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Book Review on Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

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  1. Introduction
  2. Advanced mathematical systems
  3. Important influential factors conductive to change
  4. The differences between Calvinism and Catholicism
  5. The baptizing sects and churches of Protestantism
  6. People in modern capitalistic society
  7. Conclusion
  8. References

According to Weber, industrial capitalism emerged in the west though the convergence of a number of key factors. Capitalism itself had existed in areas of the world prior to the west and had even shared some of the same key factors. For instance, capitalist enterprises were found to have developed in places like China, and Egypt yet they failed to become perpetual and broke down into a series of smaller enterprises. One could argue that they lacked the union of Weber's proposed factors, as well as a social carries to guide the required moral framework on a grand scale. According to Weber the main factors which gave rise to industrial capitalism in the west were the convergence of accounting practices, separation of the home from work, formally free wage labor, predictable law, and distinctive social carriers.

[...] He felt that after overproduction of commodities took place workers would realize the level of inequality in society and revolt. Therefore Marx believed that the ruling class produced its own grave diggers and that their fall and the victory of the working class is inevitable in capitalism (Bailey and Gayle, 2003). In contrast to Marx, Weber had more hope for the human condition and did believe that a society could transcend capitalism. Weber suggested that rationalization of ideal types could be used to explain the development of modern capitalism. His explanation of puritan ideals being the foundation of [...]

[...] The ideals of protestant asceticism such as their organization of life and abstinence from fruitless spending are examples of this spirit of work, and are important features in industrial capitalist thinking. Weber argued that in the west, civil servants were the most important social carriers. He claimed that the civil servants in western society were trained in technical, commercial, and legal areas of knowledge and thus were the most important social carriers. Therefore since civil servants excelled in the other areas which were also conductive to capitalism (accounting, law, etc.) it can be argued that social carriers are extremely important to the development of industrial capitalism (Weber, 2002). [...]

[...] Part Three Near the end of the book Weber argues that people in modern capitalism society are forced to adopt the same ideals which were held by the Puritans. Essentially what he means by this is that the ideals which were once characteristics of the puritan vocational calling had manifested themselves in the foundations of modern economic order. When Weber states that we are forced to adhere to these principles he is suggesting that any business or business man whom doesn't adopt the Calvinist ideals will be rooted out by a system of economic survivalism. [...]

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