Economic Traditionalism As The Antithesis Of Economic Traditionalism

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Economic traditionalism is essentially the antithesis of modern capitalism. Within this framework, work was viewed as a “necessary evil” (Kalberg 2011a: p. 418). It was simply the means through which people acquire the economic needs necessary for survival. Therefore, work and money did not take precedence over one’s family, community, and leisure. The tasks themselves were based on custom and tradition, and were independent of the individual himself. That is, work did not constitute one’s self-identity. Luther was an extreme proponent of this ideology. He was suspicious of wealth and asserted that money should only be enough to live a life of integrity. Weber ([1905] 2011) describes Luther’s reservation:
Luther was convinced that people of every status can become saved…Therefore, the striving for material gain that goes beyond one’s own needs, Luther argues, must be a symptom of one’s lack of grace. Indeed, because striving for gain appears to be possible only at the expense of others, this pursuit must be viewed as an unequivocal abomination. (P. 103)

Thus, Luther was critical of those who utilized work to feed their avarice. Instead, asceticism was highly valued; as people were advised to renounce gluttony and avoid succumbing to their physical and sensual pleasures. Luther was also wary of those who attempted to venture outside of their calling. This was viewed as tinkering with God’s will and undermining His plan for the individual’s salvation. Therefore, “the

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