Marx And Weber – A Comparison

Karl Marx and Max Weber are two of the greatest names not just in the economy but also in philosophy. They spoke of various elements that shed significant light on the way they thought and perceived the world around. Following is a very brief insight to how the theories introduced by the two varied in understanding and content. The basis of their theories was because of the flawed democratic system. They evolved as sociologists and introduced their theories to the world as to why the idea of social inequality exists in a system. Though the two theorists differed in point of view, many of their beliefs on equality are quite similar.

Following is a brief comparison of the two theorists:

Karl Marx

Marx looked at society in two distinct classes. These classes are distinctly divided into skilled labor, managers and ultimately shopkeepers. He interlinked the concept of class division with capitalism and also socialism. According to Marx the class differences were very deeply rooted in the economic system. Because he believed that the upper classes privately ran the system, the class difference was more prominent. This is why the rich continued to get richer and the poor poorer. He believed that the class system was greatly influenced by a lot of exploitation that made businessmen rich and the labor class the struggling hand to mouth class.

Max Weber

Weber’s main focus was class. He believed that with each century, the concept of class that runs through each individual would drastically gain magnitude and importance. He believed that man’s survival within a society was directly influenced by various things, most importantly his interaction with the society based on his monthly salary. He believed that a person’s job and ultimately his income was what determined how he responded to the stimuli around him. He believed that the following markets determined human socio-economic behavior:

  1. Money
  2. Commodity and
  3. Labor

Hence, the concept of class division was the mere product of how the three markets mentioned above influenced the lives of an individual. He concluded, that the only reason one person belonged to a certain class and another one to another was because of their economic status and nothing else.

According to the two theorists, the concept of classes could not be identified in terms of a person’s but by the way one interacts with more socio—economic factors such as profit based income and their job.