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“Politics is a strong and slow boring of hard boards. It takes both passion and perspective. 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. But to do that a man must be a leader, and not only a leader but a hero as well, in a very sober sense of the word. And even those who are neither leaders nor heroes must arm themselves with that steadfastness of heart which can brave even the crumbling of all hopes. This is necessary right now, or else men will not be able to attain even that which is possible today.”
Max Weber
“specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved.”
Weber Max, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
“It is horrible to think that the world could one day be filled with nothing but those little cogs, little men clinging to little jobs and striving towards bigger ones - a state of affairs which is to be seen once more, as in the Egyptian records, playing an ever-increasing part in the spirit of our present administrative system, and especially of its offspring, the students. This passion for bureaucracy ... is enough to drive one to despair. It is as if in politics ... we were deliberately to become men who need "order" and nothing but order, become nervous and cowardly if for one moment this order wavers, and helpless if they are torn away from their total incorporation in it. That the world should know no men but these: it is such an evolution that we are already caught up, and the great question is, therefore, not how we can promote and hasten it, but what can we oppose to this machinery in order to keep a portion of mankind free from this parcelling-out of the soul, from this supreme mastery of the bureaucratic way of life.”
Max Weber
“it is not true that good can follow only from good and evil only from evil, but that often the opposite is true. Anyone who fails to see this is, indeed, a political infant.”
Max Weber, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology
“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.”
Max Weber, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology
“It is true that the path of human destiny cannot but appal him who surveys a section of it. But he will do well to keep his small personal commentarie to himself, as one does at the sight of the sea or of majestic mountains, unless he knows himself to be called and gifted to give them expression in artistic or prophetic form. In most other cases, the voluminous talk about intuition does nothing but conceal a lack of perspective toward the object, which merits the same judgement as a similar lack of perspective toward men.”
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and Other Writings
“The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the disenchantment of the world.”
Max Weber
“The fate of an epoch that has eaten of the tree of knowledge is that it must...recognize that general views of life and the universe can never be the products of increasing empirical knowledge, and that the highest ideals, which move us most forcefully, are always formed only in the struggle with other ideals which are just as sacred to others as ours are to us.”
Max Weber
“Calvinist believers were psychologically isolated. Their distance from God could only be precariously bridged, and their inner tensions only partially relieved, by unstinting, purposeful labor.”
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the "Spirit" of Capitalism
“The ultimately possible attitudes toward life are irreconcilable, and hence their struggle can never be brought to a final conclusion.”
Max Weber, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology
“spirit of capitalism is best understood as part of the development of rationalism as a whole,”
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
“It's the intellectual who transforms the concept of the world into the problem of meaning.”
Max Weber, The Sociology of Religion
“In the midst of a culture that is rationally organized for a vocational workaday life, there is hardly any room for the cultivation of acosmic brotherliness, unless it is among strata who are economically carefree. Under the technical and social conditions of rational culture, an imitation of the life of Buddha, Jesus, or Francis seems condemned to failure for purely external reasons.”
Max Weber, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology
“No sociologist, for instance, 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.”
Max Weber, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology
“The purely emotional form of Pietism is, as Ritschl has pointed out, a religious dilettantism for the leisure class.”
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
“Denn nichts ist für den Menschen als Menschen etwas wert, was er nicht mit Leidenschaft tun kann.”
Max Weber, 2 Vorträge: Wissenschaft als Beruf + Politik als Beruf
“Únicamente quien está seguro de no doblegarse cuando, desde su punto de vista, el mundo se muestra demasiado necio o demasiado abyecto para aquello que él está ofreciéndole; únicamente quien, ante todas estas adversidades, es capaz de oponer un "sin embargo"; únicamente un hombre constituido de esta manera podrá demostrar su "vocación para la política".”
Max Weber, The Vocation Lectures: Science as a Vocation/Politics as a Vocation
“The fortunate man is seldom satisfied with the fact of being fortunate, beyond this he needs to know that he has a right to his good fortune. He wants to be convinced he deserves it and above all that he deserves it in comparison with others. Good fortune, thus wants to be legitimate fortune.”
Max Weber
“...the ultimately possible attitudes toward life are irreconcilable, and hence their struggle can never be brought to a final conclusion. Thus it is necessary to make a decisive choice. Whether, under such conditions, science is a worth while 'vocation' for somebody, and whether science itself has an objectively valuable 'vocation' are again value judgments about which nothing can be said in the lecture-room. To affirm the value of science is a presupposition for teaching there. I personally by my very work answer in the affirmative, and I also do so from precisely the standpoint that hates intellectualism as the worst devil, as youth does today, or usually only fancies it does. In that case the word holds for these youths: 'Mind you, the devil is old; grow old to understand him.' This does not mean age in the sense of the birth certificate. It means that if one wishes to settle with this devil, one must not take flight before him as so many like to do nowadays. First of all, one has to see the devil's ways to the end in order to realize his power and his limitations.”
Max Weber, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology
“The process of sanctifying life could thus almost take on the character of a business enterprise. ”
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
“Remember, that money is of the prolific, generating nature. Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on.”
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
“The intellect, like all cultural values, has created an aristocracy based on the possession of rational culture and independent of all personal ethical qualities of man. The aristocracy of intellect is hence an unbrotherly aristocracy.”
Max Weber
“Beware of thinking all your own that you possess, and of living accordingly. It is a mistake that many people who have credit fall into.”
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
“No one knows who will live in this cage in the future, or whether at the end of this tremendous development entirely new prophets will arise, or there will be a great rebirth of old ideas and ideals, or, if neither, mechanized petrifaction, embellished with a sort of convulsive self-importance. For of the last stage of this cultural development, it might well be truly said: 'Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilization never before achieved.”
Max Weber
“The ability of mental concentration, as well as the absolutely essential feeling of obligation  to one’s job, are here most often combined with a strict economy which calculates the possibility of high earnings, and a cool self-control and frugality which enormously increase performance.”
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
“Há duas maneiras de fazer política. Ou se vive 'para' a política ou se vive 'da' política. Nessa oposição não há nada de exclusivo. Muito ao contrário, em geral se fazem uma e outra coisa ao mesmo tempo, tanto idealmente quanto na prática”
Max Weber
“... Whenever the man of science introduces his personal value judgment, a full understanding of the facts ceases.”
Max Weber
“As intellectualism suppresses belief in magic, the world's processes become disenchanted, lose the magical significance, and henceforth simply 'are' and 'happen' but no longer signify anything.”
max weber
“Low wages fail even from a purely business point of view wherever it is a question of producing goods which require any sort of skilled labour, or the use of expensive machinery which is easily damaged, or in general wherever any great amount of sharp attention or of initiative is required. Here low wages do not pay, and their effect is the opposite of what was intended. For not only is a developed sense of responsibility absolutely indispensable, but in general also an attitude which, at least during working hours, is freed from continual calculations of how the customary wage may be earned with a maximum of comfort and a minimum of exertion. Labour must, on the contrary, be performed as if it were an absolute end in itself, a calling. But such an attitude is by no means a product of nature. It cannot be evoked by low wages or high ones alone, but can only be the product of a long and arduous process of education.”
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
“The idea that modern labour has an ascetic character is of course not new. Limitation to specialized work, with a renunciation of the Faustian universality of man which it involves, is a condition of any valuable work in the modern world; hence deeds and renunciation inevitably condition each other to-day. This fundamentally ascetic trait of middle-class life, if it attempts to be a way of life at all, and not simply the absence of any, was what Goethe wanted to teach, at the height of his wisdom, in the Wanderjahren, and in the end which he gave to the life of his Faust. For him the realization meant a renunciation, a departure from an age of full and beautiful humanity, which can no more be repeated in the course of our cultural development than can the flower of the Athenian culture of antiquity.”
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

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