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Dan Silver

SOCB43 – Lecture #2 – 2014-Jan-23  Spirit of capitalism o What is the spirit of capitalism  one of the first things Weber does in his essay is to interpret spirit of capitalism, he uses selections from the autobiography of Ben Franklin; Weber get a spirit of capitalism from that passage from Ben  Industriousness is a moral duty  you have a duty to increase your wealth, always make sure that people around you know that you are hardworking, up-standing and honest member of the family  Modern vs. adventure capitalism  adventure type of capitalism will always happen, it’s the kind of capitalism associated with greed, cheating; people don’t think that’s good thing, and it’s not something that has been done in a regular scale • Modern capitalism is different; it’s about massive population doing systematic work every day making little bit of money, it’s about steady systematic small profit o Why care  a natural/Marxist response would be there is no real sense in caring; because not everything is about material perspective; which raises the comparison between ideal vs. material history  Ideal history  even though capitalism is about money and material wealth, however • Material capitalism did not emerge among the rich • Material capitalism was historically considered bad  the idea that the goal of working is not working  Material history  o Where did spirit of capitalism come from (P80-81)  Rationalism  capitalist ideal is somehow tied to the rationalized economic activity • Apply scientific principles to production, to add efficiency to work; if you always follow tradition then you can’t make the most profit from the least effort of work • Quantitative  e.g. bookkeeping is a modern invention, so that people can know how much profit they are obtaining; once there are numbers people can transform them into scientific principle  Where did rationalism came from to make work and life more efficient  it comes from religion, it came initially (at least for the west) from the Protestant ethic; how can something happened in religion to move our modern world  Protestant ethic  Protestantism was a movement within Christian led by Martin Luther and others, the idea is that every individual can have access to God, and that was revolutionary because it changes the whole idea of faith, salvation o Key aspects of protestant way of life  The doctorine of Calvinist  God has save a few souls in the beginning, it’s the idea of predestination that only a few people were chosen, it’s something that people were born with, but have no idea if they are born with it or not o What is the protestant ethic   Asceticism  self-denial, one is denying pleasure, should be able to suffer from pain; this form of asceticism is a classic feature of monks; the protestant asceticism is a bit different from monks; reasons and difference include:  State of grace  the group that is elected by God are saint, the elect are pure spirit, they are not tempted by the material world, and are destined to go to heaven; but how do you know if you are part of the elect  Testifying to belief  practices that has to be done day and night, has to be good and pure to every aspec
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