A Comparison of Marx’s and Weber’s Theory on Class
by Mauricio I. Miranda Jr.
Karl Max’s theory on class essentially is premised on the fundamental principle that human societies are divided into two classes: the bourgeoisie or the ownership class that controls production and the ploretariat or the working class that provides the labor for production. He said that human societies progress through class struggle between these two. He asserted that the system of capitalism or the “dictatorship” of the bourgeoisie is run by the wealthy classes just for their own interests. Eventually, he believed, the capitalist system would self-destruct and replaced by socialism. Under socialism, society will be governed by what he called “the dictatorship of the ploretariat or the working class in a “workers’ state” or a “workers’ democracy”. Eventually, socialism would be replaced by a “stateless” or “classless” society called communism in a process of socio-economic change, the aim of which is the toppling of capitalism through organized revolutionary action.(1) In a communist society, the concept of "..free development of each is the condition for the free development of all". A classless society will take place in which “human needs rather than profit would be motive for production. In a society with democratic control and production for use, there would be no class, no state and no need for money”. (2)
Unlike Marx who viewed social class to be determined by a person’s relationship to the means of production, Weber believed that a person’s social standing is determined by his skills and education. Weber’s brand of social distinction is marked by his three-sided stratification model in which he saw political power as interplay amongst “class”, “status” and “group power”. Marx and Weber though were in the same page when it came to the idea of social stratification, which to both were undesirable. Marx believed that...
References: 1. Craig J. Calhoun (2002). Classical Sociological Theory Wiley-Blackwell.
2. Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrick. “Manifesto of the Communist Party”. Selected
Works. Volume 1; London 1943
3. Jones, Helen (1997). Towards a classless society? Psychology Press. ISBN 978-0-415-15331-7
4. Leander, Anna (2001) “class, Weberian approaches to”. In Jones, R.J. Barry. Routledge Encyclopedia of International Political Economy, Entries A-F. Taylor and Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-24350-6
5. Stark, Rodney (2007). Sociology (Tenth Edition ed.) Thomson Wadsworth
6. Friedman, Milton. Capitalism and freedom. (Chicago): University of Chicago 1962.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document