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Weimar ThoughtA Contested Legacy$
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Peter E. Gordon and John P. McCormick

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691135106

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691135106.001.0001

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The Legacy of Max Weber in Weimar Political and Social Theory

The Legacy of Max Weber in Weimar Political and Social Theory

(p.73) 4 The Legacy of Max Weber in Weimar Political and Social Theory
Weimar Thought

Dana Villa

Princeton University Press

This chapter dissociates Max Weber's thought not only from a radical “student” of Weber's like Schmitt, who would eventually embrace Hitler, but also from his much more intimate protégé, Georg Lukács, who would become almost equally notorious for endorsing Stalin. It begins by laying out the basics of Weber's theoretical and political positions, the better to assess the view that he was an unwitting godfather of Weimar anti-liberalism and political radicalism. It then discusses specific continuities and discontinuities between Weber and Schmitt and Weber and Luckács. It argues that the discontinuities far outweigh the supposedly damning continuities. While Schmitt and Lukács undoubtedly learned much from Weber, their theoretical, practical, and moral positions are irreconcilable with his, for reasons which are both clear and substantial. There is, in other words, no “slippery slope” that leads from Weber to the unbound (and often unprincipled) positions of either Schmitt or Lukács.

Keywords:   Max Weber, anti-liberalism, Carl Schmitt, Georgr Lukács, Weimar Republic

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