State - Sociology of the State pt 1, Nelson.docx

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Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Bruce Morrison

THE SOCIOLOGY OF THE STATE  That the state must lay claim to legitimacy is a fact for Weber, but it is not the domain of science to determine the ethical validity of the legitimation  The modern state is now not only sociologically conceived as a set of mere institutional means, its legitimizing ideology is premised upon only the vaguest notion of ethical ends  In general, the state was seen as emerging on the basis of increasing social differentiation variously expressed  Marx’s materialism involves a dialectical understanding of social relationships  Marx is one with contemporary anthropology, which has always and everywhere, defined the state in social terms as a state form of society  Marx is an advocate of the unity of theory and practice in which the validity of theory can be confirmed only in revolutionary praxis  Communism is objectively possible only to the extent that it can actually be created in practice  Weber utterly rejects praxis in the name of value neutrality  Value neutrality does not mean that human values and subjective meanings are not valid sources of sociological investigation; it does mean that the sociologist must remain removed from the object of his investigation  The Marxist theory of the state has been the most important source of state theorizing in the postwar era, and contemporary debates about the nature of the modern state follow along lines first articulated by Marx and in response by Weber  The modern state and its ideology of legitimation are thus the super structural reflections of the capitalist relations of production, that is, of the class
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