Weber_Class, Status, Party

Weber_Class, Status, Party - Max Weber Class, Status, Party...

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1 Max Weber Class, Status, Party 1: ECONOMICALLY DETERMINED POWER AND THE SOCIAL ORDER Law exists when there is a probability that an order will be upheld by a specific staff of men who will use physical or psychical compulsion with the intention of obtaining conformity with the order, or of inflicting sanctions for infringement of it. The structure of every legal order directly influences the distribution of power, economic or otherwise, within its respective community. This is true of all legal orders and not only that of the state. In general, we understand by, 'power' the chance of a man or of a number of men to realize their own will in a communal action even against the resistance of others who are participating in the action. 'Economically conditioned' power is not, of course, identical with ‘power’ as such. On the contrary, the emergence of economic power may be the consequence of power existing on other grounds. Man does not strive for power only in order to enrich himself economically. Power, including economic power, may be valued 'for its own sake.' Very frequently the striving for power is also conditioned by the social 'honor' it entails. Not all power, however, entails social honor: The typical American Boss, as well as the typical big speculator, deliberately relinquishes social honor. Quite generally, 'mere economic' power, and especially ‘naked’ money power, is by no means a recognized basis of social honor. Nor is power the only basis of social honor. Indeed, social honor, or prestige, may even be the basis of political or economic power, and very frequently has been. Power, as well as honor, may be guaranteed by the legal order, but, at least normally, it is not their primary source. The legal order is rather an additional factor that enhances the chance to hold power or honor; but it cannot always secure them. The way in which social honor is distributed in a community between typical groups participating in this distribution we may call the 'social order.' The social order and the economic order are, of course, similarly related to the 'legal order.' However, the social and the economic order are not identical. The economic order is for us merely the way in which economic goods and services are distributed and used. The social order is of course conditioned by the economic order to a high degree, and in its turn reacts upon it. Now: ‘classes’, ‘status groups’, and ‘parties’ are phenomena of the distribution of power within a community. 2. DETERMINATION OF CLASS-SITUATION BY MARKET-SITUATION In our terminology, 'classes' are not communities; they merely represent possible, and frequent, bases for communal action. We may speak of a 'class' when (1) a number of people have in common a specific causal component of their life chances, in so far as (2) this component is represented exclusively-by -economic- interests in the possession of goods and opportunities for income, and (3) is represented under the conditions of the
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This note was uploaded on 02/05/2012 for the course 920 313 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at Rutgers.

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Weber_Class, Status, Party - Max Weber Class, Status, Party...

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