Despite their undeniable differences, Marx and Weber have much in common in their appraisals of modern capitalism: they share a vision of the capitalist economic system as a universe where “individuals are directed by abstractions,” (Marx), where impersonal relations and objects [Versachlicht] replace personal relations of dependence, and where the accumulation of capital becomes an end in itself and, by and large, irrational. Their analysis of capitalism is inseparable from a critical posture—explicit in Marx, more ambivalent in Weber. But the content and inspiration of the critique are very different. And, whereas Marx banks on the possibility of overthrowing capitalism by workers of socialist persuasion, Weber is a fatalistic and resigned observer to the mode of production and administration that seem to him to be inevitable.
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