ISSUE: 4/2008

  • Volume 48
  • Number 4
  • 2008


Studia Europejskie –
Studies in European Affairs

ISSN: 1428-149X
e-ISSN: 2719-3780

Ccbync License


Articles published in the journal are under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial – No Derivatives 4.0 International License

Max Weber, racjonalizm i pytania o przyszłość Europy

Max Weber, rationality and the future of Europe


In the first part of the 20th Century German thinker Max Weber once again confirmed a radical idea that the most significant achievement of Western societies has been the progress of rationality. At the same time he observed that a certain form of rationality [Zweckrationalität] might destroy the liberal background, because it strangles individual activity and attenuates democracy in a world dominated by bureaucratic mechanisms, which are intelligible only for professionals with technical knowledge. Weber’s doubts constitute a part of the long-lasting criticism of rationality. In the past Century his  arguments inspired many attempts to weaken the prestige and the influence of “formal rationality” as practical basis for politics. The movement of intellectual scepticism towards the idea of integrated Europe is one particularly interesting field of this sort of critical statements about rationality. In this article I would like to prove that very different diagnoses, formulated by commentators of European social and political life, in fact reveal the same Weberian spirit of ambivalence towards “progress” and rationality. Most opinions featured here were formulated by right-wing thinkers. The fact that there nevertheless also were some left-wing ideas amongst them reveals that the climate of scepticism towards the European path of modernisation is a broader phenomenon, which cannot be simply pigeonholed as an expression of conservative obsessions. Instead, the tone of anxiety comes from a presumption that rationality cannot be the only basis for European political philosophy.

Language: Polish

Pages: 33-55

How to Cite:


Rakusa-Suszczewski, M. (2008) "Max Weber, racjonalizm i pytania o przyszłość Europy". Studia Europejskie – Studies in European Affairs, 4/2008, pp. 33-55.