Max Weber 's Politics As A Vocation And Hannah Arendt 's The Promise Of Politics

838 Words Sep 7th, 2016 4 Pages
Within Max Weber’s Politics as a Vocation and Hannah Arendt’s The Promise of Politics, one can find both parallels and contrasts in the respective authors’ conceptions of politics, both in modern and ancient times. In examining Weber and Arendt’s perspectives on the legitimacy of politics and violence in the eyes of the citizens it seeks to control and the connection of politics to freedom, one is exposed to the similarities and stark differences apparent in 20th century political thinkers. In Politics as a Vocation, Weber discusses politics in the sense of the politics of a state, and therein defines the state as having a “monopoly of legitimate physical violence within a particular territory” (Weber 33). Weber states that this monopoly on force, and the fear it instills in the state’s people, is what legitimizes the government, and therefore the concept of politics. In his eyes, the fear of the government and the hope of a reward are what enable the government to continue its and politics’ existence. Arendt, on the contrary, does not examine politics through the window of a state, instead viewing it from the perspective of a societal process, one she describes as “the coexistence and association of different men”, what was in the ancient Greece polis a means for equal and free men to gather, in households a way in which the patriarch justified his power, and nowadays finds its connection with modern governments (Arendt 93). While Weber utilizes force as the source of…

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