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Max Weber----Politics as vocation.pdf

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC101Y1
Professor
Bader Araj
Semester
Summer

Description
Max Weber-----Politics as vocation  Politics is the concept is extremely broad and comprises any kind of independent leadership in action.  We wish to understand by politics only the leadership, or the influencing of the leadership, of a political association, hence today, of a state.  Sociologically, the state cannot be defined in terms of its ends. Association which have been the predecessors of the modern state. Ultimately, one can define the modern state sociologically only in terms of the specific means peculiar to it, as to every political association, namely, the use of physical force.  Every state is founded on force,' said Trotsky at Brest-Litovsk.  If no social institutions existed which knew the use of violence, then the concept of 'state' would be eliminated, and a condition would emerge that could be designated as 'anarchy,'  Of course, force is certainly not the normal or the only means of the state--nobody says that--but force is a means specific to the state.  Today, however, we have to say that a state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory. Note that 'territory' is one of the characteristics of the state.  The state is considered the sole source of the 'right' to use violence. Hence, 'politics' for us means striving to share power or striving to influence the distribution of power, either among states or among groups within a state.  He who is active in politics strives for power either as a means in serving other aims, ideal or egoistic, or as 'power for power's sake,' that is, in order to enjoy the prestige- feeling that power gives.  Like the political institutions historically preceding it, the state is a relation of men dominating men, a relation supported by means of legitimate (i.e. considered to be legitimate) violence.  If the state is to exist, the dominated must obey the authority claimed by the powers that be.  First, the authority of the 'eternal yesterday,' i.e. of the mores sanctified through the unimaginably ancient recognition and habitual orientation to conform. This is 'traditional' domination exercised by the patriarch and the patrimonial prince of yore.  There is the authority of the extraordinary and personal gift of grace (charisma), the absolutely personal devotion and personal confidence in revelation, heroism, or other qualities of individual leadership. This is 'charismatic' domination, as exercised by the prophet or--in the field of politics--by the elected war lord, the plebiscitarian ruler, the great demagogue, or the political party leader.  Finally, there is domination by virtue of 'legality,' by virtue of the belief in the validity of legal statute and functional 'competence' based on rationally created rules. In this case, obedience is expected in discharging statutory obligations. This is domination as exercised by the modern 'servant of the state' and by all those bearers of power who in this respect resemble him.  Obed
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