philosophy

Read George Fitzhugh, Sociology for the South (1854). Write a short essay (400-600 words) describing how they relate to the reading by Max Weber on “The Distribution of Power within the Community: Classes, Stände, Parties.” Among the themes you should address are the following:
How could the chapter you choose help us illustrate the distinction that Weber makes between classes and Stände (or status groups)?
How does the author understand the link between the economic relations among people in the economic order, on the one hand, and the social relations among people and their status positions in the social order? What, in other words, is the link between one’s economic position and one’s social position? Use Weber’s terminology to describe the view of the author.
What do you think characterizes the author’s views about the role of the market in their preferred social order? Does the market play a positive or a negative role in relation to their vision of the good in collective life? [For this question, you might want to pay attention to the section in Weber’s “Distribution of Power” chapter where he talks about the interaction between status group stratification and market relations (especially paragraphs 54 to 66).]

Distribution of Power
[54] The frequent disqualification of the gainfully employed [membership in privileged Stand] is a direct result of the principle of social order within the Stand. Furthermore it is also a result of its opposition to the principle that power is regulated exclusively through the economic market. There are other individual reasons alongside these two main ones. Those will be given further along. We have seen above that the market and its economic processes do not know ‘personal reputation’; only business-like ‘functional’ interests that dominate the market.
[55] The market knows no ‘honor’ or ‘prestige,’ but the reverse is true for the Stand. Stratification and privileges in terms of honor and of lifestyles are inherent to each Stand and as such it is threatened to its very roots by the market.
[56] Mere economic acquisition and naked economic power that still bear the stigma from their origin outside the Stand could bestow the same honor to anyone who is interested in Stände by virtue of lifestyle. This especially holds true when property is added to the same honor through Stände. It would even be possible for the added honor created through economic acquisition to bring greater honor to the members of the Stand than they could establish through their lifestyle.
[57] Yet if simple economic acquisition and power by themselves gave any honor at all, the wealth would result in the agent attaining more honor than those who successfully claim honor simply by virtue of lifestyle. In this context, all groups interested in the Stände order react with special sharpness against the pretensions of purely economic acquisition
because, again, it threatens the Stand at its roots. In most cases they react more vigorously the more they themselves feel threatened. […]
[59] The privileged Stände groups never accept the ‘newly arrived neophyte’ personally and unreservedly, even if he has adapted without reservation his lifestyle to theirs. The privileged Stände groups only accept their descendants who were raised [from birth] in the conventions of their Stände group, and who never compromised their honor by participating in economic labor.
[60] Accordingly and predictably there is only one way the Stände stratification works: it restrains the free development of the market. First, the development of the market is hindered by the goods the Stände withdraw directly from free exchange through monopolization. This can be done by a law or a conventional means of monopolization. Examples are the inherited estates in many Hellenistic towns during the specific epoch of these Stände, and originally also in Rome (as the law for incapacitation for debtors shows). It also happened where the inherited estates were monopolized first as well as the estates of knights, farmers, monasteries, and especially the clientele of the trade-business and merchant guilds.
[61] So the Stände restrict the free market, and the power of naked property per se is pushed back, giving future class formation a distinctive stamp. The results of this process vary. Of course, they do not necessarily soften the contrasts in the economic situation; indeed often it is quite the opposite. In any case, one cannot speak of an actually free market competition as we know it today wherever the Stände organization permeates a community as strongly as they did in all political communities of Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
[62] But even more far-reaching than the direct exclusion of certain goods from the market are the conflicting relationship between Stände and the economic order. From this conflicting relationship it follows that in most instances the notion of honor peculiar to the Stand absolutely abhors the haggling which is essential to the market. In particular, honor abhors haggling between members of the same Stand, and also haggling is taboo for members of Stände in general. Therefore there are Stände everywhere, usually the most influential, for which any straightforward participation in acquisition through market activity is per se stigmatized.
[63] So with some oversimplification one can summarize: ‘Classes’ are stratified according to the relations to production and acquisition of goods, ‘Stände’ are stratified according to the principles of their consumption of goods as represented by specific ‘ lifestyles’.
[64] Also, each occupation is a Stand. This kind of Stand normally assumes the social ‘honor’ by virtue of a specific ‘lifestyle,’ which is established by the occupation.. Classes and Stände are different but at the same time they blend and certainly often overlap.
Especially those Stände communities who are strictly segregated in terms of ‘honor,’ like the Indian castes, show today a relatively high degree of indifference to pecuniary income, although within very rigid limits. However, the Brahmins seek such income by many different means [besides activity within the marketplaces].
[65] So only a general statement can be made regarding the basic economic conditions for the predominant structuring emergence of Stände stratification.. This general statement is about a relatively stable base for the acquisition and distribution of goods needed for Stände stratification to be favored. Destabilization by technical and economic change, and upheaval, however, can threaten the Stand stratification by pushing the ‘class situation’ into the foreground.
[66] Eras and countries in which the naked class situation is of predominant significance are normally the periods of technological and economic transformations; whereas every slowing down of an economic shifting process in a short time leads to the awakening of the Stand culture. As a result, the significance of social ‘honor’ is re-established.

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