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POL 161 Max Weber Notes

by: Hailey True

POL 161 Max Weber Notes POL 161.001

Hailey True

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About this Document

These notes cover the short discussion on Weber during the last week of classes.
Introduction to Political Theory
Jakeet Singh
Class Notes
political, Theory, POL161, max, Weber, violence, Politics, ethics, love, religion
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hailey True on Sunday May 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POL 161.001 at Illinois State University taught by Jakeet Singh in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Political Theory in Political Science at Illinois State University.

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Date Created: 05/01/16
Max Weber  Structure o What does it mean to live a political life o Speculating on the nature of politics o Goes into the question of morality in politics  Beginning o Relationship of politics to violence  Violence is a moral question. Most think the use of violence as morally  wrong or morally questionable  Whether violence can be moral  Combines with the idea that some view violence as essential to  politics o If violence is morally questionable, but necessary for  politics, then what does this mean for the relationship  between morality and politics o Is there an exception in politics o Is politics moral or ethical  Can it be?  Weber says politics is defined by the use of violence  Says this through a definition of state or government o A state is a human community that (successfully) claims  the monopoly of the legitimate use of violence or physical  force within a given territory (78)  A state has a monopoly on the right to use violence  in a given territory  For violence to be acceptable and legitimate, it has  to be done by the government/state.   The only ones to use it correctly  Any other use of violence is a criminal act or an act  of war  The state is considered the sole right to use violence  Plato: also saw government as a body that is  inherently violent  The auxiliary class o Police/military force  Machiavelli: state needs violence  Locke: state inherently violent, realm of force  End of paper o Problem  With the definition of violence, what does that then mean for the question  of ethics of politics  Since politics require violence, what can the relationship be  between ethics and politics o Is it that politics and ethics have nothing to do with one  another o Or is it the reverse; is ethics in politics to be judged as any  other conduct?  can you set one standard of conduct for all? o Weber thinks there must be a different way in judging  ethical behavior in politics  Can you take Christian standard and apply it to  politics? (118)  Especially because Christian principles of  inherent peacefulness; turning the other  cheek o What would that mean for politics? o By Sermon on the Mount …serious  matter…this ethic is no joking  matter… it is all or nothing. This is  meaning of gospel…this command is unconditional (119)  No possible reason for using  violence, no situational  standard for using violence.  You cannot and must not use  violence ever. o Locke: compartmentalizes teaching  of the gospel (the two realms) o Weber: says only saints can abide by the gospel at all times.   For ethics of love, cannot  resist evil by force  However politics must resist  evil by force, or you will be  held responsible for evil  winning. Politicians take this  responsibility seriously.   A different standard is needed for judging whether  political actions (including violent ones) are ethical  or not  Only saints can be and are held to ethics of  non­violence  Two competing ethical standards Lays out  that we have a choice to make (120)      Ethics of ultimate ends  Idea that you leave ultimate  judgement (end) to God and  you seek to do what is right  in the moment.  Ethics of love, passivist  principle, do not want to do  anything that is wrong, only  seek to do what is right and  leave the outcome to God. A  religious maxim (standard)  You should have pure  intentions and only use pure  means  Your duty is to remain pure  Must not strike back when  stricken  Take care of your actions  here and now  Weber finds this ethic  politically naïve and  immature. These people think only good outcomes come  from good means. (which is  Gandhi’s belief), but very  often, good comes from bad  and bad from good. o Ethics of responsibility  You must take responsibility  for the outcomes brought by  your actions and inactions.  (not means, but outcomes)  What politicians do  You must calculate and take  responsibility for the  foreseeable consequences of  your actions (125­126)  In many cases the  achievement of ‘good’ ends  is inseparable from the use of morally dubious or at least  dangerous means.  (Machiavellian) o “demons of politics live in the  tension of God and love”


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