How the West got Rich week's readings and lecture notes

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Political Science
Jeffrey Kopstein

How the West got Rich Readings Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, chs.1,2,5. - Traditional capitalism - to make enough to live a modest life. A rational making and putting away of money as per peasants. - Modern capitalism - working hard. Labourers, Large turnover. Competitive. Making a fortune and saving it. - Bourgeois principle - This is part of a person. This is an ethic that is inherent to the individual. - Its a belief - Today its no longer a matter of religious affiliation. That capitalist structure works with these ethics in place. We must adapt to these expectation for economic survival. - Asceticism - Acquisition of wealth is morally suspect. Even if youre rich you should work. Specialized labour and being productive and not indulging in luxuries. All part of a calling. - Puritans were the chose people and thanked God for being in their situation. Why they loved their work so much. -Rational clean and solid comforts acquisition of wealth as oppose to irrational use of wealth. - Avoiding being idle acquisition of wealth refraining from irrational spending or new idleness riches. - For Calvinists, labour is not an economic means but a spiritual end. Lecture - Kopstein, Monday, January 24, 2011 - The west stole the world through imperialism. - We got there first because of technological superiority. - NW part of Europe made it the farthest because very powerful. - Weber noticed that this region was largely Protestant. - This fact can be traced back deep into history. - Calvinists adopt attitudes of relaxation. - Heaven and hell. - Weber argues that Protestant ethics leads to economic rationality. - Weber notes that economic and material world spiritual world (non-physical). Those highly concerned with religion are less concerned with materials. - While Catholicism forgives people (confession), Protestantism less forgiving. Protestantism demands rigorous watch over daily life. Its between you and God and the time. - Religion predates capitalism -Capitalism works because people naturally labour more than they need to in order to sustain their basic needs. Weber explains this because work is a duty. Its not in the gains but in the work. We feel like we have to, not that we need to. This is both the capitalist spirit, and the protestant work ethic. - Protestantism is about worldly pursuits. - Calvinism says that man exists for God. Your life is predetermined. motives of God are unknown. The divine truth is only partly accessible. - For Weber, the consequence is inner loneliness. There is no priest or church standing between you and god. Its you vs the world. - Intense worldly avidity to develop confidence that you are part of the elect. Only means to get by: not to have doubts. - this is different from earning salvation - God all the time catholics are more only while in church.
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