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They Used to Use a Ball and Chain

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Andy Shi

on 25 October 2012

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Transcript of They Used to Use a Ball and Chain

Value-freedom of scientific judgement The State as a Bureaucracy Rationality as the problematic expression of the modern world The separation of the goals from the means -The desire to take into account the extra-scientific standards within scientific judgement.
-This is the deliberate and explicit acknowledgement of what's scientifically relevant
-Weber's Objection to Marxism is based on its presentation as a objective and universally valid scientific socialism when its principle rests on subjective premises.
-To Weber, Marxist did not believe too little in science, but too much. He believes norm and value is not scientifically provable Weber's conception of the modern state is a rational institution, or an 'enterprise'.
'Certain kinds of social action will occur (namely the action of the individual) It is de facto based on the model of a quite specific state-like 'reality'- namely the modern state within which we are situated
This is bureaucracy as a rationalized institution
Individual obeys to the hierarchy not because of the bureaucrat but to the codified rules -The rationalization of our existence itself is something specifically irrational and incomprehensible
- Earning Money to secure one's sustenance is rational. However as we know, money begets money, profit as an end itself is purely irrational.
-"Every instance of rationalization is inevitably fated to engender irrationality. " Then weber declared, "(Capitalism)Rationalization in the direction an irrational way of life."
-Differing from Marxist, Weber moves the focus away from economic relations, but rather focuses on the rationality of capitalism as a way of life. -Science can only provide knowledge of means, but it does not provide us with a purpose.
- The modern arrangements, institutions and activities are so rationalized, that humanity is trapped in the iron cage.
-For capitalism, what began as a means towards a religious end now serves another profane purpose.
The economic actions stop having any relation to the needs of human beings. Weber's Interpretation of the Bourgeois-Capitalist World in Terms of Rationalisation The science we decide to pursue is a science of reality
Weber questions the specialized and professionalized character of science
Within the frame work of science, one cannot determine the meaning of itself
Nietzsche: Value of truth, A product of a particular culture What is Weber's Main Purpose as a social philosopher? "To render the 'ideas', for which people in part allegedly and in part actually do struggle' intelligible by means of scientific critique and through self-reflection." "Human are a precondition to science." Weber's aim is to make explicit the a priori of the guiding value idea within each scientific inquiry -Capitalism was originally motivated by religion (namely Calvinism), it develops into a dominant force of life into the economic sense.
-The spirit of rationality dominates every facet of life. This entails a system that requires every individual's subordination. This is what Weber calls the "iron age". The man's subjection to an 'apparatus'. Weber on Human Action -Free human action are predictable and rational. Freedom itself is a teleological rationality:"The pursuit of a purpose defined by ultimate values or life meanings through the free consideration of adequate means."
-To Weber, to act as a free person means to act purposefully. Human action is therefore marked by predictability, calculability and consistency. (matching available means to a defined purpose) They Used to Use a Ball and Chain: Technology's impact upon the workplace Beepers, Cell phones, E-mails are technology that are suppose to lighten tasks, lower business cost, and boost performance levels. However, as we can see, these technology have become a source of stress and tension for workers all over the world. Not only do they intensify the pace of labour, they also eliminate existing jobs. The constant stream of new technology is shrinking the working population. -Technology lead to the elimination of personal down time and extended the working-day. It became a portable assembly that everyone carries. The labour become more simplified, and workers become more replacable.
-Technology is also used to monitor and control the employees. It serves the office bureaucracy to discipline the work force. Alienation Much? Weber says No! -Weber would say that the pursue of technology as a means to better address human needs has lost this original goal, and we are pursuing the means (namely more efficient technology) for its own sake. This is an rationalized irrational act.
- This pursuit of technological advancement is exactly part of the spirit of capitalism Is there no escape from the Iron cage? In the article, the white collar class protested in the cyber space. This is an example of the development of technology addressing human need. It also signifies the rebellion against the bureaucracy of the office.

Do you think there is an way out of the irrationality of the rational way of life? Why? Q What is of the division of labour, or in Marxist terms, alienation, to Weber?
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