22 Sensational Max Weber Quotes

Max Weber was a German sociologist, philosopher, and political economist known for his influential ideas on social theory and social research. Bringing economic sociology and sociology of religion together, Weber wrote the book, ‘The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.’ Here is a look at some of the most influential Max Weber quotes.

“A fully developed bureaucratic mechanism stands in the same relationship to other forms as does the machine to the non-mechanical production of goods.”

“A government is an institution that holds a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence.”

“All knowledge of cultural reality, as may be seen, is always knowledge from particular points of view.”

“Certainly all historical experience confirms the truth – that man would not have attained the possible unless time and again he had reached out for the impossible.”

“Charisma is the gift from above where a leader knows from inside himself what to do.”

“Either one lives for politics or one lives off politics.”


“Every scientific fulfillment raises new questions; it asks to be surpassed and outdated.”

“In a democracy the people choose a leader in whom they trust. Then the chosen leader says, ‘Now shut up and obey me.’ People and party are then no longer free to interfere in his business.”

“It is not accidental that our greatest art is intimate and not monumental.”

“It is not true that good can only follow from good and evil only from evil, but that often the opposite is true.”

“Man does not by nature wish to earn more and more money.”

“No sociologist should think himself too good, even in his old age, to make tens of thousands of quite trivial computations in his head and perhaps for months at a time.”

“Not everyone realises that to write a really good piece of journalism is at least as demanding intellectually as the achievement of any scholar.”

“Politics means striving to share power or striving to influence the distribution of power, either among states or among groups within a
state.”

“Power is the chance to impose your will within a social context, even when opposed and regardless of the integrity of that chance.”

“Precisely the ultimate and most sublime values have retreated from public life either into the transcendental realm of mystic life or into the brotherliness of direct and personal human relations. ”

“The decisive means for politics is violence.”

“The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the ‘disenchantment of the world.’ ”

“The fully developed bureaucratic apparatus compares with other organisations exactly as does the machine with the non-mechanical modes of production.”

“The organization of ofices follows the principle of hierarchy … each lower office is under the control and supervision of a higher one.”

“The purely emotional form of Pietism is, as Ritschl has pointed out, a religious dilettantism for the leisure class.”

“Whenever known and sufficient causes are available, it is anti-scientific to discard them in favour of a hypothesis that can never be verified.”

Here is a video on the topic of modern capitalism with Max Weber.

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