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The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber - Essay Example

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The paper "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber" discusses that Weber wasn’t able to regain his professorship at universities because of his contracted illness. This time gave him an opportunity to write and publish his most celebrated work…
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The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber
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Download file to see previous pages The Calvinist believed that man will attain higher salvation through profit-making. This pursuit of profit was not viewed by the Calvinists as a materialistic desire. They had believed that money is a virtue. Later on, Weber regarded this religious phenomenon as the spirit of capitalism. Religion is an abstract concept which gives emphasis to the spirit while money is concrete in its capitalistic value. Spirit of capitalism then is the values attached to the quest for more and more money. The success of capitalism lies in people’s acceptance of the importance of being righteous by means of accumulating profit. Values which embody the spirit they are the driving forces toward modern capitalism. The Calvinist religious principle that reinforced the development of capitalism is the doctrine of predestination. This holy code states that people are destined to go to heaven and be rewarded or plunge to hell and be punished. This destiny or fate supported by the principle is not dependent on being righteous or being sinful while living on earth. Hard work and devotion towards one’s calling will decide where an individual should go after death. The Calvinist believes that one’s Christianity could be shown by making the best out of one’s means of subsistence; that is recognizing one’s responsibilities as a ticket to heaven. Also, spending one’s life on his/her calling will reduce the nervousness inherent in the thought of a possible residence in hell after life. Weber then concluded that religion, specifically Calvinism and the other branches of Protestantism are largely responsible for the transformation of society to capitalism (Weber as cited in Lemert 100-102).
Max Weber represented the spirit of capitalism by means of using Benjamin Franklin as his mouthpiece. Weber claims that Franklin possessed an attitude that is closely related to the ethics of capitalism. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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