Thursday, February 5, 2009

How Weber's theory on bureaucracy shades Marx's ideas

In Weber's writings on bureaucracy, he writes about how bureaucracy is very difficult to change, and that "where administration has been completely bureaucratized, the resulting system of domination is practically indestructible." (Weber, Bureaucracy)

Because social systems are a form of bureaucratic administration, any social system put in place makes overall change harder to enact. Because of this, any imperfect form of socialism put in place will be nearly or perhaps completely impossible to change without a total failure of the system itself.

Socialism, therefore, can only be successfully implemented in one single motion; the entire system must be set up basically overnight before the system congeals, so to speak. It also will not be able to change in response to new situations once the system has been formed.

Based on this rationale, is a true socialistic system even possible? I have heard it said that we have never seen true communism, and that the communism of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, are imperfect expressions of communism. But perhaps true communism is not possible, and all that is possible are imperfect systems that cannot then be improved upon?

1 comment:

  1. I think Weber would agree. He was even more afraid of socialism than he was of capitalism. He feared that it would be even more bureaucratic and thus more 'iron cage-like.'