Max Webber is feted as a scholar and choreographer of socio-political ideology in Germany. Born of an affluent family in Germany, he scaled to heights in law writing several publications including the Habilitationsschrif. His controversial publications and popularity would cause his appointment to his appointment in a Freiburg University in 1894 and subsequent professorship. He also participated in journalism at the Archiv für Sozialwissenschaften und Sozialpolitik transforming it to a leading social science journal (Stanford Centre for Study of Language and Information, 2007). In the period preceding worlr war 1 he was at the helm of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie
Webber began as an ardent supporter of war but changed into a government critic. He took issue with Kaiser government policies and wrote insights of journalistic nature against Foreign Policies including the Belgian annexation policy and the economic implications of war. Among other reforms, he championed for democracy and a constitution for Germany. Though his leftist and anti government stances bore little fruit in constitutional reforms and his bid at parliament failed (Beetham, 1989). Webber was a scholar of Labandian legal positivism but subscribed to the Neo Kantian dichotomy of realism that vouched for self-awareness in the people that gave rise to fascism in Germany. Through interactions with Kant’s philosophy he got a deeper understanding of political philosophies, social freedoms and the disadvantages of Utilitarianism (Beetham, 1989). In science he insisted that emphasis should be laid on the origins and procedures involved in getting to outcomes rather then draw conclusions based on the results. This he coined as the basis of objective understanding of causality. He believed that social evil was caused by innate rot within the government.
In his idea of reality Webber believed that:
Scientific practice should always be governed by intellectualism, which should strive to eliminate unproven, and mythical knowledge in the form of myths and witchcraft associated with religion, and metaphysics.
Science has led to the Objectification of society in industrial capitalism, where people are seen as tools or mere numbers in accounting books.
Scientific knowledge has made life easier through inventions but eroded the basic fabric of life, socialization.
(Stanford Centre for Study of Language and Information, 2007)
Webber sought to address issues relating to freedom and autonomy with reference to politics and science. On one end he developed pessimism towards rationality and interrogated science and politics that in a way he knew would fix his current quagmire and those, which were to come in the future (Beetham, 1989). His unrelenting efforts towards demystifying social character and emancipation from bureaucracies laid base for the political changes and reforms experienced in Europe in the 20th Century.
Beetham, D. (1989). Max Weber and the Liberal Political Tradition. European Journal of Sociology , 30, 311-323.
Stanford Centre for Study of Language and Information. (2007, 08 24). Webber. (The Metaphysics Research Lab,) Retrieved from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/weber/