Protestant Ethic Theory

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According to Karl Marx, “Society does not consist of Individuals but expresses the sum of interrelations, the relations within which theses individuals stand”.
Karl Marx, being one of the leading figures in economics, understood society as a sum of relations between individuals and other social phenomena like economic development, religious institutions. He was able to figure out the importance of relations of man with his land, with other individuals and with the larger society in general. This can also be interpreted as the inter-relatedness of institutions governing men and the role they play in the development of society in general. Though Marx focuses on the relations of man, it cannot be ignored that the basic unit of society is an individual
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In the book, Weber wrote that capitalism in Northern Europe evolved when the Protestant (particularly Calvinist) ethic influenced large numbers of people to engage in work in the secular world, developing their own enterprises, engaging in trade and the accumulation of wealth for investment. In other words, the Protestant work ethic was an important force behind the unplanned and uncoordinated mass action that influenced the development of capitalism. This idea is also known as the "Protestant Ethic thesis." On the other hand, Karl Marx’s theory gave importance to economic forces shaping social relations in the society. Thus, the development of upper and lower class were to be understood according to Weber as a result of the existing protestant work ethic. Religious ideas of reformation emphasised importance of time and how time wasted can lead to money wasted. Thus, time came to be equated to money. Moreover, Benjamin Franklin emphasised that “money is the prolific, generating nature. Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on”. Time considered a virtue by god was thus developed and given an economical…show more content…
The statistics and research pointed out that there is decline in religiosity with economic development. However, the presence of god creates more stress on individuals showing a tendency for economic growth. Here, I would like to draw attention to relative power theory which gained a lot of importance in the 1900s in Europe. The theory explains how the rich continuously propagate that the existing inequality in the society is God’s will. This brings an important question to the forefront. Does inequality reinforce religious values in the society? Let us take India’s example where stark inequalities can be seen in the society. Though the state does not participate or propagate any religion literally, there are situations of vote bank politics. Moreover, it is the rich who play with the emotions of the common man, interpreting religion in different ways and enforcing its conformation for maintaining their own hierarchy. The poor accept it as an easy form of
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