Lecture 13

Lecture 13 - WEBER GEH 2 Specifities of the West CITIES IN...

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WEBER GEH 2
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Specifities of the West CITIES IN THE WESTERN SENSE “There are and have been everywhere hand laborers and entrepreneurs, but never and nowhere were they included in a unitary social class. The notion of the citizen of the state has its forerunners in antiquity and in the medieval city. Here there were citizens as holders of political rights, while outside the occident only traces of this relation are met with…. .” In the middle ages, the distinguishing characteristic [of the city] was the possession of its own law and court and an autonomous administration of whatever extent.
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Specifities of the West That cities have not existed outside the occident in the sense of a political community is a fact calling for explanation. The earliest references to cities as political units designate rather their revolutionary character, the brotherhood in arms for mutual aid and protection , involving the usurpation of political power. Synoecism= The union of several towns or villages into or under one capital city.
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Specifities of the West The occidental city is in its beginnings first of all a defense group, an organization of those economically competent to bear arms, to equip and train themselves. In the west the army equipped by the war lord, and the separation of soldier from the paraphernalia of war, in a way analogous to the separation of the worker from the means of production, is a product of the modern era, while in Asia it stands at the apex of historical development. There was no Egyptian or Babylonian Assyrian army which would have presented a picture similar to that of the Homeric mass army, the feudal army of the west, the city army of the ancient oils, or the medieval guild army.
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Specifities of the West The forms of religious brotherhood and self equipment for war made possible the origin and existence of the city.
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Specifities of the West Weber sees religious origins in the city: prophecy among the Jews, which destroyed magic within the confines of Judaism; magical procedure remained real but remained devilish instead of divine. The second fact was the Pentecostal miracle, the ceremonial adoption into the spirit of Christ which was a decisive factor in the extraordinary spread of early Christian enthusiasm. The final factor was the day in Antioch when Paul in opposition to Peter, espoused the fellowship of the uncircumcised. The magical barriers between clans, tribes and peoples, which were still known in the ancient polis to a considerable degree, were thus set aside and the establishment of the occidental city was made possible. [Q: This kind of universalism is true of Islam too!!!!]
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Specifities of the West In antiquity, “there was no city of importance which lay more than a day’s journey distant from the sea; only those places flourished which for political or geographical reasons possessed exceptional opportunities for trade.” The basis of democratization is everywhere purely military in
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This note was uploaded on 07/02/2008 for the course SOC 101 taught by Professor Mark during the Spring '08 term at UCLA.

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Lecture 13 - WEBER GEH 2 Specifities of the West CITIES IN...

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