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Essay: Leadership of a state

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  • Subject area(s): Miscellaneous essays
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  • Published: 11 October 2015*
  • File format: Text
  • Words: 405 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 2 (approx)

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In the selection what is politics? (1918) Weber questions the concept of politics and how it can help understand or influence the leadership of a state. (pg.114) The idea here is to figure out how can the state be defined, and how physical force is associated with it. There are speculations that if it we didn’t have force, there would be no state and only anarchy. The relationship between the state and violence has grown over the years. Back in the days, it was common the practice of force and quite normal, however, now there are specific territories that allow use of physical force. The leader who gets into politics strives for power, and power in so many different aspects ends up changing him or shaping him. Throughout the passage, weber also argues that men are constantly struggling with other men in terms of authority. Fear is usually the drive to follow someone who has a higher power status. Also, weber provides us with three pure justifications of domination: traditional, charismatic, and legal. First, the traditional system is based on the traditions and the idea that it has been there. For example, monarchies are considered traditional any sort of patriarchal system is considered a traditional authority led by a traditional leader. Second, charismatic authority or also called charismatic domination, is when a leader is described as extraordinary, and judged on his supernatural qualities that end up treating him as a leader such as MLT (Martin Luther King) who influenced people by his speeches and ‘charismatic’ ambience.
Finally, the third type is the legal authority, which is a type of leadership that is based on rational rules and serves a higher power. At the end, we come to know that weber’s main interest is the second authority, the charismatic domination. People obey solely on personality traits and not for legal traits. As much as I agree with his view on it being the most significant authority, I would have to also comment that the types change over time and people tend to want different things with time and different rulers and rules. When a charismatic leader is not in the picture, the country needs rules to keep going. Weber reminds us that politics has to do with the state and shows us how they are intertwined, but it also has its way of handling its state by a specific type of leader or physical force.

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