- Copyright Page
- About the Editors
- Abbreviated Titles for Max Weber’s Texts
- Chronology of Max Weber’s Life
- Max Weber Past, Present, and Future
- Economics and Society and the Fate of Liberal Capitalism
- Max Weber’s Analysis of Capitalism
- Money, Credit, and Finance in Capitalism
- Law and the Development of Capitalism
- Is There a Future for Bourgeois Liberalism?
- Contemporary Capitalism and the Distribution of Power in Society
- Weberian Social Theory: Rationalization in a Globalized World
- Democracy, Partisanship, and Civil Society
- Nation, Nation-State, and Nationalism
- The Weberian City, Civil Society, and Turkish Social Thought
- The Modern State and Its Monopoly on Violence
- The Relevance of Weber’s Conception and Typology of <i>Herrschaft</i>
- The Supranational Dimension in Max Weber’s Vision of Politics
- Plebiscitary Politics and the Threats to Legality: Some Classical Insights on a Current Phenomenon
- Politics and Ethics, and the Ethic of Politics
- Max Weber’s Ethics for the Modern World
- Max Weber and the Late Modernization of Catholicism
- The “Disenchantment of the World” or Why We Can No Longer Use the Formula as Max Weber Might Have Intended
- The Literati and the Dao: Vernacular and Nation in China
- Class, Caste, and Social Stratification in India: Weberian Legacy
- Including Islam
- The Study on Ancient Israel and Its Relevance for Contemporary Politics
- The Rationalizations of Culture and Their Directions
- Max Weber and the Sociology of Music
- Contemporary Life Conduct and Existential Cultures
- From Occidental Rationalism to Multiple Modernities
- Max Weber and the Idea of the Occident
- Intellectuals, Scholars, and the Value of Science
- The Iron Cage in the Information Age: Bureaucracy as Tangible Manifestation of a Deep Societal Phenomenon
- Causation, Value Judgments, <i>Verstehen</i>
- Realism and Reality in Max Weber
Abstract and Keywords
Distinguished by extreme, systematized rationalism, Weber argued, bourgeois culture makes the social world in some ways more predictable and more comfortable but precludes a widely shared good life and social justice. He stressed emphatically that free-market capitalism, by maximizing formal rationality oriented to capital accounting and profitability, produces substantively “irrational” consequences that undermine the sociocultural and material fabric needed to sustain it. More than forty years of neoliberal restructuring, designed to accelerate capital accumulation at almost any cost, has generated massive corporate scandals, extreme economic inequalities, and global environmental problems that threaten its political legitimacy and social and ecological foundations. This chapter explores how Weber anticipated the types of substantive irrationalities suffered by today’s neoliberal regimes.
Robert J. Antonio is professor of sociology at the University of Kansas. He specializes in social theory and is currently working on projects related to capitalism’s crisis tendencies, especially concerning the intersection of increased economic inequality, ecological risk, and democratic and authoritarian responses. Among his recent publications are “Ethnoracial Populism: An Alternative to Neoliberal Globalization?” in Social Epistemology (2019); (with Alessandro Bonanno) “From Fordism to Brexit & Trump: Is Authoritarian Capitalism on the Rise?” in Blackwell Companion to Sociology (2019); “Immanent Critique and the Exhaustion Thesis: Neoliberalism and History’s Vicissitudes” in The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Theory (2017); and “Plundering the Commons: The Growth Imperative in Neoliberal Times” in Sociological Review (2013).
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