Problems with the Protestant work ethic
#1
Of course the Protestant work ethic comes from Calvinist thought that believes that your material blessings and social standing in society reflects on how hard you work (and thus towards your personal salvation) and yet experience and history flatly contradict this. Are people in the working class making only $40,000 a year because they don't work hard enough? Are people millionaires and billionaires because they have worked harder than everyone else? There are many flaws in this thought.
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#2
(12-02-2011, 02:07 PM)Traditional Guy Wrote: There are many flaws in this thought.

Yup, pretty much!

Rodney Stark argues in one of his books (I forget the title at the moment) that the impulse for capitalism can be tracked not to the Protestant Reformation, but to the Middle Ages.
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#3
(12-02-2011, 03:17 PM)Pilgrim Wrote: Rodney Stark argues in one of his books (I forget the title at the moment) that the impulse for capitalism can be tracked not to the Protestant Reformation, but to the Middle Ages.
Thomas E. Woods says the same in his book How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.
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#4
In some ways, you can trace the roots of capitalism to the rise of the merchant class in the late Middle Ages, but capitalism proper didn't really start to take form until the 17th century or so. I think it's pretty hard to deny that it was caught up in many of the same factors that also led to Protestantism. In fact, going off memory, I believe Protestantism was very popular amongst the merchant class that would eventually come to form the modern bourgeoisie. Of course, this in itself doesn't show that capitalism is inherently evil or anything like that, but libertarian claims to having deep roots in the Middle Ages seem sketchy to me. I think it is also important to note that classical liberalism as an ideology did not really develop before capitalism and then lead to the creation of capitalism, but instead developed alongside capitalism as an ideology created to explain and justify the new order.
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#5
I was going to say something similar Crusading Philologist.  I've read that both capitalism and communism are products of the so called enlightenment.  "The term capitalist refers to an owner of capital rather than an economic system, but shows earlier recorded use than the term capitalism, dating back to the mid-seventeenth century.  The Hollandische Mercurius uses it in 1633 and 1654 to refer to owners of capital."  "According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the term capitalism was first used by novelist William Makepeace Thackeray in 1854 in The Newcomes."  "Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels used the term capitalist (Kapitalist) in The Communist Manifesto (1848) to refer to a private owner of capital."  The Enlightenment originating about 1650–1700 was sparked by philosophers Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677), John Locke (1632–1704), Pierre Bayle (1647–1706), mathematician Isaac Newton (1643–1727) and Voltaire (1694–1778).

I don't know how Woods and Stark can say this unless they are referring to the Medici Bank that was created by the Medici family in Italy during the 15th century.  The same family that gave us a couple of popes and many monarchs.  But the Medici Bank wasn't similar to the Bank of England or the Fed with high usery fees and fractional reserve banking.  Even the title of Tom Woods book "How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization" doesn't make sense to me.  Protestant Western Civilization gained the upper hand in North America.  The Catholic Church certainly didn't build the United States.  To the contrary Catholics were not even allowed in most of the 13 Colonies.     
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#6
The protestant work ethic takes into consideration Greed. Work more, get more, be more. We are all princes. Apex of humanism. Catholic ethic is work honestly and provide what is needed and provide enough to live(and give to your parish, which they did. Notre Dame, anyone? )
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#7
(12-02-2011, 09:53 PM)Heinrich Wrote: The protestant work ethic takes into consideration Greed. Work more, get more, be more. We are all princes. Apex of humanism. Catholic ethic is work honestly and provide what is needed and provide enough to live(and give to your parish, which they did. Notre Dame, anyone? )

Hai!
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