Max Weber – Most Sexless Man In History?

June 17, 2010

Editor’s note: A few days ago it was the 90th anniversary of Max Weber’s death. And this is how I choose to commemorate him. Makes sense, right?

I’m sure you are all intrigued by the title already. I’ll begin with my own introduction to Max Weber. When I was in high school, there was an elective sociology course and it was here that I was first introduced to Max Weber and his genius. Yes, GENIUS! In my opinion, Max Weber is one of the finest minds to have walked the planet. He is one of my favorite thinkers that I have studied and read through out my college tenure of philosophy, sociology and theology.

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I have heard time and time again, that the ladies and other gendered commenters of this KSWI website really enjoy the educational posts. The problem is with those posts, I’m never sure what to write about for them. What topic should I take on next? Max Weber was a character I felt like discussing for a long time. I have mentioned him no doubt, but never dedicated a post to him. So I began thinking of how I would touch on the teachings of this great man. Of course, I had to have my own angle on Max Weber that one would never find on any other website or in any other book in arguably all of human history.

The first thing that came to mind: Max Weber would have been a great “dom”.

I will admit that I am not the most well versed in the relationship between a “dominant” and a “submissive”. I pictured Weber as a “dom” who would be comfortable withholding sex or any typical form of pleasure from the “sub”, which the “sub” would relish in. Weber’s writings are based in dense logic, rationalization and, with that, a pessimism about the future. Let’s take Karl Marx for example- he was an obscene optimist. He believed that people could revolt and reform their society and redistribute the wealth of that world to create a better world. To me that means Marx would have been a sloppy kisser. He would have sweaty drunk sex. Meanwhile, Weber did not believe masses would revolt and be able to create a new great society. That is seen to be more of a realist perspective, and, ultimately, it is pessimistic.

Anyway, I started to think about Weber as a “dom”. Generally, I was saying that Weber would simply not participate in sex and would be rigid and exact and downright depressing. What I was really saying is that I don’t think Weber wanted to have sex. He was sexless. This is when I decided to look up the man on Wikipedia. I have read many of his works, but I knew very little of his personal life. This is when my random assertion that Max Weber was sexless became concrete. I knew little about Kristen Stewart, but when I watched Twilight I thought to myself that this chick wants it – always. This premonition of mine about Weber was about to get realized.

The following sections in italics are from Wikipedia and my comments will be in the none italics.

Weber was born in 1864, in Erfurt in Thuringia, Germany, the eldest of seven children of Max Weber Sr., a wealthy and prominent politician in the National Liberal Party (Germany) and a civil servant, and Helene Fallenstein, a Protestant and a Calvinist, with strong moral absolutist ideas. Weber Sr.’s engagement with public life immersed the family home in politics, as his salon received many prominent scholars and public figures. Weber was strongly influenced by his mother’s views and approach to life, but he did not claim to be religious himself.

Right off the bat, Weber lived in an intellectual, political and religion based household. He is the oldest of 7 children, which means his parents, Weber Sr. and Helene, were making love, banging, fucking et cetera on the reg. They also sounded like they were throwing dinner parties on the reg as well. Dinner parties filled with long winded discourse about politics. Sexy.

The young Weber and his brother Alfred, who also became a sociologist and economist, thrived in this intellectual atmosphere. Weber’s 1876 Christmas presents to his parents, when he was thirteen years old, were two historical essays entitled “About the course of German history, with special reference to the positions of the emperor and the pope” and “About the Roman Imperial period from Constantine to the migration of nations”. At the age of fourteen, he wrote letters studded with references to Homer, Virgil, Cicero, and Livy, and he had an extended knowledge of Goethe, Spinoza, Kant, and Schopenhauer before he began university studies. It seemed clear that Weber would pursue advanced studies in the social sciences.

BOOM! Fucking BOOM! Do you now see what I see!?! I am a prophet! At the age of 13 he was writing historical essays steeped in European history for his parents’ Christmas presents. I would tend to bet those were not his only historical essays he had written by that time. He was also liberally quoting from ancient literature and philosophical text. This is a 13/14 year old male who at no point was inquisitive about the opposite sex. I remember when I was in 5th grade the only thing boys cared about was convincing a girl at recess to go with him into the woods next to the school and kiss. Needless to say we were not reading Goethe!

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At 14!?! AT FOURTEEN!?! Oh my God! At fourteen, the fucking last thing on my mind or any other boy’s mind that I knew was the works of Livy or Schopenhauer. We were in the early years of puberty and going out of our minds just being around girls. And you do not just read Kant. You don’t just read it. You have to fucking live it! You have to live Kant to understand Kant. You have to eat, sleep, and … well… fuck Kant to understand German Idealistic thought to then later quote it and use it in letters. Max Weber was certainly not attracting or even trying to attract girls because he was too busy putting all of his energies into gout ridden Kant.

I’m not going to reprint everything that Wikipedia says, so I’ll just paraphrase. Needless to say, everything I’m about to write is purely in pursuit of intellectual endeavors and has not a hint of sexiness. Weber starts law school, takes up fencing like his father, he begins attending lectures in economics, medieval history and theology. Also, he starts serving on again and off again in the German army. How sexy is that!?! Oh man. Had Weber even heard of girls? They were there in Germany. Also, at this point I would like to say, sure – Weber could’ve been gay. I’m just guessing he was straight because he does eventually marry. Spoiler alert! Either way, I’m still sticking with the idea that Weber not for a second had a moment of thought for the worldly desire of sex and instead just read and read and became smarter and smarter like he was preparing to become a super villain at some point.

In the autumn of 1884, Weber returned to his parents’ home to study at the University of Berlin. For the next eight years of his life, interrupted only by a term at the University of Göttingen and short periods of further military training, Weber stayed at his parents’ house; first as a student, later as a junior barrister, and finally as a dozent/professor at the University of Berlin.

Ok, he was certainly not fucking during those EIGHT years. EIGHT YEARS! He spent EIGHT years living with his parents and pursuing law and military careers. After the EIGHT E-I-G-H-T years, Weber passes the equivalent of the German bar exam. He earns a law doctorate by “writing a doctoral dissertation on legal history entitled The History of Medieval Business Organisations”. Two years later, Weber writes another dense and exhausting research essay and now is qualified to be a German professor.

This is also around the time that Weber begins another healthy intellectual pursuit and this time it is into “contemporary social policy” in Germany. So, let’s just assume yet again this is another step away from vajeen and another step towards sexlessness. That is just the tip of the iceberg though. Weber joins a political group who believe in addressing all problems through heavy statistical analysis. SEXY! Weber is then put in charge of a study about why Germans are heading to the industrial cities of Germany and abandoning the farmland while foreigners are taking them over in droves. Oh my God! Is that getting you as sweaty as it is getting me? Oh man, doesn’t that sound so fucking hot!

And the paper was a big hit and “cemented Weber’s reputation as an expert in agrarian economics”. Fuck. What an amazing line that would be on OkCupid, am I right? Expert in agrarian economics. I’m sure that gets all the ladies wet. Oooh child, did you see this new guy on OkCupid? He is 28, he has had extensive education in nearly every intellectual topic anyone could possibly think of, he is in the military and he lives with parents. SEX BOMB! He’s a sex bomb! Fucking Tom Jones must’ve been writing that song about the Weber-meister!

In 1893 he married his distant cousin Marianne Schnitger, later a feminist and author in her own right, who was instrumental in collecting and publishing Weber’s journal articles as books after his death.

KA-FUCKING-BLAM!

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Weber marries his “distant cousin”. That is sexy, right? But what makes this marriage even more sexy: “feminist”. Brilliant! I know some of you ladies are like “what is that supposed to be mean!?!” or whatever. Listen, the difference between Marianne Schnitger being a feminist in the late 1800’s of GERMANY is a grave difference than anyone being a feminist in today’s world. Marianne must’ve been the toughest chick. The TOUGHEST! If there was an amateur boxing tournament and she entered it, I would bet on Marianne. She’d knock out those guys with her ovaries! A feminist author in the 1880’s and 90’s of Germany, I bet she could rip a quarter in half with her bare hands. Either way, none of this is sexy.

The couple moved to Freiburg in 1894, where Weber was appointed professor of economics at Freiburg University, before accepting the same position at the University of Heidelberg in 1896. Next year, Max Weber Sr. died, two months after a severe quarrel with his son that was never resolved. After this, Weber became increasingly prone to nervousness and insomnia, making it difficult for him to fulfill his duties as a professor. His condition forced him to reduce his teaching, and leave his last course in the fall of 1899 unfinished. After spending months in a sanatorium during the summer and fall of 1900…

BOOM-SHOCK-A-LOCKA! FUCKING BOOM! Junior and Senior get into a fight that is so bad it goes unresolved and 2 months later Senior kicks the bucket. After this, Weber can’t sleep and is nervous. He quits his job and then spends half of the year in a sanatorium. I’m saying there were no boners during any of what just was mentioned. None. Zero. Sexless! Nothing is sexier for a newly wed cousin couple than for the husband to become increasingly nervous, doesn’t sleep, and ends up in a sanatorium for 6 months.

Weber doesn’t write for awhile and leaves the teaching job altogether. He eventually gets a job working for a paper. This is where Weber as the writer I knew him as picks up.

In 1904, Weber began to publish some of his most seminal papers in this journal, notably his essay The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. It became his most famous work, and laid the foundations for his later research on the impact of cultures and religions on the development of economic systems. This essay was the only one of his works that was published as a book during his lifetime.

Now, Weber begins to write a lot. Not only write a lot, but study a lot. As one can assume from the title of the essay, it is about Protestants – even more so Calvinists. Weber is now consolidating his knowledge of economics, religion, law, and sociology to put forth his own observations on why capitalism thrives in areas of Protestants and not Catholics. He champions the Protestants who do their work and do it well as a testament to God, which then correlates with them making money because they are doing good and diligent work. A worker working for God will continue working and continue working well, where as a worker who is working just to make ends meet will not try as hard and will make compromises. There are no compromises with your work if you are working for the Almighty. Businesses thrive because of this. So, now Weber is championing a group of people who do not believe in temporal satisfaction (read: sex) and who work and evolve solely to express their love and devotion to the Lord. Sexy.

Also that year, he visited the United States and participated in the Congress of Arts and Sciences held in connection with the World’s Fair (Louisiana Purchase Exposition) at St. Louis.

And as you can see, he is now busier than ever. Now Weber is a celebrity. He is a celebrity for how brilliant he is and people want him places to be brilliant at.

During the First World War, Weber served for a time as director of the army hospitals in Heidelberg. In 1915 and 1916 he sat on commissions that tried to retain German supremacy in Belgium and Poland after the war. Weber’s views on war, as well as on expansion of the German empire, changed throughout the war. He became a member of the worker and soldier council of Heidelberg in 1918. In the same year, Weber became a consultant to the German Armistice Commission at the Treaty of Versailles and to the commission charged with drafting the Weimar Constitution. He argued in favor of inserting Article 48 into the Weimar Constitution. This article was later used by Adolf Hitler to institute rule by decree, thereby allowing his government to suppress opposition and obtain dictatorial powers. Weber’s contributions to German politics remain a controversial subject to this day.

The cliff notes of that paragraph: ran some hospitals in World War I in Germany and was used to help write political charter after the war. I’m sure you are wondering where in this does Max Weber have children? Well he doesn’t. Where in this is Max Weber even seeing his wife? Who the fuck knows. Weber’s brain is being used by everyone. He is working for the military, he is working for the government, he is still researching and writing his own books that are now about other religions from different parts of the world (China, India, Judaism) and how they relate to his previous work concerning the Protestant ethic. If a person’s brain grew like a muscle from using it then Weber’s brain would’ve been so huge the masses could have used it to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Supposedly, your brain gets wrinklier the more it is used then Weber’s brain was wrinklier than Abe Vigoda’s ballsack.

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Weber resumed teaching during this time, first at the University of Vienna, then in 1919 at the University of Munich. In Munich, he headed the first German university institute of sociology, but ultimately never held a personal sociology appointment. Weber left politics due to right-wing agitation in 1919 and 1920. Many colleagues and students in Munich argued against him for his speeches and left-wing attitude during the German Revolution of 1918 and 1919, with some right-wing students holding protests in front of his home. Max Weber contracted the Spanish flu and died of pneumonia in Munich on June 14, 1920.

FUCKING BOOM! ATOM BOMB BOOM! KA-BOOM!

Weber becomes a lightning rod at the University of Vienna for being not only famous, but being a liberal in what was most definitely a very angry conservative time in German history. Students being protesting outside his fucking house. And then not long after that the man dies from pneumonia. For fuck’s sake! Get that man to a strip club or a brothel on June 13th!

Truly, Max Weber spent his entire 56 years on this planet learning. He studied relentlessly and he tried to help make this world a better place I believe with the knowledge he gained. He had a somewhat cynical view of the world in terms of our abilities to better ourselves in a grand gesture like Marx believed we could, but clearly Weber did believe that it was possible for people to make the world a better place than how they first entered it. Max Weber wanted IT, and we know for a fact that “IT” was not sex.

Max Weber: genius. Max Weber: sexless.

Questions for Friday. Thank you.

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22 Responses to “Max Weber – Most Sexless Man In History?”

  1. tiffanized said

    There is zero doubt in my mind that this man was gay. Raised by a mother with strong moral absolutist ideas during the Victorian era? I’m thinking this is going to preclude his coming out and necessitate a distraction of oh, say, forty-odd years focused on politics, religion and philosophy.

    Oh, but he got married. And gay people never entered into heterosexual marital contracts! And especially never had mental breakdowns because they were suppressing their true sexuality to fit a societal norm!

    Dude was gay. I feel sorry that his life was an exercise in personal denial. At least we got some good college textbook fodder out of it.

    Also, he was killed by the same shit that almost took out Edward Masen/Cullen. I have to say that or I lose fan points.

    • kristenstewartwantsit said

      I felt like him being gay was a definite possibility, but it is a moot point because he wasn’t banging dudes either.

      We could also guess that Marianne could’ve been a lesbian; seemingly living a sexless life herself as a tough feminist author, married to her cousin and helping raise the children of Weber’s sister.

      Nevertheless, SEXLESS!

      • tiffanized said

        You’re right, it doesn’t change the main point of the post, which was that Max Weber, regardless of whether he wanted it, wasn’t getting it.

  2. Lala said

    It had been so long since the last educational post. I missed them.
    And Max Weber was gay. How can you know he wasn’t banging other guys? I don’t think you would find on Wikipedia: “Not only did Weber write about every subject on Earth, he also slept with all the guys he knew.”

    • tiffanized said

      Good point. Just because there was no historical reference to buttsex doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening. I tend to think that it wasn’t, though, because of all the writing about focusing on God and whatnot, plus the mental breakdowns. I have yet to have a mental breakdown when I’m having good, regular sexathons.

  3. susanelle said

    Wow, Jordan, your ability to gauge want levels in people you have never met and who may even be dead is amazing. It’s preternatural.

    Also, you look a bit like Weber up till he was 27. Spooky.

    • cledbo said

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought that.

      Mr Weber didn’t have Jordolicious’ semi-ginger colouring though, so KSWIJ wins.

  4. MLF said

    lovely, lovely post. What an interesting person this Max Weber was…and I agree with Tiff. gay, gay, gay.

    but I will say this: dude would have been an AWFUL dom. just awful. His wife on the other hand? Now we’re talking.

  5. MLF said

    also- JORDANIELLE.

    has anyone noticed that? I just did and I must say it’s pretty fucking catchy.

    I’ll stop now. tee heeee

  6. Freya said

    I’m going to have to disagree with some of the lovely common taters and say he was not gay. I know a lot of gay guys. A lot of intelligent gay guys, too–lawyers, teachers, bon vivants. Despite that, their want is generally limited to gay clubs, gay cruises, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, and fabulous haircare products. Not to mention buttsecks.

    Low testosterone? Perhaps. Prudish Victorian upbringing? Probably. I see him as one of those guys who spanked it to sepia-toned pictures of ladies in corsets with no bottoms on.

    Just one girl’s opinion…

  7. kt said

    I feel like everyone said everything I was gonna say already. He was gay. Just because no one has written about him banging dudes, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. And he would have been a crappy dom.

  8. AmyAlmost said

    Oh I love this post. I just watched the history channel about ancient greece clock cogs and now this!

    I have to agree with most and say – the man was gay. Sexless? I have to agree with Jordan. Sex does distract and complicate life and if he did really believe in God he might have felt his homosexual tendencies wrong and denied himself a lot by refocussing his attention to work. I don’t think his work is necessarily unsexy though. I really like smart people and I’m sure other women do too. So I doubt just because of the stuff he wrote and studied didn’t mean girls didn’t flirt over dinners and tried to bed the guy. I just think he was like ‘no way I’m trying my hardest to hide the fact that I like dudes from God by working’.

  9. cledbo said

    I can see Max Weber sitting in a well appointed salon wearing a monogrammed house coat, with a warm bagel and some butter. Obscure Family Guy reference, ftw!

    Ahem. I love edumacational posts, now I feel like even if I don’t get a lot of work done today (pretty much a forgone conclusion, really – it is Friday after all) at least I learnt something.

    Mrs Marianne Weber looks like she want IT in that loving photograph. IT is probably the vote, equal pay, and to not be wearing a corset. I’m betting IT was not a throwdown with her smart-but-not-in-a-sexy-way life partner.

    Addressing all problems through heavy statistical analysis? I get paid to do that every day, and no, it’s not sexy.

    What did you get for your birthday? What did you want, but didn’t get?

  10. Christ. I came here expecting a recap of The National’s show at Radio City last night, but instead stumbled upon some kind of deviant philosophy textbook. Not bad. Pleasantly surprised. Though I wouldn’t mind eventually hearing what you thought about The National, either…

    Smart dudes are sexy, so I’m sure that the occasional lady probably tried to have her way with Herr Weber. Maybe his essays were the KSWI of the early 1900’s, in which case he probably also had a gaggle of girl groupies (and maybe an occasional Aussie male or two) devotedly following him.

  11. amanda said

    That was hilarious! I like the educational posts, I feel smart after I read them.
    Question:
    Do You Wanna take over the KSWI Facebook Page?
    I feel like you’d do a better job with it and make it funny and stuff and post regularly. Mostly I just forget to make statuses and I feel like if you were in charge of it,it would be so much better. anyways we could delete the current one and make another one that you were in charge of. What do you think?

  12. Hegel said

    Shut up! You don´t know a thing about Weberian writings and this blog sucks. Why don´t you read more and write less bullshit?

  13. Bruno said

    I think his beard damn sexy.

  14. Tony said

    smartest man that ever lived hated sex just like me but i bet he didn’t cut his dick off………just like me

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