A national society is a Particular kind of social system. Social systems, we assume, raise the question of their purpose or their contributions. They may exist to produce goods, to raise children, to educate, to cure. Often they have more than one end. Besides, their contribution to other social systems can easily go beyond the specific purposes that bind their members, and as they grow in size or combine within themselves members of very different outlooks or positions, the same social system may mean rather varied things to its constituent members. Still, social systems imply a moral order: a commitment to some general notions of what is right, or at least right for them. These notions help define the ends that are being sought; they also help select the means by which these ends can be sought.
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- 1.For a succinct discussion of this point of view, see Harry M. Johnson, Sociology: a Systematic Introduction (New York, 1960), pp. 9–13,Google Scholar
- and Marion Levy, The Structure of Society (Princeton, 1952).Google Scholar
- 2.For purposes of this essay, see in Particular Max Weber, Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (New York, 1958), From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (New York, 1947),Google Scholar
- and Max Weber, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization (New York, 1947), as well as Reinhard Bendix’s very useful intellectual portrait, Max Weber (New York, 1960), especially chapters 3, 11, and 13, and most Particularly pp. 413–17.Google Scholar
- 4.Max Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft (Tübingen, 1947), II Part III, chapter 3, especially pp. 613–15, 627–30.Google Scholar