«Max Weber presupposes, in Protestant ethics and the spirit of capitalism, the existence of the relationship of which he studies only modalities. The de chain of circumstances’ ends in a ‘causal chain.’ His question begins like this: ‘How do some religious beliefs determine the emergence of an economy mentality,’ in other words, the ethos of a form of the economy? The first intelligibility seems psychological. Minorities would be attracted by economic activity ‘by the very fact of their exclusion, voluntary or involuntary, from influential political positions. Its most gifted members thus seek to satisfy an ambition that finds no way of being employed at the service of the State.” (Art. Cited, p. 9).
“The Protestant ethic and the” spirit “of capitalism” is interrogated by the origin of the modern, enemy and victorious capitalist mentality of traditionalism, and concludes that such a mentality comes, not from capitalist economic development itself, but in the way of life generated by Calvinist-based Protestantism, which resulted in a rationalization equivalent to a “demagnification” of the world, that is, in reducing it for the purpose of calculation, exploitation, and domination.
Calvin in Geneva, one of the most developed cities in Europe in the 16th century, will systematize the new theology and the rules of Protestantism in its Institution of the Christian religion, whose central theme is “the knowledge of God and of oneself”; This will become the book with the greatest circulation of its time and at a high point in the development of modern French. Calvin will be open to the loan of money and will allow it to the faithful, taking away the trait of the cursed profession. It will also be open to the scientific advances of the time, but in politics, it will be dogmatic and authoritarian.
Calvin will accentuate the doctrine of double predestination in which impenetrable God has decided who is condemned to eternal death and who is saved but opens a loophole to the good works of the faithful and their economic success as signs that they are in grace With God. It is a life full of uncertainty, anguish, and introspection that forces calculation and the systematic organization of experience.
Protestant ethics will be completed by the Puritans in the seventeenth century, which will weaken the doctrine of predestination and insist that works and success in the accumulation of wealth of individuals, accompanied by strict austerity, are signs of their salvation. The spirit of capitalism, as Max Weber analyzes it, will give social support to the phenomenal capitalist development in northern Europe and the Anglo-Saxon colonies of America during the 18th and 19th centuries.
There is an attitude manifested in many sociological works to argue with Weber and critically shred his approaches to comprehensive sociology. We pretend otherwise. Weber, to our knowledge, presents, as nobody, the conceptual limitations and methodologies of the positivist and Marxist currents so widespread in academic fields and tries to legitimize a valid epistemological approach for the social sciences, consistent with its object of study, in which the Subjectivity and the creative talent of the researcher constitute the determining factors of his work. Vehemently, Max Weber seeks to invalidate three underlying assumptions developed by positivist thinking, namely:
1- Relationship between scientific development and social progress
2- The alleged objectivity of the social sciences
3- The supposed existence or legality of the social
Max Weber; The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: and Other Writings (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) Paperback – April 30, 2002.
MAX WEBER; The cognitive ‘Objectivity’ of social science, an: M. Weber, Essays on sociological methodology, 1973.
Barbalet, J. (2008). Weber, passion and profits ‘the Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism’ in context. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Weber, M., Chalcraft, David J, & Harrington, Austin. (2001). The Protestant ethic debate Max Weber’s replies to his critics, 1907-1910 (Studies in social and political thought ; 3). Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.