In his most famous publication, Weber studies the relationship between the ethics of ascetic Protestantism and the emergence of contemporary capitalism. He accounts bureaucracy as a key feature in modern society. This is in no way a detailed account of Protestantism itself but instead an introduction to his later studies such as “The Religion of China: Confucianism and Taoism” or “The Religion of India: The Sociology of Hinduism and Buddhism”. Weber argues that the “spirit” that defines capitalist ideas originates in the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation largely influences his work and he noted the shift in Europe’s economic centre following this, away from Catholic countries, for example France, towards protestant countries, for
However, today, there is a clear distinction between these two disciplines and generally they are taught separately. This is possibly why so many people today struggle to effectively associate Smith’s moral views with his economic views (Colaco, 2010). Adam Smith produces arguments in favour of free trade, the division of labour, and limitations on government intervention in economic affairs in The Wealth of Nations (Coase, 1976) Nevertheless, interpersonal sympathy, as well as the development of an ‘impartial spectator’ within the moral individual, is essentially the foundation of Smith’s moral philosophy (Pack,
Although, government has had a long history of playing a big role by intervening in national affairs, it should only maintain modern commercial society because they limit the free market, the potential of nation states to grow from commerce. The government is only responsible to maintain and protect its modern commercial society, while religion should have no role in modern commercial society because it hinders the growth of a state by limiting labour potential and discouraging the pursuit of wealth. The maintenance of modern commercial society is significant because it paves the way towards economic prosperity which leads to positive
Gellner prvides a functionalist view of then nationalism. This is completely contrary to Mrx, for whom the modern era and indutrialization is a step towards the abolition of nationalism. Gellenr’s ideas are nor based on an economic interpretation a la Marx. But rather Gellner is describing the superstructure of national polity and the family system of social relationships, that form as a result of capitalism. Capitalism and it’s superstructure are symbiotica and go together.
Their chief religious doctrine was that, “good works are not a way of attaining salvation, since man is already predestined, but they are an indispensable proof that salvation has been attained.” 6 This logically led to the belief that prosperity and wealth are signs of God’s blessing, and that they are an assurance of eternal salvation. Thus emerged the “economic virtues” (avarice, thrift, intense competition, and the accumulation of wealth) which soon, with the later progression of puritanical rationalization, became confounded with the traditional moral virtues of thrift and industriousness, and finally helped capitalism enormously in displacing these virtues altogether from daily business practices. Today the vice of greed engulfs both Wall Street and our
Walter Rauschenbusch’s 1907 classic book, Christianity and the Social Crisis, served as the most complete statement of faith-based progressivism and offered a compelling argument for the social application of the Gospels. Rauschenbusch took on what he called “the present crisis” wrought by the industrial revolution and the rise of modern capitalism, arguing that Christian civilization could no longer withstand the injustices of contemporary times—inequality, poverty, physical deprivation and hunger, worker abuses. He believed that desperate times required genuine moral leadership, and he sought to humanize capitalism by encouraging more direct action. He supported movements such as the settlement houses—urban community centers where low-income people could go for services and classes—as well as labor organizing and solidarity, and Christian volunteerism from preachers and groups like the YMCA and the Salvation
Nevertheless, Adam Smith (1976) and David Ricardo (1817),there came a strong wave of arguments against of the idea of mercantilists view by classical school of thoughts, classical school basically contend that it is not through high restriction of imports, but it is the expansion of stocks of human and man natural resource that boost the wealth of nation, their line of argument relies on the concept of absolute advantage Adam smith and comparative advantage (Ricardo).According to the former, a nation can only better off if only if the other is made worth off, otherwise trade will not be possible, but the latter advocate that a nation engaged in production and trade activities in the commodity where it has comparative advantage. The two are
Identifying this capitalist spirit, a term which is somewhat subjective, was a remarkable shift away from the more deterministic doctrines of Marx and Durkheim. This capitalist spirit of asceticism, was said to come out of the Calvinist strand of Protestantism. Calvinism was unique from Catholicism, in that it was marked by the ‘extreme inhumanity’ (125) of belief in pre-destination. As a result of this doctrine the individual was tasked with offsetting their intense anxiety about the afterlife by looking for signs of their salvation. Weber quotes the sermons of Richard Baxter, who emphasises ‘hard, continuous bodily or mental labour’ (126) as ‘every hour lost is lost to labour for the glory of God’ (126).
He shows that only limited government in only specific areas where agreement could be found is the best guarantee of freedom and economic prosperity. Moreover, Hayek saw and shows clearly that the perennial impulse to collectivism leads inevitably to despotic totalitarianism. Nazism and Communism weren't twisted mutants of collectivism. The artical is heavily informed by the fear England and America had set on a path of central planning and state control similar with that of Germany before the war. While his fears didn't realize themselves, at least not in the way he foresaw them, many passages in this book sound particularly prescient.
Weber defines the protestant ethic as the morals and values that Protestantism promotes. They include working hard and living an ascetic and frugal life. He believed that this ethic led to an attitude that was successful under capitalism. This so called spirit of capitalism consisted of an individual to have a vocation, work hard at it to make money, and find ways to make more money. The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism is Weber’s explanation on why “modernization” and industrialization occurred specifically in Europe.