Max Webers Protestant Ethic & The Spirit Of Capatalism

1610 words - 7 pages

Max Weber “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”

Max Webers “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” is an analysis as to the relationship between the emergence of the spirit of capitalism in the west and the ethics of Calvinism. He argues that Calvinism catalysed this creation of the capitalist spirit. His study arose when he asked himself why capitalism had emerged out of Western Europe before anywhere else in the world, even though the economic conditions seemed identical in many of these places. In this essay I will argue that this relationship between the two isn’t as paramount as Weber suggests, and in fact may be completely arbitrary. I believe this for a ...view middle of the document...

The kind of denomination one was in was unimportant, and in fact irrelevant, what was paramount was membership to any denomination that had been gained after examination & ethical probation; this gave them a legitimate claim for brotherly help in economic emergencies and was a determination of moral worth. Therefore business opportunities were decisively influenced by such legitimation.

However there was one quality that was vital for Webers explanation of the break down of the prevalent traditional economic system and the emergence of a new modern capitalist one, and this was the strong notion of predestination that Calvinists had. This idea of predestination meant they suffered from salvation anxiety and so would look for signs of their salvation, and this was done through signs of a success in their business. Therefore they would work hard, while living a frugal life so they could reinvest their profits and be even more successful. Prime moral attributes therefore were seen as self-discipline and diligence as these led to more accumulation.

The endowment of certain qualities was crucial for the development of rational modern capitalism, and not only did sect membership require this to join, one would have to prove repeatedly that he was endowed with these qualities, they were constantly and continuously bred in him. Weber stated that the strongest way of breeding traits is through “the necessity of holding one’s own in the circle of ones associates.” And this is exactly what was taking place, what people held the most dear, their social self-esteem, was used as a reason to reproduce these certain “respectable” traits, this Weber argues was crucial for these morals to have had such a powerful effect on individuals that meant they were engrained so strongly in society. Therefore it was not the ethical doctrine of the religion but the form of ethical conduct that was being practiced that was important, and this methodical, rational way of life arising from the idea of salvation allowed for the emergence of the “spirit” of modern capitalism.

It is often argued that Webers account can be seen as a criticism of Karl Marx, who was a materialist and argued that all institutions, including religious ones, are based on economic foundations and that they arose out of these economic conditions as a reflection of them in order to justify socio-economic relations and capitalism. Weber however shows the exact opposite of this, how can this religious institution be reflecting capitalism when it precedes it? He was an idealist and put forward this idea that this religious movement had fostered capitalism and acted as a stimulator to social change, far from the controlling “Opiate of the Masses” that Marx considered it to be.

Many argue that Weber ignores the role of brute force in the development of capitalism and that he is too focused on one factoring matter. However this is a unfair criticism as Weber does emphasis repeatedly that...

Other Papers Like Max Webers Protestant Ethic & the Spirit of Capatalism

How Important Was The Part Played By The Catholic Rulers Of Europe In The Struggle Against Protestant In The Years To 1600

595 words - 3 pages How important was the part played by the Catholic rulers of Europe in the struggle against Protestant in the years to 1600? It is not unreasonable to state that the Catholic rulers of Europe played an important part in the struggle against Protestantism as rulers like Philip II of Spain can be seen to be fighting against Protestantism very strongly, with events taking place such as the Spanish Armada in 1588. However, whether the most

The Fighting Spirit of the Women Protagonists in the Two Novels, ‘a Doll’s House’ Written by Henrik Ibsen and ‘Yerma’ by Federico Garcia Lorca

1422 words - 6 pages wants them to live together without a child, but for Yerma this fact was unacceptable. She ends up clutching Juan’s throat and chocking him to death. Her last lines say that she was barren earlier and now she will remain barren forever, as she has killed him and with him all the hopes for the child. From the comparison of the above to novels it has clearly been noticed that the husbands have faced extreme consequences of exploiting their wives. This fighting spirit has liberated both the female protagonists from their husbands and society leaving them alone to their solitude in order to discover themselves.

Protestant Ethics

1190 words - 5 pages have explained the economic success of Protestant societies that appropriate work ethic extended not only to the general population, but also on the elite groups, including the business class. In these societies, the achievement of material well-regarded as a criterion of good faith and diligently labor. History The term "Protestant work ethic" was introduced into science by German sociologist and philosopher Max Weber in his

Max Wabers Contribution in Sociology

587 words - 3 pages the Spirit of Capitalism” which he proposed that ascetic Protestanism was one of the major elective affinities associate with the rise in Western world of market-driven capitalism and the rational-legal non-state; against Karl Marx’s Historical Materialism. His emphasis was on the importance of cultural influence based on religion as means of understanding the beginning of capitalism. The Protestant Ethic lead to Weber’s broader investigations

Using Material from Item a and Elsewhere Assess the Contribution of Religion to Social Change (18 Marks)

1030 words - 5 pages differs from capitalism as it is based on systematic, efficient and a rational pursuit of profit and profit for its own sake rather than consumption. Weber calls this the spirit of capitalism. Calvinism is a form of protestant that was formed during the reformation. Weber argues that it is the Calvinist’s beliefs that helped bring about social change and modern capitalism. For example one of Calvinists beliefs is the idea of predestination

Capitalism and Society

1606 words - 7 pages -Power”. Capital Volume One. Ware: Wordsworth Editions Ltd. Marx, Karl. 1964. Economic And Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844. New York: International Publishers. Ritzer, George. 1992. Sociological Theory. New York: McGraw-Hill. Weber, Max. 2001. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. London: Routledge.

Karl Marx And Marx Weber

1359 words - 6 pages theories under his silhouette. Weber's primary works include The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Weber can be said to agree with Marx concerning the alienation of the individual in Industrial Society. For Weber this centers around the 'rationalization' of the West due to the spread of bureaucracy. Weber's belief was that Industrial Societies inevitable trend was to more and more rationalization. Thus he

Business Ethics

1251 words - 6 pages credit is that to you?" Luke 6:34. Although this may be a general injunction to disinterested benevolence, it has also been read as a condemnation of interest or usury. Jesus referenced this especially when one lends to another believer, the idea being that, as a Christian with an eternal mindset, ultimately God is our rewarder and lending to a fellow believer should be left to God to reward over collecting nominal interest. The Protestant Ethic and

Operating System

964 words - 4 pages , individuals take on the roles of other people and pretend to be those other people in order to express the expectations of significant others. | 1864-1920 | Weber, Max | Max Weber was a founding figure of the field of sociology and is considered one of the most famous sociologists in history. He is known for his thesis of the "Protestant Ethic" as well as his ideas on bureaucracy. Click here to learn more about Weber's take on how Protestant religious


1809 words - 8 pages interdependent • Weber – Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism • work as a disciplined collaboration 12 5 Principles of Scientific Management 1. Clear division of tasks and responsibilities between management and workers Organisational Behaviour 5. Surveillance of workers through the use of hierarchies of authority 4. Training of the selected worker to perform the job in the specified way 2. Use of scientific methods to determine

How Culture Promotes Development

1713 words - 7 pages inclusion leads to more productive people in the society, reduced dependency and improved living standards thus leading to gradual development. THE PROTESTANT ETHIC AND SPIRIT OF THE CAPITALISM LED TO DEVELOPMENT According to Max Weber, the protestant values encouraged capitalism which was characterized by private ownership of means of production with the aim of making profit in order to accumulate wealth. This encouraged the members of this

Related Essays

What Was The Main Theme Of Max Weber's Sociology? Analysis Of The 'protestant Ethic And The Spirit Of Capitalism'and Weber's Rationality Theory

1889 words - 8 pages /Randall Collins. Beverly Hills : Sage, c1986. 151 p. Masters of social theory ; v.32) Parkin, Frank.: Max Weber /Frank Parkin. London : Routledge, 1988. 123 p. ( Key sociologists).3)Giddens, Anthony.: Politics and sociology in the thought of Max Weber Anthony Giddens. London : Macmillan, 1972. 64p ; 21cm. ( Studies in sociology).4)Weber, Max, 1864-1920.: The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism /Max Weber ; translated by Talcott Parsons. 2nd

The Protestant Ethic And The S

3231 words - 13 pages upon what Weber described as the 'spirit of capitalism';. I will then proceed to explain what effect predestination and worldly- asceticism had an on a Protestant and his calling, and how this therefore encouraged the development of Western capitalism; in Webers view. After this I will look at the evidence Weber used to back up his idea, as well as the criticisms made against his work. I will also assess the methodological method used by Weber in

History Of The Utilitarianism Ethic Essay

3042 words - 13 pages PHIL320 Professor Christopher Myers July 27, 2013 History of the Utilitarianism Ethic The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number America lavish with a plethora of landscapes and ecosystems beyond our understanding. Truly, North America sustains some of the most opulent sights. However, our lands were not always so lush, and full of beauty. A complex history of dreams, ideas, and political affiliations came into play in the overall

The Working Of The Holy Spirit: Charismatic Theology

3606 words - 15 pages LIBERTY UNIVERSITY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY The Working of the Holy Spirit: Charismatic Theology Submitted to Dr. Lee Mitchell in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the completion of THEO 510 Survey of Christian Doctrine by Teri Washington July 4, 2015 Table of Contents Thesis Statement 1 The Need for the Study 1 The Procedure for the Study 1 Introduction 1