Marx vs Weber vs Engels

1738 Words7 Pages
Capitalism is invariably acknowledged in the study of social science. Amongst the respective gathered ideals of the esteemed sociologists: Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, and Max Weber include through discussion as to the origins of Capitalism, as well as the role and effects it plays upon civilized societies. Whereas Marx and Engels view of Capitalism fall within similar boundaries, Weber's opinion of the matter differs in regard to the formers in several ways. In similarity, both parties agree that history [or sets of historical change(s)] lead to the establishment of Capitalism within social groups of human beings. However it is in their assessment of the sources of impact on history, which begins the disparity between the two parties conceptualization of the origins of Capitalism.

Marx and Engels's account on the development of history regards it as a series of staged progression as powered by social relations between humans. History in Marx and Engel's opinion is established in a framed historical-materialist view. By this the two mean that history is viewed in the materialist man's struggle for survival, or production for the necessities to life. As written by Marx, in his essay The German Ideology, "the first premise of all human existence and, therefore, of all must be in a position to live in order to make history", what Marx means by this is that it history is as defined first and foremost as the work of men to stay alive. Marx goes on to argue that the fulfillment of survival will lead to new needs, and as such is the basis for the progression of acts of history. Continuing on from this interpolation of history, Marx says that the first act for the production of life [and therefore history] will require th...

... middle of paper ...

...rankings. Marx and Engels surmise that Capitalism will lead to the working class antagonizing the capitalist class. However according to Weber no such thing would happen, because there would be no reason to hate or envy someone else for his success, rather one should focus on how his own calling is helping him find his own success. By virtue of ascetics and Protestant Work Ethic those who work hard and are successful are to be seen in high regards, they are "The Elect", not as oppressors. Thus while Marx and Engel adamantly argue that history does not change, but rather progress in linear fashion as only defined by human struggle for survival, Weber opens up the possibility that historical change can be influenced by individual thoughts and actions, and true progress towards modernity and a betterment of one's life made through rationalization and self-improvement.

More about Marx vs Weber vs Engels

Open Document