Analysis Of Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic And The Spirit Of Capitalism

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Max Weber is considered one of the fathers of modern sociology. His work continues to influence and confuse today’s best thinkers and writers. His most well-known work, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, is a body of work that is often discussed, argued, and maybe even alt right dismissed by other intellectuals. One of the more interesting lines written by Weber is,
In the field of its highest development, in the United States, the pursuit of wealth, stripped of its religious and ethical meaning, tends to become associated with purely mundane passions, which often actually give it the character of sports. (p 124)
As he concludes the secularism of capitalism—that is taking the religious aspect out modern capitalism—and he
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He questions whether capitalism was going to naturally happen on its own. Weber points out, “a man does not “by nature” wish to earn more and more money, but simply to live as he is accustomed to live and to earn as much as is necessary for that purpose (p 24).” Weber describes this as traditionalism—the idea that individuals are willing not to do more than what they are accustomed to or have to do. On the other hand, modern capitalism, is the action of doing more. This modern system needs a motivating factor, a spirit, to prosper. With traditionalism there was no need to out produce or work harder than what is needed. In this sense, capitalism does not proceed traditionalism unless there is a change of some sort. For Weber, the Reformation offers a switch in …show more content…
For Weber, argument here can be applied to Protestantism “as a single whole,” but uses English Puritanism as a specific example because it “gives the most consistent religious basis for the idea of calling (p. 102-103)”. Going back to Weber’s understanding of the Calvinist theology, individuals were working hard and were in pursuit of greater wealth because they were looking for signs of their own salvation. God rewards those who work hard, so they thought they were going to be saved. Weber explains, individuals must “not leisure and [enjoy], but only activity serves to increase the glory of God, according to the definite manifestations of His will (p. 104).” He continues to say, “[a] waste of time is thus the first and in principle the deadliest of sins (p.

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