Custom, charisma, and statute

Max Weber’s Politics as a Vocation offers three categories which “grounds for legitimate rule” fall into: custom, grace/charisma, and statutes.

Custom: The authority of “eternal past,” based on habit. Weber defines custom as largely… patrimonial, and traditional in scope.

Gift of grace/charisma: The authority of the “revelations, heroism, or other leadership qualities of an individual”. Associated with “charisma” of prophets, demagogues, and popular vote.

Statutes: Legality based on valid statutes. Based on rational competence and obedience of the “servant of the state”.

I think most of our politics is concerned with statute at this point. If Weber’s concept for politics works, that means the best areas of opportunity are custom and charisma.

Get Posts in Your Inbox