Werner Sombart

Also found in: Wikipedia.

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 ?
It can also be seen as a reaction to Werner Sombart, whose book Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben Schnitzler was reading in 1911--the same time that he was working on Professor Bernhardi.
During the first conference of the German Society for Sociology (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Soziologie) that was held in Frankfurt in 1910, Werner Sombart gave one of the speeches.
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.
The question of when and how capitalism got started in Europe is one of the more vexed questions in history, beginning at least with the writings of Max Weber and Werner Sombart.
JG-W: There was a German economist at the beginning of the 20th century called Werner Sombart, who I hadn't heard of before.
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.
Desde una perspectiva mas economica que politico-moral, Manuel Vaquero Pineiro analiza la acumulacion y el empleo de riquezas en la curia pontificia de la Edad Moderna usando los paradigmas interpretativos de Max Weber e Werner Sombart.
De los textos antiliberales que exponian este punto de vista, el mas celebre es Handler und Helden de Werner Sombart (1863-1941).
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.
He held that late nineteenth-and early twentieth-century reactionary nationalist politicians followed a path laid by Otto von Bismarck in manipulating racialist antisemitism, aided by writers like Houston Stuart Chamberlain, Heinrich von Treistschke, and Werner Sombart.
Werner Sombart famously asserted that America is "the promised land of capitalism, where on the reefs of roast beef and apple pie socialist Utopias .
Werner Sombart, a German historical economist claimed, very rightly in my opinion, that "Fashion is capitalism's favourite child.