Weber, the Spirit of Capitalism and the Protestant Ethic

956 WordsNov 27, 20124 Pages
The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism, by M. Weber I/ What is the spirit of capitalism? According to Marx’s theory, labour is what define oneself in the world and give meaning to one’s life. Weber emphasized that theory when he published in 1904 “The protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism”. Contrary to what if often thought, capitalism is not an immoderate and immoral seek for money, but a rational and controlled way of doing business. Profitability, which could be defined as the efficiency at generating earnings, is the mean purpose of the capitalistic state of mind. Limitless avidity is not a characteristic of the capitalism spirit but it often get confused with the need of profitability that…show more content…
Thus, Protestantism appeals to seek for overall happiness through work and labour. At least, Weber’s theory also states that work plays a saving part in Protestants’ life, and more specifically offers them a chance to get to an after-life and helps them to stand the pressure of the principle of predestination. What is predestination? The Protestant faith states that only few elected people can have access to the after-life, but unlike Catholicism, there are no criteria on which you can rely on to be sure you will get to Heaven. Hence, to be among the chosen ones, it is a duty to consider oneself chosen, and in order to attain that self-confidence, intense labour is strongly advised by pastors. Predestination also means that there are no hopes for forgiveness, unlike the Catholic faith. One cannot pretend to after life without an entire life of hard and intense labour. Thus, work is for Protestants an act of justification of their faith, a mean to struggle against evil and sin, and a way to get to after-life. This explains why labour has the utmost importance in Protestant’s faith. It is believed that God helps those who help themselves: by working hard, Protestants create their own salvation. One’s duty at work, which is for capitalistic culture a mix between the search of efficiency, profitability and sense of investment, was influenced and eased by the Protestants and
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