Discuss in detail, from the Manifesto of the Communist Party how the social relations of production will become a fetter or obstacle to the continued development of the means of production. Make sure to use specific quotes from the Manifesto to support your discussion.
According to the concept of social relations, means of production can be privately or publicly owned depending on the order established in a society. For Marx and Engels (1848), capitalistic structure suggests concentration of means of production at the hands of bourgeoisie and continuous exploitation of working class while socialism presupposes public ownership of the means of production and imposition of restrictions on free trade.
Thus, the idea of the capitalistic mode of production comprises the crisis of overproduction because of availability of free trade. The crisis could be met “by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces” or “by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones” (Marx and Engels, n. pag.). The development of productive forces goes on till the moment “they have become too powerful for these conditions, by which they are fettered, and so soon as they overcome these fetters, they bring disorder into the whole of bourgeois society, endanger the existence of bourgeois property” (Marx and Engels, n. pag.).
Herewith, the drivers of capitalist production (free competition, social and political constitution become fetters at one time and “the weapons with which the bourgeoisie felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoisie itself” (Marx and Engels, n. pag.).
Discuss the various forms of suicide defined by Durkheim. Explain why Durkheim's work Suicide is significant for the discipline of sociology as a whole.
In his Suicide Durkheim marked out four types of suicide, namely: egoistic, altruistic, anomic and fatalistic suicide. The general course of committing egoistic suicide is a failure to be integrated into a community, apathy, depression or loss of life meaning. Egoistic suicide can result from excessive individualization which makes an individual feel detached from the rest of a society. For example, unmarried people are more predisposed to committing this type of suicide (Appelrouth and Desfor, 2008).
Altruistic suicide happens when a person is overwhelmed by a group’s beliefs and goals. It occurs more often in highly integrated societies where the interests of a group prevail over the individual interests. This type of suicide is diametrically opposite to the egoistic type. Therefore, the probability of committing altruistic suicides is nullified in an altruistic society. A solder serving in the army who is supposed to be killed in behalf of society can be an example of altruistic suicide (Kivisto, 2010).
Anomic suicide is a result of moral deregulation. It can be conditioned by absence of social direction or moral confusion causing economic social upheaval. Also, this type of suicide can be caused by inability of economic development or by extreme fluctuations in wealth. In whole, the reason for committing anomic suicide is absence of new life expectations when preceding expectations came true or did not come true. For example, gain in the lottery.
Fatalistic suicide can be committed when a person experiences excessive control. It is opposed to anomic suicide. This type of suicide often occurs in oppressive societies which are subject to a certain regime (Kivisto, 2010). Fatalistic suicide is a kind of protest against existing social order. For example, fatalistic suicides were common in Soviet Union society under Stalin regime.
Durkheim had significantly contributed to the explanation of social conditions causing suicide. Also, his work helps to judge about socio-psychological health of a nation. His ideas helped to understand the mistakes that were made in a society regulation leading to fatal consequences and improve the situation (Appelrouth and Desfor, 2008).
According to Weber, what role did the calling and outward signs of grace play in the development of capitalism? Once it was firmly established, what effect did capitalism have on these religious ideas?
Weber persuasions regarding capitalism and religion were based on the following inferences: Protestant religions encouraged believers to diligently follow their secular vocation and accumulate money forbidding waste of money including donations (Appelrouth and Desfor, 2008).
Thus, Weber developed the concept of rationalization which was the foundation for ideas of capitalism. For Weber, modern capitalism arose from religious pursuit of wealth giving the way to Calvinism, a new religious movement which replaced preceding Protestantism. Obviously, rationale of Calvinism informed the spirit of capitalism (Kivisto, 2010).
Further, in the process of rationalization the clergy established the systematized rules that were supposed to be observed by the members of communities. The systematizations developed by the priests were the foundation for ethical standards and legislation in a society. Then, these systems were developed into bureaucracies that supported social stabilization, contemporary distribution of goods in a state and the maintenance of cultural symbols (Kivisto, 2010).
The spirit of capitalism inherent in Western culture needed religious support because newly-made entrepreneurs were not able to change the economic order existed in those days. There was a need in impetus for further development of capitalism. Therefore, influenced by capitalist ideas, priests propagated asceticism and hard work in the masses, so the capitalism could establish itself as a new system (Appelrouth and Desfor, 2008).
Compare and contrast Weber's types of legitimate domination. Discuss specifically each type's strengths and weaknesses. Be sure to provide contemporary concrete examples of each type.
Traditional authority is readily accepted authority based on set traditions or customs (Appelrouth and Desfor, 2008). Traditional authority can be met in African tribes. They are also represented in monarchies of Great Britain and Monaco. According to Weber, traditional authority is routine and subject to economic concerns as opposed to charismatic authority. The weakness of traditional authority is that it can hamper the progress in a society.
Charismatic authority possessed by the individuals who enjoy trust and respect of other member of a society (Appelrouth and Desfor, 2008). This type of authority can be exercised both in large or small groups. Charisma of Dalai Lama, Indira Gandhi, Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin can be examples of such an authority. As opposed to other types of authorities, charismatic authority is characterized by excessive indifference to anything that is happening around. Charismatic leader is a revolutionary by nature if compared to a traditional or a rational-legal leader. The strength of this type of authority is that it is an evidence of leadership talent (Kivisto, 2010).
Rational-legal authority is usually held by the person in authority. It is stipulated by certain procedures and rules within an organization (Kivisto, 2010). Rational-legal authority is associated with political leaders (political party leaders, presidents, ministers) and bureaucratic officials (judges) (Appelrouth and Desfor, 2008). The main weakness of rational-legal authority is that it gives unlimited power to those who exercise it that may be a cause of misuse of authority.
Discuss Weber's essay on bureaucracy. Explain the negative and positive attributes of this system. Also explain its role in Weber's concept of iron cage.
Weber called the rational-legal type of authority a bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is characterized by the following distinctive features: formal hierarchical structure, management by rules, technical competence of the personnel, and application for written documents in every process. Weber outlined the following positive attributes of bureaucracy: it is logically relevant and rational; it is supported by qualified specialists; the hierarchy of this model is stable. Bureaucracy is based on the individuals’ responsibilities and roles rather than on the overall performance of an organization. It usually experiences the lack of flexibility in the situations when quick respond is required by the business environment (Kivisto, 2010).
Weber developed his theory of rationalism when there was a switch from Protestant to Calvinist ideology. Under Calvinist ideology, people were supposed to work hard to earn money striving for material success represented as the purpose in life. Promotion of such a style of life created a huge problem – people were imprisoned in a cage not having the opportunity to escape. This virtual cage was called the iron cage by Weber meaning moral captivity from the ideas imposed by the state and religion. People were not able to control their lives anymore since there were no an option not to be a part of this system. People are seen as money-making machines which became the slaves of the system, just like locked in a cage (Appelrouth and Desfor, 2008).
Appelrouth, S.A. and Desfor Edles L.D. (2008). Classical and contemporary sociological theory: text and readings. Thousand Oaks, California: Pine Forge Publishers.
Kivisto, P.J. (2010). Illuminating social life: classical and contemporary theory. Thousand Oaks, California: Pine Forge Publishers.
Marx, K. and Engels, F. (1848). Manifesto of the Communist Party. Retrieved from