Blog 3: Protestant Ethic

In The Protestant Ethic, Marx Weber explored the rationalizing tendencies current in the Western society and the role of these ideas in shaping them. Weber argues that the spirit of modern capitalism sees profit as an end of itself. He then correlates this avarice with religion (i.e. Protestantism and Calvinism) noticing a similar manifestation. When capitalism emerged overtaking the current religions, the pursuit for success rooted in these religions took its own form: the ethnic that one must work hard and continue to make money without enjoying life’s pleasures – this is the Protestant Ethic.

Interestingly, modern society in America, today, does not follow this protestant ethic. We work hard to make money in order to enjoy our lives. One could say our societal mindset revolves around consumerism. Without our money, the bridge to satisfaction would be gone; our lives will feel empty, boring or even unfulfilling.

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2 responses to “Blog 3: Protestant Ethic

  1. I agree with the thought of us working with the hope to enjoy ourselves, yet for many people it stays just as you wrote a “thought”. The religious ethics have been replaced with the grand, persuasive world of marketing and retail therapy. The goal is not simply to make more money, but to be able to consume the goods that are so persistently promoted through the media, store credit cards and billboards. Although the lavish pleasures of the rich are not accessible to most people, there are momentary pleasures in the consumption of the latest fad.

  2. Good observation — American capitalism today is based on entirely different principles than the kind of saving and thrift that motivated Weber’s Protestants. It relies on consumption, even at the price of exorbitant levels of consumer debt.

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