Preview For “Politics As A Vocation”

823 words - 4 pages

“Politics as a Vocation” is a lecture written by Max Weber, a German political economist whose beliefs and ideas on politics influenced many. The universe of his writing is focused around the nature of politics, and the way people were involved and influenced by politics, which was eventually molded into the modern politics, as we know it today. Weber explains that the focus of his lecture is surrounded between two beliefs of politics, that being leadership and relation of a state. Weber mentions that “every state is founded on force” (25) and how that force coexists with the idea of violence, and if without it that there wouldn’t be a state. “Today, however, we have to say that a state is a human community (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory” (32-4). Weber also mentions that territory is another description of a state, being described in a physical force, as the one and only right of the 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” (37-9). This quote explains politics as either in a leadership form in self-seeking power for there own prestige, or for the sake of others.
Weber emphasizes on the idea of power and how it is legitimated, with three basic legitimations of domination, this idea of leadership and power become the belief of man in his writing. “First, the authority of the ‘eternal yesterday’…sanctified through the unimaginably ancient recognition…domination exercised by the patriarch and the patrimonial prince of yore” (54-6). This expression of domination goes way back to the idea of when one ruled, all ruled, and will always rule whether it was one male ruler/person or a whole family of rulers. Second, “there is the authority of extraordinary and personal gift of grace (charisma)…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” (57-61). According to Weber’s beliefs this type of charismatic leadership are obeyed is expressed by; prophets, war lords, political party leaders, etc. The expression of ‘authority of extraordinary and personal gift of grace’, is focusing on the rulers and/or leaders specific qualities that they posses, hence the charisma. This also specifies that the...

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