Reading Guide 8: Max Weber

Abstract
Max Weber (1864-1920) was a German academic, a liberal, but a liberal of the Kaiser's Germany: a nationalist, an anti-Socialist (i.e. an anti-Marxist), a Prussian reserve officer. In an autobiographical passage he says, "The usual training for haughty aggression in the duelling fraternity [at university] and as an officer had undoubtedly had a strong influence upon me", GM, p.7. According to the editor's introduction in GM, "The concept of the nation and of national interest... is the limit of Weber's political outlook and... constitutes his ultimate value", ibid. p.48--i.e. the survival needs of Germany would over-ride any moral restriction. Weber was active in politics as a National Liberal, in opposition to both conservatives and socialists. He was contemptuous of the Kaiser, but supported certain annexationist war aims in World War I.
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