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The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism
It is Benjamin Franklin who preaches to us in these sentences, the same which Ferdinand Kürnberger satirizes in this clever and malicious Picture of American Culture [3] as the supposed confession of faith of the Yankee. That it is the spirit of capitalism which here speaks in characteristic fashion , no one will doubt, however little we may wish to claim that everything which could be understood as pertaining to that spirit is contained in it. Let us pause a moment to consider this passage, the philosophy of which Kürnberger sums up in the words, "They make tallow out of cattle and money out of men". The peculiarity of this philosophy of avarice appears to be the ideal of the honest man of recognized credit, and above all the idea o a duty of the individual toward the increase of his capital, which is assumed as an end in itself. Truly what is here preached is not simply a means of making one's way in the world, but a peculiar ethic. The infraction of its rules is treated not as foolishness but as forgetfulness of duty. That is the essence of the matter. It is not mere business astuteness, that sort of thing is common enough, it is an ethos. This is the quality which interests us.
[...]
But the origin and history of such ideas is much more complex than the theorists of the superstructure suppose. The spirit of capitalism, in the sense in which we are using the term, had to fight its way to supremacy against a whole world of hostile forces. A state of mind such as that expressed in the passages we have quoted from Franklin, and which called forth the applause of a whole people, wwould both in ancient times and in the Middle Ages [12] have been proscribed as the lowest sort of avarice and as an attitude entirely lacking in self-respect. It is in fact, still regularly thus looked upon by all those social groups which are least involved in or adapted to modern capitalistic conditions. This is not wholly because the instinct of acquisition was in those times unknown or undeveloped, as has often been said. [Weber: 51-56]

## Ancestor worship is not well understood.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Oct 4th, 2019 at 01:22:18 PM EST
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underdeveloped sense of codified bankruptcy relief available to "captains of industry," from the observations of de Tocqueville ...
In America there is no law against fraudulent bankruptcies; not because they are few, but because there are a great number of bankruptcies. The dread of being prosecuted as abankrupt acts with more intensity upon the mind of the majority of the people than the fear of being involved in losses or ruin by the failure of other parties, and a sort of guilty tolerance is extended by the public conscience to an offence which everyone condemns in his individual capacity. [...] The Americans, who make a virtue of commercial temerity, have no right in any case to brand with disgrace those who practise it. Hence arises the strange indulgence which is shown to bankrupts in the United States; their honor does not suffer by such an accident. In this respect the Americans differ, not only from the nations of Europe, but from all the commercial nations of our time, and  accordingly they resemble none of them in their position or their wants.
... to the legacy of Jack "The Parachute" Welch.

Trump, Impeachment & Forgetting What Brought Him to the White House
"To win reelection, Trump, a corrupt con man (who jumped ship on his own bankrupt casinos, money in hand, leaving others holding the bag) will cheat and lie.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 08:15:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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