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What does Max Weber tell in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism What are the key themes in that book - Essay Example

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Max Weber was an economist and sociologist who expressed his ideas and ideologies in writing. One of his most outstanding writings was The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism book. Weber states that development of capitalism was largely influenced by the Puritan ethics and ideas…
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What does Max Weber tell in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism What are the key themes in that book
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Module Max Weber Ideology in ‘The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism’ Max Weber was an economist and sociologist who expressed his ideas and ideologies in writing. One of his most outstanding writings was The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism book. As a fact, Weber states that development of capitalism was largely influenced by the Puritan ethics and ideas (Weber 12). Though Weber was largely influenced by theories initiated by Karl Marx, he is clearly not a Marxist. Apparently, he is often quoted criticizing a number of aspects that were developed by Karl Marx, especially in the Marxism theories. He is one of the outstanding critics of Marxism theory in the books that were written by Karl Marx. In the beginning of the book, Weber states that the west has shown existence of valid science. This is only seen in this particular region. Though the same can be seen somewhere else in the world, there is lack of systematic and rational methodology. Similarly, there is lack of specialised methodology in such scientific innovations. Therefore, the west has marked immense development in the field of science. He makes this observation and compares the same to capitalism. He states that capitalism is not defined by the struggle for gaining profits and earning greater amounts of money. However, it is defined by the act of making renewable profits that do not seem to extinguish. In light of this statement, he states that economical gain is defined by the amounts of profits made. Therefore, it is explicit that capitalism is experienced in the whole world. Consequentially, there is a point to note in concerns to capitalism. Though it has occurred in all parts of the world, the degree is not the same (Weber 13). The west has had a better share of capitalism when compared to the other parts of the world. The west has recorded a higher degree of capitalism that can never be achieved in any other part of the world. Weber sets to examine the connection of amassing wealth vis-a-vis religion. To begin with, he states that religious affiliations, especially Protestants were compelled to a set of secular vocations in their religion. Similarly, they had to have enthusiasm in the highest manner possible. People living in such a setting were highly likely to amass immense wealthy. In addition to this, he states that emergent religions were strict on wasteful consumption of wealth. As a fact, impulsive use of hard-earned cash was forbidden in these religious affiliations. In ensuring the people allied to the religion were abiding by the directives, it was stated that it was a sin to use wealth on luxurious commodities. This was declared a sin. Secondly, Weber states that religious affiliation forbade donation to charity and beggars. They stated that this was a strategy of encouraging people and organisations to beg for money (Weber 17). Therefore, people should put money into substantive and preferred use rather than spending money on worthless activities. For example, giving money to beggars would encourage the beggars to beg for more. This would be a blow to the economy, as it would reflect minute development. Consequentially, Weber states that people should find alternative ways of using money in a more coherent manner. For example, he states that people should insist on investing money in a useful manner. This would increase generation of profits to the society. Apparently, this would be an enhancement to capitalism. Weber states that protestant ethic had a positive influence on the issue of capitalism. He states that this was an encouragement of people to work tirelessly in developing capitalism. When a large number of people are working for a common goal, they will have immense achievement in the economy. As a fact, he states that protestant ethics encouraged people to start working in the secular world. This was to generate wealth in strengthening capitalism. It is stated that people were advised to start their own enterprises, engage in trade and exchange of products (Weber 19). In addition to this, they were to enhance accumulation of large amounts of cash for investment. With increased trade, investment and accumulation of wealth, capitalism would be a strong aspect in the world. Weber decreed that the west was engaged in accumulation, investment and increased trade. As such, they had many people working for a common goal of developing the economy. This was steered by the encouragement of protestant ethics. Since people had greater regards for protestant ethics, they were compelled to engage in such activities that were highly advised. Therefore, it is evident that protestant ethics was a fundamental driving force that has led to improvement and enhancement of capitalism (Weber 21). Without protestant ethics, capitalism would have not recorded an immense difference in the world. In conclusion, Weber states that it is evident that people will hardly develop when there is absence of a driving force. When people are encouraged to avert their traditional ways of executing tasks, they will be up to the task. Apparently, he states that many people in the world only want to produce enough wealth for a comfortable living. However, the population should know that it should be earning more money. This will pave way for investments. Similarly, he states that the increasing need for wealth and efficiency is an ostensible reason for increased need for rationalized economy. Apparently, this has direct effects on labour. For example, there will be increased labour and efficiency in the economy, which will lead to increased production. This will improve scientific knowledge of the people as they look for ways of improving production. As such, people will find it easy to produce more wealth and improve in their investments. Work Cited Weber Marx. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. New York. Digireads.com. 2010. Print. Read More
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