Blog 2: Weber

Weber believes that “without bureaucracies, tasks could not be performed efficiently for large amounts of people”. That belief can be connected to Weber’s other point of view in which he believes that being rich and wealthy was a necessity in order to be saved. On the other hand, what doesnt make sense to me, is how Weber says that religion “set up the foundation for capitalism”. If Weber is always mentioning properties and bureuacracies, etc, why does he say that religion set up basic capitalism? If you think about it, it’s slightly self-contradicting. He also mentions how having economic power does not always mean that you will have a certain social status in society. For example, he mentions how making illegal money does not earn you respect and that it is looked down upon. So all in all, yes Weber is right in saying that the people in society are separated into classes. It actually fits perfectly into the United States’s present problem. Yes the rich are basically safe beacause of their money and whoever made that money in a grimy way is looked down upon. Unfortunately, the middle class and the poor are not presently in a good spot.

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One response to “Blog 2: Weber

  1. Nice, wide-ranging reflections on Weber, N. Good, important question about how religion could serve as the foundation of capitalism in the West. Weber himself was so puzzled by this — the affinity between Protestantism and wealth accumulation — that he wrote an entire book about it. It’s true that Weber spends a lot of time on “material” aspects of society (like Marx, in fact), property and the bureaucratic apparatus, etc. However, unlike Marx, he’s interested in the motivational frameworks that guide action in the social world. With regard to the pursuit of wealth, there can be a range of motivations driving it. The Protestants of the early 16th century that Weber writes about pursued wealth because they believed that worldly success was a sign of God’s grace. Weber observed that there was production and exchange going on in other parts of Europe and the world, but the difference was that elsewhere there wasn’t the same emphasis on saving and investment. Instead, people *consumed* the fruits of their labor, spending it — enjoying(!) it — rather than engaging in the kind of *withholding* and denial of gratification that was the cornerstone of Protestant asceticism.

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