Werner Sombart

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Sombart, Werner


Born Jan. 19, 1863, in Ermsleben, Harz; died May 18, 1941, in Berlin. German economist, sociologist, and historian. Philosopher of culture. Student of G. von Schmoller. Professor at the universities of Breslau (1890) and Berlin (1906).

Sombart’s early works demonstrated the influence of Marxism, but he later opposed historical materialism and the economic teachings of K. Marx. His works are primarily devoted to the economic history of Western Europe, specifically the rise of capitalism (he collected enormous amounts of factual material) and problems of socialism and social movements. Attempting to unite the study of economics and theoretical explanations of social life, Sombart developed a concept of “an economic system” as a certain integral phenomenon giving rise to specific economic institutions and representing an expression of the “spirit” of a society (Sombart identifies the concepts of spirit and society).

Sombart attempted to establish his own theory of primary accumulation, introducing the accumulation of feudal land rent as a primary source of the accumulation of capital. Beginning in the 1920’s, Sombart’s ideas were used by reactionary political circles in Germany.


Noo-Soziologie. Berlin, 1956.
Studien zur Entwicklungsgeschichte des modernen Kapitalismus, vols. 1–2. Munich-Leipzig, 1913.
Die Zukunft des Kapitalismus. Berlin, 1932.
Deutscher Sozialismus. Berlin, 1934.
In Russian translation:
Sotsializm i sotsial’noe dvizhenie v 19 stoletii. St. Petersburg, 1902.
Khudozhestvennaia promyshlennosr’ i kul’ tura. St. Petersburg [no date].
Idealy sotsial’noi politiki. St. Petersburg, 1906.
Burzhua. Moscow, 1924.
Narodnoe khoziaistvo v Germanii v 19 iv nach. 20 v. Moscow, 1924.


Lunacharskii, A. V. “Zombart o dushe burzhua.” In his book Meshchanstvo i individualism. Moscow-Petrograd, 1923. Pages 202–23.


References in periodicals archive ?
Weber noted that Werner Sombart had investigated the genesis of modern capitalism but had claimed that religious beliefs played no part in its development.
To socialist Werner Sombart, whose book Handler und Helden ("Merchants and Heroes") appeared in 1915, the heroes were the German warriors, and the first World War was the welcome opportunity for the heroic German culture to triumph over the decadent commercial civilization of England.
JG-W: There was a German economist at the beginning of the 20th century called Werner Sombart, who I hadn't heard of before.
It was proposed by a German economist, Werner Sombart, in his six-volume work on capitalism, Der moderne Kapitalismus.
Over time, the Jews have acquired control over monetary assets and wealth in their communities; according to Werner Sombart, the interest-loan system is a gift from the Jews to Europe in the emergence of Western capitalism.
The question haunting Kazin's study is the one first raised by the German scholar Werner Sombart, who famously asked why there was no socialism in America.
Werner Sombart famously asserted that America is "the promised land of capitalism, where on the reefs of roast beef and apple pie socialist Utopias .
Muller gives a brief but informative summary of the thoughts of celebrated historical sociologists like Werner Sombart, Max Weber, Georg Simmel and lesser lights about all of this.
This question has engaged social scientists and historians at least since Werner Sombart first posed his own version of the question in 1906: "Warum gibt es in den Vereinigten Staaten keinen Sozialismus?
As he correctly observes, commentators back to Werner Sombart have pondered this important issue.
In 1906, the German socialist Werner Sombart published Why Is There No Socialism in the United States?
Writers as various as Werner Sombart, Wolfgang Haug, Rosalind Williams and Colin Campbell have associated consumption with the satisfaction of individual desires or fantasies.