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Weber Understanding of Capitalism

It is the study of relation between the ethics of the ascetic Protestantism with the modern capitalism emergence spirit. Max Weber goes ahead to argue that certain religious ideas from groups such as Calvinists which played big roles in the creation of the capitalistic spirit (Dickson, 1987.6).

Throughout his arguments Max Weber emphasizes on his account not being complete. The argument is not based on the spirit of capitalism being caused by Protestantism but including it as one of the contributing factors. According to him capitalism had a big impact in the development of religious ideas. Max Weber's procedural individualism aims on the purposeful action. He discovers non-rational dealings that can be either emotive or traditional but his center of attention is focused on the action towards a target (Giddens, 1971, 19). He did emphasize money making as a calling contrary to the ethical feelings of the whole epochs arguing that Calvinism changed spirit of capitalism that transformed it to rational and the unashamed pursuit of the profit to its own sake. According to Weber Calvinism accomplished the transformation not that much with the direct teachings but through interaction of its main theology with psychology of human beings. The uncertainty on salvation according to Max Weber had an impact on psychology of production of a single minded certainty search. He explains further that one could never have influence on Gods decision to withhold or extend election there one will still have an attempt of ascertaining his or her status (Robert, 1959. 96).

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The approach Weber uses connects emergence of the protestant with psychological occurrences and changes which are necessary and allows development of capitalism spirit. The idea of calling with knowing asceticism is a free force, the one which is not institution based creation with structures but the one that emerged entirely and separately as a consequence of reformation that was unintended (Kitch, 1967, 84). In a sense of a calling and ascetic ethics that is applied to the laborers as well as to the businessmen and entrepreneurs', nascent capitalism mostly required a reliable, punctual and honest labor which did not exist in traditional societies. This free labor would then voluntary submit to systematic behavior of work under the capitalism which is essential and internalized worth system unlike any that is seen before. Weber's ascetic Protestantism has been an all- encompassing system of value that shaped a whole life not merely on the job. Most of time life controlled for the purposes of serving God thus the protestant ethic ordered life in accordance to its own logic and also the needs of the modern capitalism as he understood (Lehmann, 1993, 43).

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The first observation made by Max Weber was how the protestant is involved in business, then went ahead to declare his intention in exploring the part played by religion in the modern economic conditions. Weber argues that in modern spirit of capitalism profit is seen as the end in itself, also it is pursued as virtuous. His intention is to ensure there is understanding of where the spirit comes from. In his potential explanations he turned to Protestantism, the worldly calling concept is found in Protestantism giving religious character to worldly activity (Marshall, 1982, 64). In the other hand Calvinists believes in the predestination where God already had determined the one who is saved and the damned. As the Calvinism developed the deep clue on whether a person is saved aroused psychologically prompted the Calvinists to look to their success clues in the worldly activities nevertheless they valued profit as the material success for they believed it was Gods favor (Roth, 1979, 17). He continued to argue that the new attitude was contributed in the braking down of the traditional economic system thus paving way for the modern capitalism. Nonetheless, once there was emergence of capitalism the values of protestant were termed vague and not necessary for that matter whereby ethic took on the life of its own. The importance of capitalism spirit to the activity in modern economy we are locked into it. It is very important to note that Max Weber isn't trying to air his views on believes in full complexity. He presents each religion as ideal type that captures his most relevant characteristic on his study (Awney, 1926, 21).

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As astute analyst Max Weber accurately notes that, the 'sine qua non' in capitalism is mostly believed to be greed. Through his argument against the notion, he points out all societies having voracious persons within their own economic system-greed is an aspect of irrespective of economic system. He went ahead proposing the replacement of that with the "spirit" of capitalism being thought of as a meticulous moral approach towards work and idleness attitude which holds diligent and that constant work is an ethical imperative for its own (Viner, 1978, 12). Weber attempts drawing a strict dichotomy in the origins of this ethics and by doing that there is weakness that is involved in his characterization of the protestant ethic. Furthermore he also states that the ethic doesn't come from any clarified thought. The conception is not appearing only under the capitalism conditions (Wallerstein, 1974, 17). Contrary to that it the origins are traced to back to the time previous to advent of the capitalism. Naturally, still less, do we maintain: a conscious reception of the ethical maxims on individuals part, laborers or entrepreneurs in the modern capitalistic enterprise. This is a condition of further existence of further capitalism in present day. He also argues that the present day capitalistic economy is immense cosmos in that an individual is born, which then presents itself to him as an individual and as unalterable things in order that he must live. It also forces individual when he is involved in system of market relations to conform to the action rules of capitalistic (Weber, 1958, 19).

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Weber also argued that the freedom concept was one of the important aspects of serf's decisions and desires. It was not simple influence of ideas found in freedom abstract but which later emerged in a more specific economic and social context. These meant that there was a clash between the ideas of patronage and deference on one hand with the attitude of the economic individualism on the other side. He added that socialists should go on and examine the possible bearing of deep-rooted economic and social changes upon nature of the worth that is held by members of specified society or section (Bolam, 1968, 53).

Weber also was interested in role that religion played. In his arguments he went ahead and says that it was not possible for the construction of a single model which is comprehensive of capitalism origins but provision of insight factors that are associated to development of organization of capitalism system. On the other view each religion was being associated with the way of life which makes a dynamic economic activities development. According to Weber, the emergence of capitalism took place in only in Western Europe in the early modern times and then exported to other countries e.g. Japan and China by Europe invasion (Davies, 1982, 57). Through his examination to all cultural circumstances he looked for cases which are similar to other in the modern Europe hoping to end up with the difference. He then used the difference method to argue that if such a culture and the other one were like modern Europe respectively then that will be the difference experienced. What he believed made the difference was the religion whereby the parts of early modern Europe where capitalism originated from had a favorable religion to the rational calculation unlike other which controls cultures, or else it was pretty interconnected in that capitalism did not occur.

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Weber's method of constructing types he opts for a complex that are juxtaposed which does not have any of the tight psychological or logical connection. For instance his method of bureaucracy is inimical to the freedom yet inescapable and inevitable whereby they are so effective that they replace non-bureaucratic rivals. He continues by constructing other complex ideal types using a comparative study of western and eastern cultures (Elton, 1963, 33). His inclusions and the exclusions are pretty arbitrary that are slanted to the conclusion which he expects to come. In the account to the methods, his view on capitalism Weber had a few remarks on its future. Once the capitalism is well established and has come into a being, the factors that lead to its existence should not be the one that propels it to exist and there are possibilities of others that may destroy it (Elton, 1963, 33).

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Weber is criticized by many in his accounts. During early century, the historians studied timing of emergence in capitalism and the Calvinism in Europe. They reviewed the literature and in conclusion they found out that the timing showed Calvinism emerging later than capitalism and the latter became positively powerful thus signifying no cause and effect connection. Weber is criticized of misinterpreting Puritanism or Calvinism treating multi- faceted Christianity that is reformed as equivalent to the late era English Puritanism, and these is the year when Weber's most quotes were drawn (Holt,1952,92). Furthermore there were critics that Weber had described Puritanism was not the true Puritanism, in this case much less Calvinism might be correct but beside the point. Leaders from puritan certainly condemned limited loyalty to ones business for it based on excluding God with the common good. Nevertheless protestant ethic was a deviation from the pure doctrine as Max Weber asserts. However the attacks from the pastors suggests such kind of a mistaken spirit was existing within their flock, but the mistaken doctrine, if wide spread it will be one of the contributors of capitalist spirit. In addition to that Max also misinterpreted Puritanism as one issue. Whether capitalism was misinterpreted by him exaggerating the importance of asceticism is also another (Holt, 1952, 92).

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He was criticized of narrow concepts whereby he narrowly defined the capitalism itself and the different concept that compared to what Marx used with limitation in concept. In addition capitalism and Catholicism with respect to religion was criticized whereas others argued that Catholicism mostly before reformation period wasn't inhibiting towards capitalistic activities (Mayo,1933, 94). As confirmation it was renowned that many of early capitalist development happened in the Italian states which were the catholic environments. To add on that many protestant groups do not fit on Max Weber's replica. Moreover empirical evidence was one area where Max was criticized for it was termed incorrect according to the way areas of catholic supremacy also achieved significant early entrepreneur successes. The last part where Weber was criticized was on the direction of causation. He asserted that religious doctrines were very separate from economic aspects whereas Marxist view over the changes of the religion occurrence was because of the economic necessities (Mayo,1933, 94).

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In conclusion, he tried to understand the relationships between the spirit of capitalism and the ascetic Protestantism. He then went ahead to understand how religious ideas can be translated to maxims for everyday's conducted followed by clarification of ways in which puritan ideas of calling with asceticism influenced development of capitalistic lifestyle.

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