Joan's Reviews > The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Max Weber
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's review
Oct 24, 10

bookshelves: sociology
Read in October, 2010

This ended up being a really good book. Ever heard of the "Protestant work ethic?" That's what it's about.

The gist is that Protestantism fueled the development of modern capitalism in that it stressed hard work (instead of Catholic sacraments) as a way to grace, yet still held asceticism as a central principle.

What happens when you work and don't spend? The necessary premise to modern capitalism: accumulation.

Protestants, then, stopped seeing accumulation as sinful in and of itself so long as it was accompanied by moderated middle-class values.

There is also a lot of interesting stuff about Ben Franklin, Calvinism, and predestination.
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