Max Weber Analysis Final

1099 words - 5 pages

American society is very interesting to look at in terms of a Weberian analysis. This includes political, regional, and class divisions. It could definitely be argued that disenchantment had a part in how the United States classified itself in the past and in the present. Weber's analysis is more subjective than other views such as Karl Marx's historical materialism. Objective and subjective means of examining society are needed for a thorough analysis.
Max Weber's analysis of politics in his essay Politics as a Vocation still rings true even to this day. The political system Americans use today is not much different than the one used 100 years ago; Weber stayed in the United States for a long time and that influence is apparent in his analysis of politics. American politics was and still is based around a mix of two of Weber's justifications for authority: charisma and legal authority. Charisma is used by politicians to inspire and rally people to support certain politicians and legislation. On the flip-side of that, politicians use a form of charisma to appeal to people's fears and insecurities. This also gets people to vote and support for politicians and legislation. In both ways, a politician needs a certain amount of trust from the people to get what they want done and that is where charisma comes into play. The other part of American politics is legal authority. The American state has rules about how elections are run and how power is peacefully transferred. Both charisma and legal authority contribute to the disenchantment of the world. Charisma has become a systematic part of the election process where it is expected for politicians running for an office to be charismatic or they will not win the election. Even if a charismatic leader lies about something, that thing can be disproved by fact checkers. On the other hand, legal authority is a concrete example of disenchantment and the Iron Cage. The rules are set for how elections work and are respected because of their legitimacy. An added part of this legal disenchantment is the political party split of Democrats and Republicans. It does not say anywhere that Democrats or Republicans have to win major elections but it is accepted as such and becomes fact. This is reinforced with Democratic and Republican National Conventions which are directly related to the official government processes. You could run for President or Congress under the Robert Anderson Party or the Satan Is Awesome Party but with the way the American political system works, you would never win a major election. There is nothing mystical about the election process. People understand how it works, it is why they do not vote. They know their vote will not have much of an effect in an electoral college. This definitely seems a symptom of disenchantment, people feeling unmotivated and helpless.
Regional divisions in American society are quite apparent in the United States, especially after events like the Civil War and...

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