Weber: Protestant Ethic
(Continuation from last week's lecture )
The Future of the Nation-State
1.If nationalism is a function of modern society, once modern society is "completed"
shouldn't the age of the nation state pass?
4.Local revival nationalism (Quebec)
•Material chances of life deeply connected to entities outside our country; economic
integration (with "evil Americans") - e.g. Getting rid of NAFTA? -> political unification
with the US? Not just the US, the whole era of the nation-state should pass?
- e.g. In European Union - who are you first, European or [nationality - e.g. German, French,
etc.] - a significant # rank 'European' first, nationality second; even if nationality first, much
pride in being European
- identities which are normally competing, but cohabitable here
~ reached that next stage, Europe is so integrated, less barriers to trade between Germany &
France than there are between Manitoba & Ontario
- in contrast, Canadians are Canadian first, not considering selves as "North American"
- labour mobility
- Europe has gone very far in terms of integration (although no European army, aircraft
~ but political/economic terms, very integrated
- is the nation-state coming to an end? - challenge from above, but also challenge from
- the constituent parts claiming autonomy (e.g. Quebec) - Quebec is so autonomous at this
point that they don't need to separate
- fundamental challenges to national identity, both from above&below
- national identities: sticky? But they do change. - e.g. A lot of people argue within Quebec
` what would separation even mean today?
Weber: Protestant Ethic
1.Weber, father of modern sociology, German nationalist, spoke about 12 languages, asked
a lot of interesting questions
Why did the West get rich?
2.They stole it: imperialism
3.Problem: why didn't they steal it from us first?
4.What are the origins of technological superiority?
5.Why could we steal it from them? Why didn't the Aztecs come over to Spain & steal it
form us first? The Aztec empire was an empire, not "let's have a democracy & vote" - if they
could've, they would've. But they didn't.
6.Nature of the world: a bad neighbourhood at 2 in the morning.
7.A couple hundred Spanish people came over & conquered an army of 10,000 Aztecs
` they had better weapons. Why?
` why did [England] become the most powerful place in the world, totally kick Spanish butt?
` because if the Spanish stole it first, why didn't it become the most powerful country in the
8.Weather: warming up of Europe after 15th century
9.Problem: why didn't warm areas get rich first?
10.So the cold areas got rich first, not the warm areas
11.What was it about northwest part of Europe that made it unique?
12.Protestantism & capitalism
13.Weber wasn't the first to do this: in fact most social theorists were responding to
14.Noticing that it was Protestant (others had noticed this too, before, but were
thinking in response to Marx)
15.Gave Marxist argument
16."Protestant less restrictive than Catholism, therefore"
` "base produces superstructure"
17.Published as two long articles in 1904 & 1905
18.Opens it with a statistical fact:
` "business leaders & owners of capital, as well as the higher grades of skilled labour, &
even more the higher technically & commericially trained personnel of ...[...]"
19.Not merely a contemporary fact but an historical fact: tracing the association back,
it can be shown that some of the early centers of capitalist development in the early part of
the 16th century were strongly Protestant
20.Ready explanation? Break with economic traditionalism produced a sloughing off
of tradition & religious institutions
- [map of religions at time]
- what is the relation between capitalism & the religions of the time?