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Ferdinand Tonnies, Thorstein Veblen and Karl Marx: From community to society and back?

Rick Tilman

The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 2004, vol. 11, issue 4, 579-606

Abstract: German Ferdinand Tonnies (1855 - 1936) and American Thorstein Veblen (1857 - 1929) are influential figures in the history of the social sciences, whose intellectual relationship has been ignored. However, there are important and illuminating similarities and differences in their critiques of Karl Marx (1818 - 83), as well as in the transition from community to modernity in Western culture and society. This article begins with their account of the nature of the Western community in the Middle Ages and its passage to modernity via the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. It culminates with their critiques of Marx and his and their mutual efforts to construct an ersatz community to replace the one that was lost.

Keywords: Gemeinschaft; gesellschaft; industrial republic; classlessness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:taf:eujhet:v:11:y:2004:i:4:p:579-606