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MSL Reading # 44 - The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

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Malcolm Mac Kinnon

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism Max Weber In Max Webers analysis of capitalism, he argues that the early Protestant world- views of Calvinism and Puritanism were the primary factors in influencing the development of a capitalist economic system During the Occident times, there was a form of rational capitalistic organization of free labour. Rational industrial organization was the only uniqueness of Western capitalism. o The modern rational organization of the capitalistic enterprise would not have been possible without two other important factors in its development: The separation of business from the household, which completely dominates modern economic life Rational bookkeeping The development of capitalistic activity differs in different cultures by the adventurer type, or capitalism in trade, war, politics, or administration as sources of gain. o Origin of this sober bourgeois capitalism with its rational organization of free labour The unusual modern Western form of capitalism has been strongly influenced by the development of technical possibilities o It is dependent on the peculiarities of modern science, especially the natural sciences based on mathematics and exact and rational experiment o The development of these sciences and of the technique upon them now receives important stimulation from these capitalistic interests in its practical economic application o Technical utilization of scientific knowledge was encouraged by economic considerations, which were extremely favourable to the Occident The rational structures of law and administration:
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