January 24, 2011
The Future of the Nation-State
If nationalism is a function of the modern society, once modern society is “completed” shouldn‟t
the age of the nation state pass?
- Regional integration -
- European Union – Common economic area, with a common customs border
o Less barriers of trade in EU states than in the Provinces of Canada.
o There are barriers with inter-provincial trading within Canada. (health care, if you
move to another province you have to wait 4 months before you get the next
provinces version of OHIP).
o Quebec is so autonomous at this point that they don‟t need to separate.
- Local revival nationalism
Weber: Protestant Ethic
Why did the west get rich?
- They stole it: imperialism.
- Problem: why didn‟t they steal it from us first?
o They would have but they couldn‟t. They didn‟t work together because they
didn‟t have the strides in working together.
- What are the origins of technological superiority?
- Weather: warming up of Europe after 15 century?
- Problem: why didn‟t warm areas get rich?
- What was it about northwest part of Europe that made it unique?
- Protestantism and capitalism.
o It was protestant because Catholicism was very restrictive, and Protestantism was
- Weber wasn‟t the first to do this: in fact most social theorists were responding to Karl
- Published as two long articles in 1904 and 1905
- Opens it with a statistical fact: “business leaders and owners of capital, as well as the
higher grades of skilled labour, and even more the higher technically and commercially
- Not merely a contemporary fact but a historical fact: tracing the association back, it can
be shown that some of the early centres of capitalist development in the early part of the
16 century were strongly protestant.
- But this interpretation does not stand up to scrutiny.
- Reformation not an escape from controls of the church.
- It involved a much higher degree of regulation of behaviour than that which was
demanded by Catholicism. - Protestantism adopts a stringent attitude towards relaxation and enjoyment – especially
renounced in Calvinism.
- Therefore must look to specific character of Protestant beliefs if we are to account for
connection between Protestantism and economic rationality.
- Weber not the first to see the correlation between the capitalism and Protestantism. But
usual interpretation was Marxist: Protestantism is ideological reflection of economic
changes in early capitalism.
- Weber‟s originality is in arguing that usually people caught up with economic activity are
indifferent or hostile to religion (their actions are directed to material world; Religion is
directed to immaterial world).
- But Protestantism did not relax control of church over day to day activities but intensified
it and demanded more rigorous discipline than Catholicism.
- Thus, injected a religious factor into all spheres of life of the believer.
- Weber distinguishes other forms of capitalism as “economic traditionalism” the attitudes
toward labor are symptomatic of this: “A man does not „by nature‟ wish to earn more and
more money, but simply to live as he lives and as he is accustomed to live, and to earn as
much as is required to do so.”
- Traditionalism is by no means incompatible with greed for wealth.
- This is quite different from modern capitalism. However, which is founded not on the
amoral pursuit of gain, but on the disciplined obligation to work as