Weber’s Protestant Ethic

Weber’ s take on Protestant ethic I can relate to. I see this in churches even now in our modern world. Money is seen only as a way to make ends meet, it is not here to make us happy because it’s “the root of all evil.” But to see that this ideology has been used to be a rational idea of where is it used to be a means of production, shocked me. I would have never thought that while the thought of asceticism was around to curb the greed that would have been prevalent in a new capitalist society.

In America, it was that same idea that turned the economy into a rationalized society where asceticism is used to be able to enjoy life. It’s this idea that we see in our youths now, where the concept of working hard and playing harder has a strong effect on how we work and plan our lives. We have the idea that working hard pays off in the future and there is a means to an end.

In my opinion, this idea doesn’t fit in life at all, for the simple fact that, because we are all trying to find that means to an end, not everybody will find it. It would be better if we can find something in life that will makes us happy to do. Because of the type of society we live in, making it to the top is a fight and not everybody is built for that fight.

My opinion of the Protestant Ethic, of asceticism, of refraining from indulging and enjoying the money you make is extreme, but the concept of working to have a comfortable living is more obtainable, then working to make more money then you need for self, or family.

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2 responses to “Weber’s Protestant Ethic

  1. Interesting reflections, D. To be clear, in Weber’s conceptualization, the *Protestant ethic* does feature a certain kind of ‘greed,’ what Weber called a ‘peculiar philosophy of avarice’ (asceticism) Wealth accumulation (directed towards saving and investment, ‘deferred gratification’) was encouraged, but wealth consumption or enjoyment was not. Weber argues that this sort of orientation was required to get capitalism off the ground.

    These days social/economic conditions are such that majority of individuals and families don’t really have a choice about whether to consume their income or set it aside for the ‘future’ (in the form of saving and investment). Many have cashed out their retirement funds to weather the recession. Many households lack the income to make ends meet, compelled to live on credit and borrowing. In fact it’s consumer spending (and consumer credit) that keeps our economy afloat.

  2. When you say that not everyone is built for the fight that is required to reach the top or financial prosperity, I understand what you are trying to say. Some people do not have the necessary resources to grow in life and others frankly do not even give an attempt at it. Improving ones social and economic conditions means sacrifice and determination from ones self. Many people do not for whatever reason engage in this extra effort to create social mobility for themselves, hence remain in the same place their entire lives.

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