Thursday, September 26, 2019

What, for Weber, are the distinctive features of the modern state and Essay

What, for Weber, are the distinctive features of the modern state and what kind of qualities are to be found in those who have a vocation for politics - Essay Example Max Weber’s lecture on ‘Politics as a Vocation’: Politik als Beruf, was given in January 1918 to the students of Munich University. In it, Weber gave his definition of the modern state from the sociological point of view, which continues to hold good in the present day context, and his conception of the person who has a genuine vocation for politics. Weber’s ideal politician is one who realistically and resolutely confronts the vicissitudes of political life and combines in himself passion and detachment, along with the ethics of ultimate means and responsibility. Weber holds that the state is a political association which cannot be circumscribed by its’ ends, as these are too varied. It can only by defined in terms of its’ employment of physical force to attain its’ ends. Weber agreed with Trotsky’s assertion that â€Å"Every state is founded on force.† The state claims its’ use of physical violence as a legitimate right and considers itself the sole arbiter of this right. Another characteristic of the state is its’ demarcation into a particular territory. In the modern state, men dominate other men. This association is reinforced by the states’ use of force when necessary. The foundation of the state is the mandatory obedience of the people who are dominated to the authority of the state. This domination is given legitimacy by three â€Å"inner justifications† – traditional, charismatic and legal. Traditional domination is that exerted by patriarchs and princes out of age old custom. Charismatic domination is based on the appeal of a magnetic personality who inspires his followers to devotion because they â€Å"believe in him.† Legal domination is based on legal decrees which are accepted and respected as valid obligations. Of course, fear of punishment for resisting authority and the hope of reward for obedience are other factors which come into play. Politically dominant

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