Austerity and Asceticism, Unveiled Monsters, Blog 2

Through Weber’s ideal types, some might wonder why people have affective actions of romanizing hard labour or their calling, and why people use value-rational action to value a calling or a set of verses that may be used to turn their very bodies as cogs in a machine? Why must people undergo instrumental-rational action to attain payments through highly bureaucratic, yet Protestant ways…couldn’t there be other ways of gaining monies? Why do people follow traditional actions that revolve around religion or the dogma of religion that may be purposeful to manipulate people into giving away their gains. These concepts or ideal types are used for analysis, the answer to these questions revolve around the Protestant Ethic or what some people today may perceive as Austerity. In the video, the host talked about people never thinking of working for a greedy minority, but when the doctrine if austerity was used and preached, they would change their mind and give up some of their assets to appease the greedy. Weber used Verstehe, he would be able to dissect that such modern austerity and the Protestant Ethic were mechanisms for control and he would also note that if if a doctor of Austerity  said, “this would hurt”, it would affect the lives of people and their saving tremendously. In the video, “The Meaning of “Austerity”, one can recognize that the preachers tried to persuade countries that they should be austere, or basically happy with the little pleasure they have. The IMF reformers used this concept of austerity to get people to be comfortable with what they have, then use the public monies for personal debt solutions, this is all to similar to Weber’s writing, “From The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904).” In this writing Weber’s states, “One of the fundamental elements of the spirit of modern capitalism, and not only of that but of all modern culture: rational conduct on the basis of the idea of the calling, was born – that is what this discussion has sought to demonstrate – from the spirit of Christian asceticism.”(From The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904),Weber) In this quote, Weber explains how people are swayed to rationally work. These people were still swayed irrationally by religion as if to be a cog in machine was one’s calling, not some rational mechanism for the nobility to gain riches. The IMF is not different from these clergymen of austerity, they’ve even went so far to change the constitution of a Brazil to push their money grabbing agenda. On the other hand, the Puritan elite used the bible to maintain their capitalistic greed. The use of sacred doctrines to get people to be swayed by Protestant ethnic was cunning, and it allows for more manipulation. This is probably why Weber thought of religion as an evil entity, he knew that people found religion sacred and thus could be manipulated by it. In the video the host even mentioned the oligarchy of austerity using their manipulation to “earn” so much cash, that the only way for the austere people to survive was to have an illegal cocoa business. This is very similarly to the spirit of old Calvinism, for the religion was used in a way to allow people to make some money via their calling, but not enough that they would become “wickedly” wealthy. They were to stay poor for the capitalistic interests of their superiors or tricksters. This would allow a surplus value for their superiors and keep them as cogs in a machine only  to be used for an  an increase in monies. Similarly the IMF, explains government austerity measures by using the amounts of public monies to pay off the country’s debt or theirs, at the same time this very IMF doesn’t t mind manipulating the illegal and surplus valued business of the austere to fill their bank accounts. In the modern or old eras, the cash amounts are still in the favor of the greedy, and the people remain as brainwashed “cogs”. Lastly, the host explains the lock step trend of the government to ask for austerity from the people after instances of debt, there is also a lock step of asceticism in the Puritan age from the Protestant Reformation. The  very business that Martin Luther tried to dismantle failed. What was once a business of getting saved by giving away your monies to the Catholic Church, prior to Reformation, became adhering to your calling in the Puritan age. This allowed the wicked of Capitalism to spread as people became coaxed into callings made for them to work well and fail in terms of wealth…..all for their superiors.

Source, youtube video, “The Meaning of “Austerity”

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