SparkNotes: The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: Summary
Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is a study of the relationship between the ethics of ascetic Protestantism and the emergence of the spirit of modern capitalism. Weber argues that the religious ideas of groups such as the Calvinists played a role in creating the capitalistic spirit. Weber first observes a correlation between being Protestant and being involved in business, and declares his intent to explore religion as a potential cause of the modern economic conditions. He argues that the modern spirit of capitalism sees profit as an end in itself, and pursuing profit as virtuous. Weber’s goal is to understand the source of this spirit. Protestantism offers a concept of the worldly “Calling,” and gives worldly activity a religious character. Weber argues that this new attitude broke down the traditional economic system, paving the way for modern capitalism. Once capitalism emerged, the Protestant values were no longer necessary, and their ethic took on a life of its own. We are now locked into the spirit of capitalism because it is so useful for modern economic activity. Throughout his book, Weber emphasizes that his account is incomplete. He is not arguing that Protestantism caused the capitalistic spirit, but rather that it was one contributing factor. He also acknowledges that capitalism itself had an impact on the development of the religious ideas. The full story is much more complex than Weber’s partial account, and Weber himself constantly reminds his readers about his own limitations. The book itself has an introduction and five chapters. The first three chapters make up what Weber calls “The Problem.” The first chapter addresses “Religious Affiliation and Social Stratification,” the second “The Spirit of Capitalism,” and the third “Luther’s Conception of the Calling and the Task of the Investigation.” The fourth and fifth chapters make up “The Practical Ethics of the Ascetic Branches of Protestantism.” The fourth chapter is about “The Religious Foundations of Worldly Asceticism,” and the fifth chapter is about “Asceticism and the Spirit of Capitalism.”
Difference Between Communism and fascism
Though some people may term communism and fascism as the two sides of the same coin, they are different in their ideology and other aspects. Communism is a socio economic system that stands for a class less, state less and an egalitarian society. Fascism is an ideology that tries to bring together radical and authoritarian nationalism. “Fascism became popular between 1919 and 1945 and the term has become an epithet for all bad things. Fascism originally referred to the Fascists under Benito Mussolini. Communism became popular after the Bolshevik Revolution of Russia in 1917. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels is considered to be the bible of communism. The authoritative document of Fascism is”The Doctrine of Fascism. On the other hand, Fascism pertains to state and it considers state on top of everything. For the fascists, no human values exist outside the state. Fascism believes that everything is within the State and nothing is above the State or outside the State or against the State. Fascism believes in nationalism, corporatism, militarism and totalitarianism. In communism, the state is the custodian of everything and it is the state that owns everything. On the other hand, in Fascism, the state has control over everything. In simple words, Communism means state ownership and fascism means state control. Fascism is derived from Italian fascio meaning bundle. Communism comes from French communisme, meaning common. “Summary.1.Communism is a socio economic system that stands for a class less, state less and an egalitarian society. Fascism is an ideology that tries to bring together radical and authoritarian nationalism.2.Fascism became popular between 1919 and 1945. Communism became popular after the Bolshevik Revolution of Russia in 1917.3.The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels is considered to be the bible of communism. The authoritative document of Fascism is”The Doctrine of Fascism. Fascism pertains to state and it considers state on top of everything.
“Enlightenment” is an appropriate term for an historical period when people began to apply scientific principles to governments and economies. He wrote in the 1690s, proposing that there was a contract between governments and peoples. The government had the responsibility of providing good government, the people had the responsibility to obey the government. When the government no longer provided good leadership, the people were no longer obligated to subject themselves to the laws; rebellion was justified. This was an important idea, because many political philosophers had hypothesized that human beings were born with the need to obey an authoritarian government. Locke believed that the divine right of kings was taught from such an early age that tyrannical government merely seemed like an instinctual need. Men were endowed with specific rights, needs, and longings that any government was obliged to respect, and primary among these were, “Life, liberty, and property”. Rousseau popularized the notion that man without government was in his ideal state, virtuous, free, equal, and happy. Of all of the philosophes, Montesquieu’s work probably had the most practical long term application. In this book he reviewed the basic types of government: tyranny, democracy, and oligarchy. To create a stable government each of these classes had to have representation in a structure that balanced the powers of each. He suggested also that various branches of government composed of executive, legislative, and judicial also be constituted so that powers be divided between them. The French Physiocrats proposed that an economy left to itself would be better regulated than one in which there was government interference. Adam Smith, the Scot philosopher, and founder of capitalism wrote his seminal work, The Wealth of Nations, where he proposed that each individual, working for his own best interest, naturally worked for the betterment of all of society. He demonstrated that the role of government was to allow this process to proceed and only operate as a policeman to prevent illegal activities, and to protect the nation’s economy from outside predators.