Free Weber and Foucault on Discipline and Modernity Essay Sample

Weber observed that the factory disciplined that was then present had extended to capitalism beyond simple economic expropriation. He argued that just as the soldier is forced into the trench because he doesn’t control the ‘means of destruction and maintenance’, so does the capitalist owner of the means of production forces the workers into mines and factories. This all important economic aspect: the ‘separation’ of the worker from the materials 'means of performance and methods, destruction of produce, administration of the practices, educational research and finance as a whole is the pillar and driver of the state, In the way that a country is governed or is to be governed in its political character, cultural practices and the military wing, are also in concert with the structure of a private capitalist economy'.

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This topic also shed light on the propagation of modernity via administration. These are the principles behind which modernity is founded. The bureaucratic organization manifested by an organ of the state and the status of a capitalist enterprise in are the grounds that provide support to operations of these organs. Examination of a process like calculation indicates that all these factors require the expropriation of the worker from the ways of physical and mental assembly. With no existence of a common basis, it would be difficult to guarantee discipline and to secure it, because the worker is naturally seen to prefer laxity.
This form of argument is still manifested in today's world of business. It could be dabated upon that the issue of having to separate the worker has, to be within the context of laid out debates about the concept of the mode of production which has to be backed by legal conditions of existence. It needs be understood that for the whole idea and argument on this discipline and modernity to exist, the above mentioned factors have to be in play. By having a legal framework within which the capitalist exists, there is a form of obligation on the parties involved following the law. Adherence to the laid out issues and debate on them is a regulatory channel for reinforcing them. No enterprise would be functional and successful with the absence of discipline. Before any law can be drafted and considered for enactment, there is a thorough process of ensuring its legitimacy. Laws is made to fix situations or make the conduct of certain operations possible and flow smoothly. If compliance with legal norms is based on a set of beliefs concerned with their legitimacy, then criticisms of Weber’s idea and the notion on subjectivism and individualism of interpretative sociology, would be valid. This concept, subjectivism and individualism, liquidate the objective constraints of social interactions and certain probabilities of social action. There is sufficient detail and evidence from Weber’s line of thought on law to support such criticism. Though Weber has to some extent been similar to Stammler’s idea on the law, he has avoided the idea that law is a normative compliance in favor of empirical regularities. Weber’s argument and definition was that a scientific definition of law could not be in sync with the idea that the legality and existence of law was depended on the matter of substantive justice. Weber’s idea can be reflected in today’s democracies and laws which heavily lean to his line of thought.
 The modernity that we know today and the concept around it has been a result of change in laws that have in effect changed the way things are done. Everything is done according to law and laid out procedures that determine how a process will take part and in what order. The Law being in continuous metamorphosis is dynamic. What we do now, and could not have done in the last century has been as a result of the laws that governed these actions being changed. A good example of this is the end of the slave trade in the United States when Abraham Lincoln was president. In the 1700s and early 1800s, slave trade was a legitimate business because the law allowed it. In the modern world, slave trade has no place and its suggestion would be seen as a gross violation of human rights. In this line of thought for any statemt to be called a ‘law’ it will require external guarantee. The guarantee is vested in associations and people in authority as the guardians and of the law. This is on the probability that physical coercion will be applied, where need be, by a group of authorised officials in order to enable compliance. This is the basis on which arms of government like the armed forces, civilian police and the judiciary are founded. No state can function, even if it had the best laws in the world without a police force to ensure compliance with the law. Thus were natural to collapse, the possibility of the legal procedures failing and with no compliance, the whole order would just be a part system of absolute values which when grounded are futile. This observation and the result are what Weber defined law as a set of do's and dont's or the command line supported by moderated violence.
Discipline, and to extension, organized domination requires simply that human conduct be conditioned by obedience. Without this conditioning, there would be a complete breakdown of law and gross violations of the law would be rampant. Going contrary to law is thus regarded as indiscipline and punishment with regulated force is then necessary. Laws is the commands that guard everyday life and must be adhered to by the general population and be preferred. Any law that lacks wide support or a national appeal would be seen to bring or cause distress among the parties involved. Law as a normal legal structure with list of commands provides the capitalist with the means of conducting businesses. Some of the issues that make work possible for the capitalist as a result of the presence of law are exchange stability, administrative continuity, and legal aid for the separation of the worker from the means of production. It can be suggested, therefore, that Weber had the following factors as the fountain of domination: coercive power or the ability to force an individual or a group of persons to do something, boundaries and limits of mutual interest, and the legitimacy sense, which invokes the idea and the notion that the transaction being done is legal. Thus there must be, as far as the law is of concern, a framework in legal procedure that brings about the sense of justice in legal precedent.
The legality provided by the law inhibits any form of protest from the subjects in that the law is taken and viewed as safeguarding their interests. The legality of an order in the state was at first seen as being vested in a leader who had to have certain qualities to deserve this honor. This is the basis for which monarchies were established and where the throne had the power to issue an order and decrees. This was however decisions that were sometimes not viewed as being positive to a majority of the population then. The power of nations today does not rest in its leader but in its constitution which mandates the leaders of the specific countries to make given laws to achieve given and outlined objectives for the people. With this idea in mind, we can say that Weber viewed and tackled the problem of capitalist integration by exploring a specific question: how can discipline be guaranteed where there are no super-naturalist presuppositions? For Weber, the disciplines and the model of the monastery as a whole provided the blueprint and road map for discipline in the factory. The scope and coverage of disciplinary procedures and ethics came into prominence with the growth of administrative rationality in the armed forces, the scientific society and above all in the authority of the state. These procedures which moderated conduct provided the basics for the spirit of capitalism which is ‘exact precision’. The degree of human performance, as is clearly shown for example by double-entry accounting and general book keeping, legal codification and examination systems, became an important factor of the rational administration in the society. In floating the idea that we can view Weber’s sociology of rational and somber conduct in terms of a history of disciplinary procedures which govern the body within the workplace, the school, the battlefield and the office, the argument tries to arrive at the conclusion that indicates certain points of interaction with the analysis of power/knowledge by Michael Foucault. In the studies that Foucault conducted of asylum, the clinic or hospital and the prison, he has attempted to show the development of systematic knowledge as being always part of or joined to the relationship on the amount of power and the efficiency of the disciplinary body. There is a linear relationship between Weber on rational disciplines and the studies conducted by Foucault on ‘practices’ in Foucault’s study of the origin and the roots of the prison, where procedure outline of monastic discipline gives way for anticipation of the modalities of conduct which have stood out as the defining features of secular installations as the classroom, workshop and the hospital. The all-inclusive title for these methods of control is ‘panopticism’, the idea and the way of which one is able to survey and control of docile and useful bodies.
Since its inception, the Foucauldian philosophy has largely been treated as basically a poststructuralist input to epistemology and the archived historical ideas, this focus on the ails of discourse in Foucault’s first studies of the archaeology of knowledge have had the effect of neglecting his effort and investment in sociology arena on institutional disciplines and surveillance. Foucault has extensively viewed the social sciences and other such directing or governing institutions as the asylum, school and prison as results to the accumulation of men. The great 18th century demographic change witnessed in western Europe, the increasing need for having a coordinated and integrated mechanism and structure as part of production and the necessity of controlling it with more reliable focused and sufficient power mechanisms to create ‘population’, with its many non-constants like space and chronology, health and longevity, to develop not only as a challenge but as an object of analysis, intervention, modification, analysis, etc.
The emergence of a proper and above board institution and the conduct of administrations within the institutions were never a discovery of Foucault: the relationship, which is largely linear with the theory on asylum by Goffman and Weber bureaucracies explanations is quite visible. Any form of governing a population requires rational organization and a stable administration. That domination will express itself and its functions through the administration was Weber’s idea on discipline and modernity.


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