1971, of pp.195 ff., leaning on Mommsen,op. cit.,1959, pp. 275 ff., is quite critical of Weber, accusing him of having warped truth. the 27. To get a live impression why Weber may have lost patience with strict 'value neutrality,' cf. Rainer Lepsius, 'Max Weberin Munich,'Zeitschrift Soziologze,vol.6,1977, pp. fur 106 and 107: 'On November4, 1918, he gave a speech which dealt with the political reconstruction of Germany. Erich Muehsam and Max Levien were present heckled his speech .... A and hostileand demagogical atmosphere surroundedWeber.'.... 'Again on December 1918, on the invitation 5, of Democratic Party, he addressed the an electoralmeeting.He wasrepeatedly interrupted had finally to stop. and 'Partisans the Raeteregierung' a of (i.e.
in Socialismand capitalism the workof Max Weber
Soviet style government) 'agitated againstParliamentariaxiism.' 28. Later on, Weber calls the Bolshevik revolution a military coup perpetrated, not by generals, but by corporals and land-hungry peasantsoldiers: 'The astonishingthing is that this organization has functioned as long as it has. It has been able to do so becauseit is a militarydictatorshipnot, but it is true, of gengrals, of corporals, and because the war weary soldiers returning from the front saw eye to eye with the land hungryfarmersused to agrariancommunism.... It is the only large-scale experiment with a 'proletariandictatorship'that has been made to date' (Eldridge,op. cit., 1971, p. 216). 29. Eldridge, op. cit., 1971, p. 202; Runciman,op. cit., 1978, p. 254. 30. With astounding clarity? Lenin made this point in a sequenceof articles published in Prardain May 1918 (Cf. V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, English trl. from the 4th edn, vol. 27, Moscow, ProgressPublishers,1977, pp. 339 and 340): 'let us first of all take the most concrete example of state capitalism .... It is Germany.Herewe have the last word" in modern large-scalecapitalist engineeringand plannedorganizourgeois ation, subordinatedtoJunker-b imperialism. Cross out the words in italics, and in place of the militarist, Junker, bourgeois,imperialiststate put also a state, but of a different social type -a Soviet state, that is, a proletarian state, and you will have the sum total of the conditions necessary for socialism . . . history has taken such a peculiar course that it has given birth in 1918 to two unconnected halvesof socialismexisting side by side . . . in the single shell of international imperialism. In 1918 Germany and Russia have become the most striking embodiment of the realization of the economic, the productive and the socioeconomic conditions for socialism on the one hand, and the political conditions, on the other.' 31. Eldridge, op. cit., 1971, p. 203, or Runciman,op. cit., 1978, p. 254. 32. Eldridge, op. cit., 1971, p. 204,
or Runciman, op. cit., 1978, p. 255. Matthewsincorrectly translatesthis as sproducer'ssocialism' while D. Hytch speaks of 'a socialismof industrialists.' 33. As the recent crisisof the Chrysler Corporation livelily demonstrates oligopoly does not necessarilyprotect from bankruptcy; in contrast, monopoly and state ownershipdo. 34. The same case is made by R. Heilbroner, Between Capitalism and Socialism, New York, RandomHouse, 1970, ch. 12, against John Kenneth Galbraith'sThe New Industrial State, Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1967. Interestingly, Marianne Weber made the same point in her early essay on Fichte's Sozialismusund sein Verhaltnis zur Marx'schenDoktrin, Tubingen; J.C.B. Mohr,1900. 35. Thisobservationparticularlypertains to two historic cases: the state monopolies under the Stuarts which aroused the anger of the City of London and ignited the rebellion of 1640. The counter example is the experiment of Robert Owen in New Harmony which collapsed, due to the lack of authority to discipline, selfishnessand greed. 36. Cf. E8S II. ch. 2.1, 1978, pp. 349 f.): 'Wewill distinguishtwo types of economic action.. . Bedartsdeckung ' oder Erwerb (want satisfaction or profit making). 37. Cf. E8S II. ch. 4.2, 1978, pp. 375-80) on 'The disintegrationof the household: the rise of the calculative spirit and of the modern capitalist enterprise,and E8S II, ch. 4.3, 1978, developpp. 381 ff.) on 'Thealternative ment:the oikos.'Also,cf.theunfinished chapter on 'The market: its impersonality and ethos,' E8S II, ch. 7, 1978, pp. 635-40. 38. The CommunistManifestoaptly points to the close link between capitalism (i.e., gainful investment) and expansion. This idea has been further pursued by Boehm-Bawerk in his magisterial work on The Positive Theory of Capital (1889, English translation 1891). Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism,Socialismand Democracy, 3rd ed., New York, Harper,1950, pp.
81-6, following the same line, speaks accumulation' focuses on the depreof 'creativedestruction'as the inherent dation of the churchand the enclosures predicament of capitalism. On the whichcertainlyspedup the polarization other side, the idea of 'zero growth' of poverty and wealth by destroying and steady-state economies seems to the protective corporativestructureof be quite recent. It can, however, be 'traditional'society. Marxis perfectly traced back to J.S.Mill (1848) and right that no property structure ever existed, or even came into being, witheven to Anstotle. 39. Cf. E&S I. ch. 2.4,1978,pp. l09 out the interferenceof political power ff. on 'Marketeconomies and planned and law as its product and that the economies.' Significantly, Verkehrs- latter invariablyworkedin the interest wirtschaft (marketeconomies)is linked and to the benefit of the rich.Yet under with Erwerb (profit making), Interes- such circumstances, no 'protestant senlagen (self interest) and Marktfrei- ethic' would ever have been able to heit, whereas Planwirtschaftis linked emerge.The veryexistenceof the latter with want satisfaction and household- compels us to concludethat, beforeand aroundthe Reformation,opportunities like budgeting. to lift oneself up through hard work 40.E8S1978,p.111. 41. On instrumental and strategic and thrift must have existed on a fairly rationality, cf. G.H. Mueller, op. cit., large scale. The picture of feudalism 1979. The complementary pair of thus is due to be revisedconsiderably, instrumental and strategic rationality much in the sense Perry Andersonhas must not be confused with Zweck- shown in his Passages from Antiquity rationalitaet and Wertrationalitaet to Feudalism,London,NewLeft Books, which are coterminous with material 1974. In particular, note his superb interests and ideals, each of which analysis of 'The feudal mode of implements and sets goals in its own production'and 'Thefeudaldynamics', 1974, pp. 147-53 and 182-96. way. 46. On the possibility of socialismas 42. Cf. E8S II. ch. 2.2, 1978, p.341, on 'Openandclosed economic relation- an economic system cf. Schumpeter, op. ships.' and E8S II, ch. 2.5, 1978, pp. op. cit., 1950 and in particular cit., 344- 47, and 'Monopolist vs. expan- 1954, pp. 985-90 on 'The theory of sionist tendencies.' For an early docu- planningand of the socialist economy,' ment on this matter, cf. J. G. Fichte's esp. p. 986 f.: 'Three leaders, von Der geschlossene Handelsstaat, pub- Wieser,Pareto and Barone, who were Weber's completely out of sympathy with lished in 1800, and Marianne socialism, created what is to all intents critiquein op. cit. above, fn. 34. 43. For a consistent system of polar and purposes the pure theory of the opposites cf. G.H.Mueller, op. cit. socialist economy, and thus rendered a service to socialist doctrine that 1978 and 1980. 44. For a criticism of Max Weber's socialists themselve3 had never been idealistic leasiings,his protests to the able to render.... It was particularly contrary notwithstanding, cf. H.M. useful for them to realize that there Robertson, Aspects of the Rise of was nothingspecificallycapitalistabout Economic Individualism, New York, their basic concept of value and its UniversityPress, 1933, and derivates such as cost and imputed Cambridge Kurt Samuelsson,Religion and Econ- returns. These concepts are really omic Action, A Cntiqueof Max Weber, elements of a completely generaleconomic logic, of a theory of economic New York, Harper& Row, 1961. 45. Ironically, this idea is not behavior that may be made to stand brought out by Marx either who was out more clearly in a model of a unsympathetic to the idea of deriving centrally directed socialist economy property from its most naturalsource: than it can in the capitalist garb in hard work. Instead, his famous (26th) which it presents itself to the observer chapter in Capital I on 'primitive whose . . . experienceis with a capitalist
in and Socialtsm capitaltsm the workof Max Weber
world . . . all this amounts to saying that any attempt to develop a general logic of economic behavior will automaticallyyield a theory of the socialist economy as a by-product.' 47. Weberwas keenly aware of this correlationship.Cf. E&S I. ch. 2.14, 1978, p. 113, on 'Market economy and plannedeconomy': 'The economic organizationof a feudal lord exacting corvee labor or that of rulers like the Pharaohsof the New Kingdombelongs to the same categoryas a family household. Both are equally to be distinguishedfrom a marketeconomy.' 48. Cf.E&S I, ch.2.14,1978,p.110: 'A planned economy oriented to want satisfaction must, in proportionthat it is radically carried through, weaken the incentive to labor so far as the risk of lack or supportis involved.' 49. The point is that polar opposites follow a logic totally different from Weber'soriginalideal types. As CarlG. Hempel, Aspects of a Srientific Explanation,New York,The FreePress,1965, ch. 7 on 'Typological Methods in the Naturaland SocialSciences'hasshown, Weber's historical ideal types should better be called models. In contrast, polar opposites denote alternative extremes which define the 'objective possibilities' of action. The stroke of genius is that infinite subjectivechoices are thus subjected to an objective mapping which delineates their limits
a priori while at the salne time the individualstays free to choose. 50. Cf. E8S II. ch. 8.6B, 1978, pp. 927 ff. and Gerth and Mills, op. cit., 1946, pp. 181 f. With an almost brutalbluntnessWeberstates that 'It is the most elementaleconomic fact that the way in which the disposition over materialproperty is distributedamong a pluralityof people meetingcompetititively in the market . . . in itself creates specific life chances. Accordingto the law of marginal utility this mode of distribution. . . favors the ownersand, in fact, gives to them a monopoly to acquiresuch goods.' 51. The continuity between the Tsar -ist and the Soviet state has repeatedly been noted. Whatis astoundingis that, from quite different stances,first rank experts such as Alec Nove and Rudolf Bahro have become aware of the 'elective affinities'which exist between state socialism and the 'Asiatic mode of production,' 'patrimonialism,'and the 'leiturgical'houseSold-likestate of the New Kingdomand the laterRoman Empire. The profound irony is that, while all these societies are eligible for socialism, they are least likely to traverse capitalism as a preliminary stage. Cf. Alec Nove,PoliticalEconomy and Soviet Socialism,London, Allen & Unwin, 1979, ch. 2, 'Russia as an EmergentCountry,'and Rudolf Bahro, op. cit. 1978.
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