Both Carl Marx and Max Weber wrote extensively on capitalism, its origins, and its future. Although, they agreed on a few very small points, for the main part, they strongly disagreed. Only through the analysis of their main differences in the two ideologies can a stronger and broader understanding of capitalism be reached. Marx believed strongly in what he called dialectical materialism, that is, that everything is material and that change takes place through the struggle between classes. He believed that men make their own history and transform their natural habitat to fit their changing needs. Men begin to distinguish themselves from animals as soon as they begin to produce their means of subsistence. . . In producing their means of subsistence men indirectly produce their actually material life. Throughout history men transform nature to make it better serve their own purposes. According to Marx, all societies go through five stages of history and capitalism is simply a necessary stage between feudalism and the final step of communism. The way in which men create their social organization is based on modes of production. Changes within these societies occur because as the mode of production changes, it no longer fits the present social organization (p. 157). Therefore, a new class and hence a new form of society emerges. During Feudalism merchants were inferior. Nevertheless, as cities grew the number of merchants grew as well. With their increase in number came an increase in economic power. When the state was unwilling to change to their needs, they formed a revolution resulting in capitalism. Weber has a different perspective on why and how capitalism came about. Rather than just focusing on how capitalism came about, he focuses on finding an answer to the question of why capitalism happened where and when it did. When he looked for differences in the capitalist cultures and non-capitalist cultur…
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