Max Weber is one of the philosophers best able to explain to us the peculiar economic system we live within called capitalism. Born Erfurt in Germany in 1864, Weber grew up to see his country
convulsed by the dramatic changes of the Industrial Revolution. Cities were exploding in size. Vast companies were forming. A new managerial elite was replacing the old aristocracy. Weber spent his life analyzing these changes and he developed some key ideas with which we can better understand the workings and future of
capitalism. The standard view is that capitalism began as a result of developments in
technology especially steam power. But Weber proposed something more
interesting that what actually made capitalism possible was a set of ideas and in particular religious ideas and not just any religious ideas. Capitalism was created by Protestantism,
specifically Calvinism. In his great work The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism, published in 1905, Weber laid out some of the reasons why he believed Protestant Christianity had been so crucial to capitalism. In Weber’s analysis Catholics have it relatively easy. They were able to confess their
transgressions at regular intervals and can be cleansed by priests. But no such purifications are available to Protestants who believe that only god is able to forgive anyone and he won’t make his intentions known until the day of judgment. Until then Weber alleged Protestants are left with
heightened feelings of anxiety as well as lifelong guilty desires to prove
their virtue to a severe all-seeing but silent god. In Weber’s eyes Protestant feelings of guilt were
diverted into an obsession with hard work. This was what he called the Protestant
work ethic. The sins of Adam could only be expunged through constant toil. Not coincidentally there were far fewer festivals and days of rest in Protestantism. God didn’t like time off. Catholics had limited their conception
of holy work to the activities of priests, monks and nuns but now Protestants declared that work of any kind could be done in the name of God even jobs like being a baker or an
accountant. This lent new moral energy and
earnestness to all branches of professional life. In Catholic countries the family was and
often still is everything. But Protestants took a less benevolent
view of family. The family could be a haven for selfish and egoistic motives. For early Protestants one was meant to direct one’s selfless energies to the community as a whole, the public realm, where everyone deserved fairness and dignity. Protestantism and eventually scientific capitalism turned its back on miracles. Weber called this the disenchantment of the world. So prosperity wasn’t to be thought of as
something mysteriously ordained by God, it could only be the result of thinking
methodically, acting honestly, and working industriously and sensibly
over many years. Without a belief in miracles people turn to science for explanations and changes which encouraged scientific investigation and discovery and eventually technological booms. Taken together these five factors
created, in Weber’s eyes, the crucial catalytic ingredients for
capitalism to take hold. Marx had argued that religion was the
opium of the masses, a drug that induced passive acceptance of the horrors of capitalism. But Weber turned this dictum on its head. People didn’t tolerate capitalism
because of religion. They only became capitalists as a result
of their religion. There are about 35 countries where
capitalism is now well developed. It probably works best in Germany where
Weber first observed it. But in the remaining 161 nations it arguably isn’t working very well at all. This is a source of much puzzlement and
distress. Billions of dollars in aid are transferred every year from the rich to the poor parts of the world. But a Weberian analysis tells us that these materialist interventions will never work because the problem isn’t really a material one to begin with Instead certain countries for Weber fail to succeed at capitalism because they don’t feel anxious and guilty enough. They trust too much in miracles. They like to celebrate now rather than
invest in tomorrow and their members feel it’s acceptable to steal from the community in order to enrich their families favoring the clan over the
nation. Today, Weber would counsel those who wish to spread capitalism to concentrate on our equivalent of religion — culture. It’s a nation’s attitudes hopes and a
sense of what life is about that produces an economy that either
flourishes or flounders. To reduce poverty, Weber would say one has to start at the level of ideas. What the World Bank and the IMF should
be giving sub-saharan Africa is not, in a Weberian analysis, money and technology but a new outlook. The decisive question for an economy should not be what the rate of inflation is but what’s on TV tonight. Weber was writing in an age of revolution. He, too, wanted things to change but he believed that one first had to work out how political power operated. Weber believed that humanity had gone through three distinct types of power. The older societies operated according
to what he called traditional authority where kings relied on folklore and
divinity to justify their power. Then came the age of charismatic authority where a heroic individual, most famously Napoleon, could rise to power with a magnetic personality and change everything through passion and will. However, Weber explained that we had now entered a third age of bureaucratic authority. Bureaucracy achieves its power via knowledge. Only the bureaucrats know how stuff works and it will take an outsider years to work it out. Most of us simply give up, usefully for
the powers that be. The dominance of bureaucracy has major implications for anyone trying to change a nation. There is often an understandable but
misguided desire to think that one just has to change the leader. But in fact removing a leader almost never has the degree of impact that is hoped for. If we’re to get things to go better much
of it will have to come through outwardly rather undramatic bureaucratic processes. It will come through the marshalling of statistical evidence, patient briefings to ministers, testimonies to committee hearings, and a minute study of budgets. Weber tells us how power works now and reminds us that ideas may be far more important than tools or money in changing nations. It’s a hugely significant thesis. With Weber’s guidance we learn that so much which we associate with vast, impersonal, external forces is, in fact, dependent upon something utterly intimate and perhaps more malleable: the thoughts in our own heads.

100 thoughts on “SOCIOLOGY – Max Weber

  1. Hello.I am thai.that is at Asia near shoresea.I ever learned about upyears 20 yearsago.sometime forgotted message and stunny should reviews sometime thankky youtube.

  2. Thank you for the video, as often it is fun and packed with valuable information. I have a question about William James equation though: as I read it, I'd think that the more I expect things to be favorable the more I'd set the number for expectations high and the less I expect them to be favorable the more I'd put it close to zero (no expectations or low ones), same with reality. But in that case the equation does not seem to work give me a high number for happiness if my expectations are low and reality favorable. Should it not be the opposite: Happiness = reality / expectations. Moreover would it not make sense to separate inner and outer expectations as Happiness = reality * inner_expectations/outer_expectations? It does not make the equation that much more complicated while from my perspective it would make a lot of sense considering studies such as this one "Reconsidering the role of personality in placebo effects: dispositional optimism, situational expectations, and the placebo response" and many others either on physiology or psychology. That would quite fit a stoic philosophy actually which I like a lot: expect the worse from what we can't control but get ready to do the best we can out of it.

  3. I love your videos. I know that possibly you guys are constantly busy with that of research, organization and other components which may pertain to the maintenance of the channel, so I start by sending my apologies. I wanted to make a request in hopes that perhaps you guys could do a video about W.E.B. Du Bois. I feel that he was a very important figure who contributed vigorously towards what he perceived to be the social reformation of his day and time. It’s just a suggestion which I hope has the potential of being considered. Thanks and continue the great work.

  4. This is an inaccurate depiction of Weber. He utterly despaired in his observations. This channel is mere pretence; a lot of the stuff on here is noise masked by a warming, wet voice and easy-going animations.

  5. 4:04 "[Capitalism] probably works best in Germany where Weder first observed it." As a German…. I… eh… I'm not that sure.

  6. It is a very short and poor introduction to Max Weber, but still works to trigger interest and curiosity in Sociology ! Thanks!

  7. number four doesnt make sense. how does protestants viewing the community as important lead to capitalism? it is an altruistic stance which is antithetical to capitalism. also scientific capitalism isnt a thing. the closest thing to it would be opposition to scientific socialism, but that still isnt called scientific capitalism

  8. wow! there was no mention of enslavement making overseers rich and the oppression and exploitation of certain groups. and how europe stole resources from so-called third worlds.

  9. Türkçe çeviri yapanın anasını sikeyim google translateden kopyala yapıştır yapmış annesiz hepsi yanlış

  10. Apparently, according to the map, Alaska is not part of the successfully capitalistic United States. I find this funny.

  11. It’s really sad that there are no women mentioned in this playlist on Sociology neither are there any blacks mentioned. It would be very helpful if you can include the others in this playlist.

  12. This is good but incredibly over-simplified account of Weber! He doesn't rely as heavily on some of his examples as this video makes out

  13. Max Weber is one of the few sociologists that I personally like. Mostly because of his view towards the world.

  14. All sociology is cultural Marxist propaganda. Social sciences aren't real sciences.

  15. Hey! I think your videos are very good!! can you maybe do a video about Luhmann?

  16. Capitalist ideas are pretty common all over Asia, and Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and others would disagree wih Weber's ignorant assumptios.

  17. The only problem with capitalism is that it comes from industrialisation, and more development means more suicide. More moneycapitalism more suicides. This is one of the only problems with capitalism. BTW, I am 12, and in 7th grade. 😉

  18. The opium does not only mean passive acceptance o lethargy, it also means pleasure and hope (according to Marx), so it is important to understand the meaning in a "Heraclitus way" to not emit a biased message.

  19. As someone who has been a Calvinist (Reformed Protestant is another name for it) for over ten years I think I observed it to be true that all of us are obsessed with working for the work’s sake. But about living with guilt? That’s actually very anti-Calvinist idea. One of the main points of Calvinism is that we are forgiven and shouldn’t feel guilty about transgressions of the past for which we repented.

  20. Hahahahhahaha @ the billions of dollars invested in por countries. Hilarious! These vids are so faulty and stale.

  21. 3:40 Protestantism was for Marx, “bourgeois Christianity.” He’s coming from Hegel, another fan of the reformation. I don’t think Weber’s thought contradicts Marx at all. It is very marxist to imagine the character of Christianity changing. For Marx, you cannot really say he thought that religion was ‘x.’ When he said religion is the opiate of the masses he was speaking in a historical context, namely mid 19th ce Germany. And if you look at the whole quote, the contraction isn’t necessarily negative. “It is the sigh of an oppressed people, the heart of a heartless world.” So it was for an increasingly wealthy bourgeois middle class working within the restricted framework imposed by an entrenched aristocracy.

  22. There’s a lot more to Weber than what is in this video. Some of this is good, some of it a little shaky.

    I’m a university student studying under an authority on Weber.

  23. Türkçe çeviri ki yaptıysa sağolsun zahmet olmuş Google amcaya danışmış heralde

  24. This video is suggesting that Weber wanted to spread capitalism? That's a funny joke.

  25. You got it wrong at so many levels.

    4:42 "The members of their society feel that it's acceptable to steal from the community in order to enrich themselves"

    How could you think, say and let millions of people hear such a thing?

    Consider reading Edward Said.

  26. But weren't catholic countries like Venice (circa 1300) the first western nations to really prosper under capitalism? How can that be attributed to the protestant work ethic?

  27. That map of capitalism is crap. It makes Taiwan non-capitalist, which is totally pro-Chinese bullshit. Taiwan should be blue like South Korea and Japan. One of the many reasons why you suck, de Botton. Although you sound brilliant with that accent.

  28. And another problem with Botton's analysis is that Weber's "Protestant Ethic" was an explanation of how capitalism arose historically. It says nothing about why countries today either develop or remain underdeveloped. Once capitalism arose, and spread globally–along with the nation state–Weber's analysis is no longer applicable in the same way. Countries are not poor today because they are not protestant. Hence, the reason why Japan, for example, is "capitalist," but not protestant. The protestant aspect of capitalism was left behind long ago. The causes of underdevelopment today require a totally different hypothesis than that provided by good old Weber in the PEATSOC.

  29. You talk about money given to sub Saharan Africa but you don't mention what has been stolen from there for centuries?

  30. Whether Weber thought protestants were the cause of capitalism or they were overrepresented in capitalist societies, it still shows how elementary and unfounded elite philosophers' ideas were at times. One needs only to look at the "family values" and apathy-for-the-greater-community views of American evangelicals to see how Weber's imagination could not comprehend the unpredictability of the nature of future humans. I think it's usually not a good idea to talk about how one group of people adhering to certain ideals act in a certain way or share certain characteristics. Human nature is much more complex and chaotic to be described in terms of simple words and logic.

  31. Thank you for these videos, they are very informative, and ideas are well explained. In part maybe because they are always contextualized. See you!

  32. Weber had far more important ideas than the connection between capitalism and protestantism, I feel like the The School of Life videos often pick certain parts of a scientist's work and ignore the rest. Saw this in the video about Durkheim as well.

  33. See also

  34. But all those things they mentioned about Protestants are the opposite of what we, and even Calvinists even believe… it’s not by works it’s by faith alone… works is Catholicism more so. No idea where this guy gets his religious dogma ideas

  35. 5:08 – I don't think these institutions are interested in the prospering of developing countries (not even mentioning that the key problem could be, that some nations may just have a whole other idea of what developement even means and the concept of re-educating them causes heavy ethical problems, especially in the shadow of the colonial age). The prospering of the so-called third world would only cause more competition for the first and prevent the latter from access to cheap labour, ressources and the ability to externalize. This may sound like a communist conspiracy theory, but if you actually look at the negotiations these institutions lead with developing countries (doha-round), the unfair rules they implied (f.e. regarding deregulations such as customs) and the effects of the washington consensus, there's almost no other conclusion than those institutions primarily being tools for advancing political and economic interests of developed countries, which are remaining a state of inequality.

  36. Yes! Fuck capitalism. The rich just get richer, as usual, and the problems are not going away.

  37. The Arab philosopher Ibn Khaldun is the founder of sociology . Five centuries later the first Western thinker appeared : French philosopher (Auguste Comte ) after reading Ibn Khaldun's books because of the emergence of social problems as a result of the French Revolution.

  38. The Marxist will rationalize everything that is GOOD or POSITIVE to something BAD or NEGATIVE, so in the long con destroy nations and societies.

    Let us mark: Marxism, Technocracy, Socialism, Communism NEED CAPITAL to just start their unrealistic "Utopia".

  39. The real reason why Protestants like myself still adhere to "the Protestant work ethic" is simply due to the interpretation of Scripture. We view "work" as ordained by God to give us dignity meaning and purpose; "The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it." – Genesis 2:15 ESV  God places Adam to "work" the garden before the Fall of Man so work is considered a blessing from God something that is meant to bring Him glory. Weber is wrong however that Protestants believe that "work" that leads to prosperity grants you into heaven, Protestants do not believe that, we do believe that when we prosper it is rather a blessing from God; "All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty." – Proverbs 14:23 NIV. Later Paul writes; "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things." – Phillipians 4:8 NIV Protestants tend to focus our minds and souls on honest work and believe its a blessing and means to serve God rather than it being a curse of some sorts. And lastly, Protestants many of them myself included truly do believe in miracles, we believe that every day, every breath, every moment is miracle ordained by God, but that most importantly every miracle in the Bible is true and that Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior was crucified and was raised from dead and ascended into heaven is the ULTIMATE MIRACLE validating our faith and our hope in Christ. Other than that I love these videos and will continue to watch them! Thanks!

  40. Gracias a ti estoy aprendiendo a pronunciar bien los nombres de mis personajes favoritos. muchas Gracias

  41. could you please do a video about Ludwing von Bertalanffy? thanks in advance

  42. For all you arm chair pseudo intellectuals, economics is not an exact science. Period.
    You're welcome

  43. Protestantism did help Capitalism. Study the Scottish Enlightenment. People believed it was their duty to improve or make Progress for their family, community and country. The new scientific discoveries and new technologies increased the need for capital to fund the sciences and technologies. Bureaucracies often lead to mediocrities and little risk taking. The video misses a lot of these areas. And God can prosper a nation which is somewhat righteous, especially compared to more wicked countries. Corruption is wickedness.

  44. The bureaucratic authority=rational-legal authority which lots of books especially the translation of Weber's work portrayed him as an elitist. However, he is not an elitist. And there is no clear cut between traditional, charismatic and legal-rational authority. He explained the bureaucracy is — not only the state bureaucracy but also every fiber of society is in itself bureaucracy, for instance capitalism.

  45. lol at the idea all our charity cannot Save The Poor! we take their resources, train assassins to control the operation, the money goes to American corporations and a few puppet dictators.

    when they are bankrupt we send "aid' so they can pay off loans to western bankers.


  47. If the family is not the center unit of society and the community is, isn't that also the root of communism? Though marx was technically Jewish he was a Lutheran while he lived. My point is, did not Weber give a backhanded explanation of why communism exists question marx aren't the shadows of that already explained in this?

  48. I wonder how much of this video is an interpretation of Weber intended to flatter and heighten his accuracy but using the knowledge of the history in between to do it.

  49. China and Taiwan are not highlighted in that world map? Seriously?

  50. Weber did not posit "Ages" of charismatic and traditional authority. He posited that there are three kinds of legitimate authority; charismatic authority, legal authority, and traditional authority. He said that bureaucracies draw from all three forms of authority as a means for legitimating the discipline they enforce. There are a number of other Weberian ideas that are poorly explained here.

  51. notice the most advanced nations are Capitalist nations. The machine age is called the industrial revolution btw. just machines.

  52. Kings owned all the land. They bestowed land on relatives such as barons and dukes and others. The nobility. Capitalism allowed anyone to own land if you could buy it. just a note…

  53. In the map at 4:05, you have the U.S. state of Alaska as one of the countries in which captilasim doesn't work.

    How many more mistakes are in there that we don't notice?

  54. 00:00 Sociology – Max Weber
    00:41 1. Why does Capitalism exists?
    01:18 i) Protestantism makes you feel guilty
    01:51 ii) God likes hard work
    02:13 iii) All work is holy
    02:35 iv) It's the community, not the family, that counts
    02:59 v) There aren't miracles
    03:06 The disenchantment od the world
    03:58 2. How do you develop Capitalism around the world?
    05:23 3. How can we change the world?
    05:43 Traditional authority
    05:52 Charismatic authority
    06:02 Bureaucratic authority

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