John Keane | Read an Excerpt
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Read an Excerpt

Excerpts: Public Life and Late Capitalism

Excerpt from Chapter 2: The Legacy of Max Weber, pp. 30-69

Bureaucracy: the organizing principle of modern life

To speak about bureaucracy, as many nowadays love to do, is to engage the
central concern of Max Weber. Preoccupied with understanding the distinctively
individual or unique character of the present historical phase,l Weber was convinced
that modern bourgeois reality is marked by an unprecedented “passion
for bureaucracy.” In no previous country or historical period has existence come
to be so absolutely confined within calculating, rationalized forms of organization.
Their scope and influence tend to become universal. Everywhere houses
of bureaucratic serfdom are being constructed and finished; the advance of
bureaucracy seems irreversible. Click here to continue reading (PDF)