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Max Weber's Views on Bureaucracy and Democracy

. . economic" (MacRae 37-38). Out of this Weber fashioned a preference for a democracy which would be limited in its powers and its irrational tendencies by a strong bureaucracy. The bureaucracy would limit corruption and would also keep the government from unnecessarily hampering the free market.

For Weber, the nature of the bureaucratic ideal closely resembles what would be a democratic ideal as well in terms of putting in a position of authority the skilled individual who knows his job well and is more concerned with serving others than with serving self. In fact, there are similarities between the hated bureaucratic stereotype and the ideal described by Weber. For example, the stereotype is an individual who dispassionately goes about his business with as little feeling as possible. In fact, this is precisely what Weber sees as the perfect individual bureaucrat in a democracy. A democracy is ideally a system in which all are treated equally without regard to emotion or status. For Weber, the ideal bureaucrat presents

a spirit of formalistic impersonality, . . . without hatred or passion, and hence without affection or enthusiasm. The dominant norms are concepts of straightforward duty without regard to personal considerations. Everyone is subject to formal equality of treatment. . . . The development of bureaucracy greatly favors the levelling of social classes (Weber Theory 340).

Weber's tendency toward a desire for control, order and rationality leads him to accept forces in democracy which democratic purists would criticize or even try to eliminate. As Gerth and Mills write,

the key focus of Weber's experience of America was upon the role of bureaucracy in a democracy. He saw that 'machine politics' were indispensable in modern 'mass democracy,' unless a 'leaderless democracy' and a confusion of tongues were to prevail. Machine politics, however, mean the management of politics by professionals. . . . The whole pro...

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Max Weber's Views on Bureaucracy and Democracy. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:52, September 19, 2017, from
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