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← 16. Weber on Protestantism and Capitalism

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  1. Prof: Now also I would
    like to spend a couple of
  2. minutes kind of wrapping up some
    issues about the four authors,
  3. what we covered in the
  4. Marx, Nietzsche,
    Freud and Weber,
  5. just to help you to get an
    overall sense--
  6. right?--what the bottom line
    is, and what the similarities
  7. and differences are.
  8. And then I'll go into Max Weber.
  9. There's a lot I want to cover
  10. Would love to talk a lot about
    his life;
  11. I won't have time.
  12. I could give you a lot of nice
    and juicy stories,
  13. what I have,
    but unfortunately I have to
  14. withhold myself.
  15. Okay, so the four authors.
  16. There is one important common
    feature in all four authors,
  17. and somewhat distinct from the
    theorists we studied so far.
  18. In one way or another,
    all four of them call be called
  19. critical theorists.
  20. That means they all offer
    critical analysis of what is in
  21. your mind.
  22. They say, "What is in your
    mind is not necessarily what you
  23. think it is.
  24. Let's subject your
    consciousness to critical
  25. scrutiny."
  26. I think all four do share this
  27. Right?
  28. Marx certainly,
    with the idea that well the
  29. dominant ideas of each epoch are
    the ideas of the dominant class,
  30. and therefore you think what is
    in your mind is your idea.
  31. "Tell me what your class
    position is and I will tell you
  32. where your ideas are coming
    from." Right?
  33. Now this is Nietzsche's project.
  34. He said, "Well,
    you think this is morality?
  35. I will show the immorality of
    morality, what you think is
  36. moral." Right?
  37. This is certainly Freud.
  38. "You think this is your
  39. Well lay on my couch and talk
    to me,
  40. and I will--you will recall all
    these early sexual experiences
  41. in your life,
    and then you will realize
  42. what--who you really are."
  43. Well, you know,
    Weber is a little more
  44. complicated, but he also has
    this idea of legitimacy and
  45. domination--with some later
    Marxist people on this.
  46. And the fundamental idea of
    Weber is coming also from
  47. Nietzsche.
  48. And the fundamental idea is
    that we actually do internalize
  49. the very principles of our
  50. That's what legitimacy,
    at least in my interpretation,
  51. in Weber is.
  52. There is domination. Right?
  53. And therefore Weber also helps
    you to understand--right?--where
  54. these ideas are coming from,
    and to what extent you yourself
  55. are your own jail keeper.
  56. Right?
  57. That's sort of mine--a little
    post-modernist reading of Max
  58. Weber.
  59. So these are--in this way they
    are all critical theorists.
  60. Right?
  61. They are critiques of
  62. But there are fundamental
    differences between the four
  63. authors.
  64. And in some ways there is a
    similarity between Marx and
  65. Freud.
  66. Marx and Freud all take their
    point of departure in their
  67. project to be critical of
    consciousness for sensuous human
  68. experience.
  69. Right?
  70. Material reality.
  71. In one way or another they are
    both materialists.
  72. Right?
  73. Of course, for Marx it is
  74. because this sensuous human
    experience is reduced to the
  75. economy.
  76. "You tell me what your
    position in the economic system
  77. are, then I understand what your
    economic interests are.
  78. You are behaving and you are
    thinking according to your
  79. economic interests,
    and then I will understand what
  80. is on your mind."
  81. Well, by the way,
    it's not all that
  82. different--right?--from Adam
    Smith and rationally acting
  83. individuals.
  84. Marx has some similarities.
  85. Only he offers it critically,
    while Adam Smith offered it
  86. affirmatively.
  87. But that is Marx's reductionism;
    that what is sensuous
  88. experience is reduced to the
  89. And then he also has an agency;
    that's the big,
  90. unique feature of Marx's
  91. He knows what good society is;
    does not describe in much
  92. detail, but has an idea about
    good society.
  93. And he knows who the historical
    agent is, who will lead us
  94. there.
  95. I mean, many of you were
    probably turned off by his
  96. vision of the future.
  97. But the strength of the theory
    is that he has a vision of good
  98. society, and he knows how to get
  99. So those of you who are looking
    for answers, Karl Marx does have
  100. answers for you.
  101. Right?
  102. Now what about Freud?
  103. He does not quite have answers
    to you.
  104. Right?
  105. When you are lying on his
  106. he helps you to discover the
    repressed desires in yourself,
  107. and then it will help you to
    get rid of your depression,
  108. anxieties, hysteria,
    or whatever you are suffering
  109. from.
  110. Right?
  111. But it will be up to
    you--right?--to somehow figuring
  112. out what is repressed in you.
  113. He only will help you to find
  114. Right?
  115. Does he have a very clearly
    defined good society?
  116. He has sort of ambiguous
    attitudes about this.
  117. Right?
  118. Civilization,
    modern civilization.
  119. Well, this is coming from
  120. Civilization has a lot to do
    how people are being controlled.
  121. On the other hand,
    he knows out of the id a lot of
  122. nasty, aggressive stuff is
    coming from, and they have to be
  123. repressed.
  124. So he has a kind of ambiguous
  125. He does not want to go against
  126. but he sees the dark side of
    civilization at the same time.
  127. Now what is common in Nietzsche
    and Weber,
  128. that they all depart from this
  129. right?--that it is sensuous
    experiences from which you have
  130. to understand--
    right?--what's wrong with your
  131. consciousness.
  132. Their central concern is
    power--right?--power and
  133. domination.
  134. It is not the economy,
    it is not sexuality;
  135. it is power.
  136. And interestingly in some ways,
  137. they probably reach back all
    the way to Hobbes--
  138. right?--that all history of
    humankind is struggle around
  139. power.
  140. Well this is the most radically
    done by Nietzsche,
  141. because what Nietzsche is
  142. he shows you how the most noble
  143. what you have in your mind,
    are actually manufactured--
  144. right?--in the workshop of
    ideals, in very nasty ways,
  145. by coercion--right?--by torture.
  146. And he shows you this
    instrument of coercion.
  147. If the history of the
    museum--historical museum of
  148. Marx is filled up with the means
    of production;
  149. you go into a museum,
    you can see the
  150. life-right?--how people lived,
    what their house was,
  151. what the instruments were they
    produced their livelihood.
  152. You see this in a lot of
    contemporary museums,
  153. which are not Marxist,
    but still inspired by this
  154. Marxian idea.
  155. Nietzsche's museum?
  156. Well you will find guillotines.
  157. Right?
  158. You will find all these
    instruments of torture.
  159. That's human history,
    the history of torture.
  160. And that's where is an
    interesting similarity between
  161. Weber and Nietzsche;
    namely, that the history of
  162. humankind is evolution,
    but this evolution has its
  163. downside.
  164. Our bodies may not be tortured
    any longer in modern
  165. civilization,
    but our souls are kept hostage.
  166. That's the bad news. Right?
  167. Now I think that's,
    in a nutshell,
  168. I think the kind of
    similarities and differences of
  169. the four authors we covered for
    this test.
  170. And I don't think I have more
    time to deal with this.
  171. So let's now go to Max Weber.
  172. And I am actually very
  173. Somebody asked a question
    whether on the test the question
  174. on domination should be there?
  175. I will be thinking very hard
    about this.
  176. In fact, if you still
    have--very much dislike
  177. questions, send me an email and
    I will try to take this into
  178. consideration.
  179. Okay, so this is Max Weber.
  180. Born in 1864 and died in 1920.
  181. Well nowadays with flu shots,
    he would not have died.
  182. He just died of pneumonia.
  183. He probably would have lived
  184. Fortunately he did not,
    because he did not live Nazism,
  185. and we do not have to ask the
    unpleasant question,
  186. would have Max Weber turned
    into be a Nazi?
  187. I doubt, but there are some who
    believe he might have,
  188. and we will talk about this
    later on.
  189. So a word about the Max Weber's
  190. This is a Protestant family who
    lived in the city of Salzburg,
  191. which was in the Hapsburg
  192. It was actually an independent
    city, ruled by an archbishop--a
  193. very Catholic city.
  194. And by the late-eighteenth
    century, this archbishop started
  195. to take the counterreformation
    too seriously.
  196. So therefore those who were not
    Roman Catholic better left.
  197. So did the Weber family,
    and they moved to Germany,
  198. in the Rhineland,
    and they settled in Bielefeld,
  199. and they set up a textile
    manufacturing business,
  200. which operated pretty good.
  201. Weber's father,
    Max senior, was the younger of
  202. two sons.
  203. And the family business,
    though it was doing okay,
  204. was not enough to support two
  205. Therefore he was asked to learn
    some trade.
  206. So he actually entered civil
    service and became a politician
  207. and civil servant.
  208. Max Weber himself was born in
    '64 in Erfurt,
  209. in the eastern part of Germany,
    where his father was stationed
  210. at that time.
  211. And his mother was Helene
  212. a very sensitive,
    wonderful woman.
  213. There were eight brothers and
    sisters--a big family,
  214. and quite a family.
  215. Here you have the three
    brothers: Max on the left,
  216. and the middle,
    Alfred Weber.
  217. Alfred Weber was quite a
  218. He was a younger brother of
    Max, and he was a very prominent
  219. economist,
    philosopher and sociologist,
  220. but primarily economist,
    who was well known for the
  221. theory of industrial location,
    in his times.
  222. He was a professor at
    University of Heidelberg.
  223. He did not turn into a Nazi.
  224. He was actually laid off by the
    Nazis, and re-instituted in
  225. 1945.
  226. Those of you who study in
    economics industrial relation
  227. theory may have come across the
    name of Alfred Weber.
  228. He was actually the famous
  229. Max Weber was less famous in
    his time than Alfred.
  230. Now Max Weber's mother was
    Helene, as I said.
  231. She was a wonderful lady.
  232. She was a devote Calvinist--so
    now you can understand the role
  233. of Calvinism and the Protestant
    Ethic in Weber--
  234. and was also greatly interested
    in philanthropy.
  235. And that's where Weber's social
    sensitivity is coming from.
  236. There was a great deal of
    conflict between the sensitive
  237. Helene and Max senior,
    who was a very authoritarian,
  238. paternalistic figure--
    a very unpleasant guy.
  239. Politically also extremely
  240. and they had quite a bit of
    conflict with each other.
  241. Early in his life,
    Max sided with his father--
  242. did what Freud said you will
    do, when you would overcome your
  243. Oedipus complex,
    you identify with your father.
  244. Okay, this is what he did.
  245. But then he actually shifted
    and eventually sided with his
  246. mother.
  247. Well this is the father.
  248. Well I would not have liked him
    as my father.
  249. He was a conservative
    politician, a very patriarchal
  250. figure.
  251. He started in the municipality
    as a civil servant in Erfurt.
  252. Then became actually a deputy
    of the National Liberal Party,
  253. which had very little to do
    with liberalism.
  254. It was a conservative party.
  255. This was under the
    chancellorship of Otto von
  256. Bismarck, the Iron
    Chancellor--real conservative
  257. times in Germany.
  258. Now about Weber's life.
  259. He studied in Heidelberg and
    then in Berlin.
  260. He studied both law and
    agrarian history.
  261. Actually he was somewhere
    between a legal theorist,
  262. a historian,
    and an economist;
  263. he was kind of sociologist last.
  264. In '92, he married Marianne
    Schnitger, who was a kind of
  265. second-cousin.
  266. I will come back to this
    relationship later on.
  267. In '95, he was appointed
    professor of economics at
  268. Freiberg, and then he moved to
    Heidelberg, where he basically
  269. spent the rest of his life.
  270. He also became professor of
    political science.
  271. He was involved early in his
    life in very feverish academic
  272. activities.
  273. He published two Ph.D.
  274. dissertations,
    one in law and one in history.
  275. The law Ph.D.
  276. was on commercial law in
    Medieval Italy,
  277. and the history was on agrarian
    history in Rome.
  278. Both books were published;
    and they are actually not in
  279. English.
  280. A later version of the agrarian
    history was published in
  281. Germany.
  282. '97, he suffered a very serious
    nervous breakdown.
  283. I would love to talk in detail
    about this.
  284. By all likelihood it had a lot
    to do with his conflict with his
  285. father.
  286. Just during the summer of '97,
    the mother visited--
  287. he visited the parents in
    Berlin, and then the mother
  288. said,
    "Well I want to visit you
  289. in Heidelberg."
  290. And then the father said,
    "No, you can't,
  291. because I need you here."
  292. "Who will cook my
  293. Right?
  294. And then Max Weber,
    who was always subservient and
  295. obedient to the father,
    revolted, and he said,
  296. "Father,
    you can't do that.
  297. If Mother wants to visit us,
    she should be allowed to visit
  298. us."
  299. And this happened the first
    time that Max Weber said no to
  300. the father.
  301. Well the father passed away
    within two or three months,
  302. and just after the death of the
    father Weber had a very serious
  303. nervous breakdown.
  304. Well, no one knows exactly what
    it had to do with the death of
  305. the father, but there is
    certainly a correlation between
  306. the two facts.
  307. It was actually a very serious
  308. He was lucky to be married to a
    wonderful and extremely smart
  309. woman,
    Marianne--they married
  310. earlier--and Marianne was a
    great help for him to recover
  311. from this nervous breakdown.
  312. For five years Weber could not
    teach, could not write,
  313. could not read.
  314. He was just sitting in the
    corner staring out of himself.
  315. Marianne took him to travels.
  316. They went to Italy and
    eventually he recovered.
  317. '92, he's coming out of his
    nervous breakdown and returns to
  318. Heidelberg, though he never
    really took on very regular
  319. teaching duties anymore.
  320. 1904, he had his only trip to
    the USA.
  321. He went to the St.
  322. Louis World Fair and wrote a
    wonderful paper at that time.
  323. And then in 1906--again,
    I wish I would have more time
  324. to talk about the Richthofen
  325. This is a great story.
  326. Anyway, he obviously falls in
    love with Elsa von Richthofen.
  327. Else von Richthofen was
    actually the wife of a good
  328. friend and colleague of Weber,
  329. a major political social
  330. Well this is a very important
    event in Weber's life.
  331. It lasts until his death.
  332. It is actually not Marianne who
    is standing by his deathbed,
  333. but Else von Richthofen.
  334. Interestingly,
    Else and Marianne were very
  335. good friends.
  336. Again, I cannot resist to give
    you a little gossip.
  337. But the best as we know,
    the marriage with Marianne was
  338. never consumed.
  339. So this affair with Else von
    Richthofen is really the first
  340. real fulfilled erotic experience
    in Weber's life,
  341. and has a lot to do,
    I think, in Weber's changing
  342. thinking about life and
  343. the rediscovery of the power of
  344. Then he has been doing work on
  345. This is mainly a response to
    criticism he got for his book--
  346. we will be talking in a minute
    about The Protestant
  347. Ethic--
    and he tries to defend his work
  348. on The Protestant Ethic
    by looking at various world
  349. religions,
    and shows that rationalization
  350. did not take place in these
    religions as much as it happened
  351. in Christianity.
  352. And then he's working on his
    opus magnum,
  353. Economy and Society;
    what he never finished.
  354. Died in 1920.
  355. Well this is Else von
    Richthofen, Mrs. Jaffé.
  356. She came from a very prominent
    German family.
  357. There were three very prominent
    and very beautiful Richthofen
  358. sisters.
  359. As I said, Else was the wife of
    Edgar Jaffé.
  360. Her sister, Frieda von
    Richthofen, had a long and very
  361. passionate relationship,
    eventual marriage,
  362. with D.H. Lawrence.
  363. And probably many of you in
    high school have read
  364. D.H. Lawrence and Sons and
  365. Sons and Lovers was
    inspired by Frieda van
  366. Richthofen.
  367. It was a very turbulent,
    complicated relationship.
  368. Well this is Weber in
    Heidelberg--last time in his
  369. life.
  370. The early work in Weber was
    mainly in antiquity.
  371. In 1903 and 4,
    he writes The Protestant
  372. Ethic.
  373. Then the big world religions,
    China, India and Judaism.
  374. And then finally Economy and
    Society, an unfinished
  375. manuscript.
  376. This is the First Edition of
    The Protestant Ethic.
  377. Well I think I'll probably skip
    this one, because I will talk to
  378. The Protestant Ethic
  379. Well this is the Weber's house
    in Heidelberg.
  380. As you can see,
    University of Heidelberg
  381. treated their professors quite
  382. Well Marianne was running a
    salon in this house,
  383. with an extraordinary
    intellectual circle around them.
  384. This is Marianne Weber.
  385. She was, as I said,
    a wonderful woman.
  386. He was actually a kind of
  387. Her grandfather was the brother
    of Max Weber's father.
  388. She was also a formidable
  389. Her book, Wives and Mothers
    in the Evolution of Law,
  390. was a great success.
  391. Émile Durkheim reviewed
    the book.
  392. And at that time Marianne was
    much more famous than Max Weber
  393. was.
  394. Max turned quite nationalistic,
    as many other Germans during
  395. the First World War.
  396. But then his experiences of the
    horrors of the First World War,
  397. and partially I think the
    relationship with Else von
  398. Richthofen,
    turns him from a committed
  399. liberal who just had nothing
    else to say but approving things
  400. about modernity--
    somebody who is called "a
  401. liberal in despair".
  402. He remains liberal for his life.
  403. He will always say that
    capitalism is the only viable
  404. system we can live in;
    modernity has no alternative.
  405. But he's beginning increasingly
    to show the downside of this
  406. modernity.
  407. He said, "I cannot come up
    with anything better.
  408. But it should not prevent me to
    see the disenchantment,
  409. the loss of magic,
    in the modern world,
  410. and the horrors of the modern
  411. We will talk about this later
  412. He actually--nationalism had an
    impact on him--
  413. he actually was part of the
    delegation at the Versailles
  414. Peace Treaty,
    and he was responsible for
  415. inserting Article 48 into the
    Weimar Constitution,
  416. which unfortunately was used
    for Hitler to gain power in
  417. 1933.
  418. I mean, not that Weber can--
    shall be held responsible for
  419. Nazism, but this is something I
    have to share with you.
  420. Well the last work,
    Economy and Society,
  421. is mainly a theory of
    domination, and we will talk
  422. about next week what domination
  423. He basically combines power,
    which is legitimated,
  424. as the concept of domination.
  425. And what he does,
    he develops a theory of human
  426. history as subsequent types of
  427. a major departure from Marx.
  428. That social history not
    describes subsequent modes of
  429. Right?
  430. production, but different types
    of domination.
  431. Okay, so that was the life and
    work of Max Weber.
  432. And now let's turn into The
    Protestant Ethic;
  433. and try to do this in twenty
    minutes, which will not be easy.
  434. Okay.
  435. So this is--as he recovers from
    the nervous breakdown,
  436. his first major book is The
    Protestant Ethic and the Spirit
  437. of Capitalism.
  438. And that's in many ways a major
  439. Before the nervous breakdown,
    Weber is an enthusiast
  440. pro-capitalist and pro-liberal.
  441. His major concern before 1897
    is what blocks the development
  442. in the eastern part of Germany,
    and how those forces which
  443. block the development of
    capitalism can be overcome.
  444. He's very much a liberal in the
    sense of Adam Smith and John
  445. Stuart Mill.
  446. Then he has his nervous
    breakdown, and the person who is
  447. emerging looks like a person who
    has been thinking about
  448. Nietzsche--
    right?--by staring ahead of
  449. himself a great deal,
    and that's beginning to show
  450. already in The Protestant
  451. Well he was working at a time
    when Marxism was the dominant
  452. intellectual force in Germany.
  453. The Social Democratic Party in
    Germany was gaining ground and
  454. beginning to do extremely
    well--at elections as well.
  455. And therefore,
    in my reading,
  456. Max Weber's project is to
    challenge Marxism in fundamental
  457. ways.
  458. And The Protestant Ethic
    is a first and major step in the
  459. direction to challenge Marxism.
  460. So what is the Marx-Weber
  461. If you are interested in it,
    I will teach a seminar next
  462. semester which will only deal
    with this slide,
  463. what I am presenting here to
  464. But you will be asked to read a
    lot of text from Marx and Weber.
  465. Well historical
  466. that it's only economic forces
    which explain history.
  467. Weber said, "Look,
    ideas matter too.
  468. You cannot deduce ideas and
    cultural features from economic
  469. conditions."
  470. Also, Marx has no problem what
    motivates human beings:
  471. survival, economic interests.
  472. Weber said, "No,
    we are not only motivated by
  473. economic interests,
    we are also motivated by
  474. tradition;
    we can be motivated by
  475. values."
  476. He has a more complex notion of
    human motivation.
  477. Then, as I mentioned,
    history cannot be described as
  478. subsequent modes of production.
  479. What changes is the nature of
  480. the different type of
  481. What changes from time to time
  482. how people, in position of
    power, what kind of claims do
  483. they make for you to obey,
    and how you
  484. internalize--right?--the
    principles of your
  485. subordination.
  486. And he develops these different
    types of authorities.
  487. Right?
  488. Three major types:
    traditional authority,
  489. charismatic authority,
    and put it liberal authority,
  490. legal- rational authority.
  491. This is his somewhat awkward
    term to describe the liberal
  492. system, what we would call
  493. And finally class.
  494. Weber uses the term of class,
    but he said they are not
  495. based--
    you should not identify class
  496. on property relationship,
    but on marketplaces,
  497. and Marx made an error by
    believing that class has always
  498. existed in history.
  499. Class is a new phenomenon which
    emerges only with modern
  500. marketing integrated economies;
    market economies.
  501. All right, what are the major
    themes in The Protestant
  502. Ethic?
  503. He starts with a rather
    uninteresting part.
  504. He offers some empirical
    evidence there is a correlation
  505. between being rich and being
  506. Well this is no proof of
  507. it's a kind of prima facie
    evidence, what he does.
  508. I think that's probably the
    weakest part of the book.
  509. Then he asks the question,
    what is the spirit of
  510. capitalism?
  511. What is the worldview of
  512. Then he looks at Luther's
    conception of calling,
  513. and what it has to do with the
    spirit of capitalism.
  514. Then he looks at the religious
    foundations of worldly,
  515. "this-worldly
  516. and how Reformation brings this
  517. and, in particular,
    the interpretation of it in
  518. Calvinism, and the teaching of
  519. Okay, so these are the crucial
  520. So the religious stratification
    and affiliation and social
  521. stratification.
  522. As I said, this is the weaker
    part of the book.
  523. You really should do it,
    if you read the whole book,
  524. as prima facie evidence.
  525. There is something going on
  526. Look at the data,
    and it turns out that
  527. Protestant countries were
    probably ahead of Catholic
  528. countries in capitalism.
  529. And look at the very wealthy
    people, and you will see more
  530. Protestant than Catholics.
  531. Well not a very forceful
  532. He himself is a bit unclear
    about this, because he does not
  533. quite know what causes what.
  534. Is this somehow people,
    Protestants inherited more
  535. wealth, or because they are
    Protestant they can create more
  536. wealth?
  537. But, you know,
    if you are looking at American
  538. history, there is certainly
    prima facie evidence for this.
  539. Right?
  540. Think about nineteenth century
    United States.
  541. It was WASP:
    white, Anglo-Saxon and
  542. Right?
  543. Protestant.
  544. Right?
  545. And then there were the poor
    people coming in.
  546. And who were they were?
  547. The Irish and the Italian.
  548. And what was their religion?
  549. Roman Catholic. Right?
  550. So I think if you are thinking
    in nineteenth century,
  551. late nineteenth-century U.S.,
    the kind of empirical evidence
  552. is, you know,
    pretty persuasive.
  553. But otherwise,
    of course, I don't think this
  554. would stand up for scrutiny.
  555. But I think this is just to
    start the argument.
  556. Now comes the more serious one.
  557. What is the spirit of
  558. And this is--there are two
    important points he makes.
  559. He says, "What is unique
    about capitalism,
  560. that the greed is turned into
    an ethical imperative."
  561. And the other one is that the
    essence of capitalism is
  562. rationalism and calculation.
  563. Well greed turned into an
    ethical imperative.
  564. A very interesting point,
    because as we have seen Marx
  565. does not offer any explanation
    why on earth suddenly the
  566. capitalists start accumulating
  567. Marx does not have a theory to
    explain the motivation of
  568. original accumulation of
  569. He only said original
    accumulation of capital is a
  570. kind of theft--right?--and once
    you have capital,
  571. you don't have to assume theft.
  572. But, you know,
    the original accumulation comes
  573. close to theft.
  574. But he does not explain why on
    earth people beginning to
  575. accumulate capital.
  576. And Weber said,
    "Well this is
  577. interesting."
  578. Because in most history,
    people like us,
  579. who are working day and night,
  580. you know, you put our little
    money in 401(k)s or whatever,
  581. and, you know,
    try to put a little money in
  582. the stock market.
  583. You know, most people,
    in most human history,
  584. they would say,
    "These people are jerks.
  585. Why don't they relax?
  586. Now they have enough to eat,
    they should have fun."
  587. And most of you in this room
    will probably never have much
  588. fun.
  589. Right?
  590. You will be working day and
    night to make more money.
  591. Where does it come from?
  592. He said this is unique for
  593. This is unique for modernity,
    because greed,
  594. to become rich,
    became an ethical imperative.
  595. Right?
  596. That is the essence.
  597. And he said it has a lot to do
    with rationalization of
  598. modernity.
  599. And we will see it will have a
    lot to do with Calvinism,
  600. and predestination,
    and Luther's notion of calling.
  601. Well this is the point what I
    said, right?
  602. Pre-capitalist man actually
    could not understand us.
  603. Right?
  604. They had to work day and night
    because they needed it in order
  605. to survive.
  606. But once they had enough food
    to eat, and they had shelter,
  607. they were not running after
    money any longer.
  608. Right?
  609. This is something which is
    unique for modern man.
  610. "The capitalist system
    needs this devotion to the
  611. calling to make money."
  612. Right?
  613. It is for us an ethical
  614. You know?
  615. Well to what extent
  616. I don't know.
  617. But if you are very rich you
    will say,
  618. "Well I have to get
  619. because I am doing good by
    becoming rich,
  620. because I'm creating jobs for
  621. What a good person I am."
  622. That's why you want to become
    rich, to be--to create jobs for
  623. Right?
  624. others.
  625. Now calculation--this is
    absolutely crucial for Weber.
  626. He said, "Well capitalism
    begins with rational economic
  627. calculation, which did not exist
    before capitalist times."
  628. Well he kind of departs here
    from Adam Smith,
  629. for whom rational calculation
    was always there.
  630. People were just not rational.
  631. Weber said now this is a
    uniquely historical phenomenon,
  632. that we're beginning to
    calculate effort and return
  633. against to each other.
  634. And we invent double
  635. Right?
  636. This is what we spend in terms
    of money and our energy,
  637. and this is our return,
    this is our profit which
  638. appears.
  639. So rational economic
    calculation is the key of our
  640. capitalist spirit.
  641. Right?
  642. These are the two things.
  643. That in order to work hard and
    to make money makes you a good
  644. person.
  645. Right?
  646. It's an altruistic act that you
    can become rich.
  647. And second, you are capitalist
    if you make rational
  648. bookkeeping.
  649. Right?
  650. If you don't keep,
    you know, your incomes and
  651. expenditures,
    you are doing something wrong;
  652. you are not a real capitalist.
  653. Right?
  654. So in order--keep in mind,
    you know, you have to keep your
  655. checks balanced.
  656. Right?
  657. You always have to know how
    much you spend and how much you
  658. have.
  659. And rationalism--there's a big
    tendency for history that we are
  660. becoming increasingly
  661. Right?
  662. And he said,
    "Only naïve
  663. historical materialism assumes
    that ideas originate as
  664. reflection of economic
  665. He said, "The spirit of
    capitalism was present before
  666. the capitalist order."
  667. You had to invent rationalism
    and rational calculation before
  668. you could have capital
    accumulation and capitalism as
  669. such.
  670. Now here you come,
    Luther's conception of calling.
  671. One very important issue is
    this is a this-worldly view.
  672. It's a big change from Medieval
    Catholic theology.
  673. Luther coined the term
    Beruf in translating the
  674. Bible into German.
  675. And the term Beruf has
    multiple meanings.
  676. In English I think it is quite
    well translated as calling;
  677. though not quite,
    because in German Beruf
  678. has the very pedestrian,
    simple meaning of occupation.
  679. So if you are filling out a
  680. a German language
  681. for the line 'occupation'
    stands 'Beruf'.
  682. But Beruf is also a call.
  683. Ruf is to call,
    in German.
  684. So Beruf is that
    you--God calls you.
  685. Right?
  686. You got a ruf,
    you got a call.
  687. Right?
  688. God calls you. Right?
  689. You are needed.
  690. You have to do something for
  691. This is Beruf.
  692. And what is God calling you?
  693. To perform well in your
  694. So while in medieval asceticism
    the essence of life was
  695. afterlife.
  696. Right?
  697. You were a saint when you
    withdraw from your life.
  698. You hardly ate anything.
  699. You become a saint because all
    what you eat is an egg a day,
  700. and you still survive.
  701. Right?
  702. This is sainthood,
    in the Medieval Roman Catholic
  703. sense.
  704. Now this is no good any longer.
  705. Luther said you have to be
    active in this life,
  706. in your occupation.
  707. That's when you are a saint,
    not when you withdraw yourself
  708. from life and wait for
  709. Right?
  710. This is the big innovation of
    Luther and theology.
  711. Sort of therefore--right?--what
    God wants you is to fulfill your
  712. duties in this world--
    right?--rather than to be a
  713. saint, not to consume,
    withdraw, and so on and so
  714. Okay.
  715. forth.
  716. Now let's move on.
  717. But Luther is also a
    traditional theorist,
  718. and Weber notes that.
  719. In fact, his emphasis on
    Beruf means that you have
  720. to perform in the job what you
    have, in the social position
  721. what you have.
  722. This is not a theory for change.
  723. It is a theory for the
    reproduction of the status quo.
  724. And Luther actually stood up
    against the peasant revolutions
  725. in Germany of his time and sided
    with political conservatives.
  726. And therefore Weber suggests
    that this non-dynamic view of
  727. history made it impossible for
    Lutheranism to become the real
  728. moving force,
    and therefore it remained too
  729. traditionalistic,
    and that's why you needed
  730. Calvinism.
  731. And why Calvinism?
  732. Well the big change in
    modernity, that magic is being
  733. eliminated.
  734. What was magic?
  735. That we have power over God;
    we could force God to do
  736. something for us.
  737. There were prescriptions what
    we do, and these were magical
  738. Right?
  739. means by which you have magic--
    you know, the magician comes,
  740. rain doesn't come;
    the magician does its tricks
  741. and rain will come.
  742. Right?
  743. That's magic.
  744. Now in order to rationalize the
    world, you have to get rid of
  745. magic.
  746. The world becomes rationalized.
  747. You understand where the rain
    is coming from,
  748. and you know there is hardly
    anything you can do to make it
  749. Right?
  750. rain.
  751. So this is elimination of magic.
  752. And this is what you see in a
    Calvinist church.
  753. You walk into the Calvinist
    church, they don't have any
  754. pictures of saints;
    you know, it has a coldness of
  755. rationalism--right?--in a
    Presbyterian church.
  756. And what is the most important
    element of Calvinism is the
  757. theory of predestination.
  758. And that's a very interesting
  759. Calvin assumed--and this is
    basically to try radically to
  760. get rid of any notion of magic--
    that in fact whether you will
  761. be saved or you perish was
    decided upon your birth by God;
  762. there is nothing you can do
    about this.
  763. So therefore,
    you know, in Medieval Roman
  764. Catholic churches this is what
    Luther was revolting against.
  765. Unfortunately there were some
    corrupt Roman Catholic priests
  766. who said, "You know what?
  767. Give me a little money,
    and if you give me money,
  768. then you will go to heaven,
    rather than to hell."
  769. So people could buy their way
    into salvation.
  770. Right?
  771. Now Calvin said, "No way.
  772. You can't do anything."
  773. Not only not giving money to
    the priest, which was obviously
  774. corrupt and the church never
    approved it;
  775. it was just kind of corrupt
    practices of individuals.
  776. But he said,
    "There is nothing you can
  777. do in life, because it has been
  778. The big question is how on
    earth this teaching actually can
  779. create the Protestant work
  780. Why do we work hard,
    if it has been decided,
  781. pre-decided,
    before us that we will perish
  782. or will be saved?
  783. Well this will come out
    actually from the preachings of
  784. Calvinist ministers;
    actual practices,
  785. pastoral practices.
  786. They said, "Well,
    you know,
  787. you are--"
    Well this is a town of
  788. Puritanism,
    that was really a
  789. place-right?--of predestination.
  790. New Haven was created by them.
  791. You start teaching.
  792. Then you will say,
    "Well are you concerned
  793. whether you go to hell or
  794. You are, aren't you?"
  795. Right?
  796. You don't want to burn all your
  797. You want to know whether you go
    to heaven.
  798. Well there is one way to do it.
  799. Work hard, and if your work
    will be rewarded,
  800. this will be a sign that God
    loves you and you will go to
  801. heaven.
  802. So therefore you are working
  803. not in order to buy your way
    into heaven,
  804. but in order to have the sign
    of God that you are on the right
  805. trajectory and you will go to
  806. Well he said unfortunately this
    Protestant ethic to work hard,
  807. to save--Benjamin Franklin,
    he said,
  808. "Benjamin Franklin"--
    right?--"you are gone in
  809. modern capitalism."
  810. Because now--the Puritans,
    you know, wanted you to work
  811. Now this is all gone.
  812. hard.
  813. And what was created actually
    we are in "an iron
  814. cage."
  815. This is a famous quotation.
  816. Again, you have to take it down;
    one of the most frequently
  817. cited sentences from Weber.
  818. "Modernity created an iron
    cage where we are actually
  819. working, because we are forced
    to work very hard."
  820. And the spirit of capitalism
  821. I think he was reading Veblen
    and the theory of the leisure
  822. class,
    and looking at American
  823. wealthy, by the early twentieth
  824. who started to have a good
    life, not only to save.
  825. They would not follow any
    longer Benjamin Franklin's
  826. advice: Get up early when the
    sun rises,
  827. and go to bed when the sun
    sets, because you don't want to
  828. burn the candle and waste money
    on the candle when you burn.
  829. Right?
  830. That was the
    real--right?--Puritan spirit;
  831. the spirit which created this
    very institution,
  832. Yale University.
  833. Right?
  834. Don't burn your
    candles--right?--because you
  835. waste money.
  836. Save money;
    that's what will please God,
  837. and that's what will be the
    sign that you have been saved.
  838. Now he said this is
    unfortunately not any longer,
  839. because people are actually are
    for consumption,
  840. conspicuous consumption.
  841. Well and then he ends up--this
    is a very important quotation;
  842. keep it and it will be helpful
    for you to understand the
  843. importance difference between
    Marx and Weber--
  844. he said, "Look,
    but don't misunderstand me.
  845. I don't want to substitute a
    one-sided materialist
  846. explanation of history,
    what Marx offers,
  847. with a one-sided idealist
  848. I'm not suggesting that
    capitalism came out of
  849. Calvinism.
  850. All what I'm suggesting,
    there has been an independent
  851. change in theological teaching,
    from Medieval Catholicism to
  852. Reformation.
  853. It was a rationalization of
    religious thinking:
  854. the loss of magic,
    the rationalism,
  855. the teaching of predestination.
  856. And if this would not have
    happened, capitalist
  857. institutions would not have been
    able to develop."
  858. Not that they caused the
    emergence of capitalist
  859. institutions;
    there was also an evolution of
  860. the economic systems.
  861. The material change happened in
    one line, and the change in the
  862. sphere of ideas happened in
    another line.
  863. And what he said,
    "There is an elective
  864. affinity between the two."
  865. If you have the proper ideas,
    and the proper economic
  866. institution, bingo--right?--
    then the change happens;
  867. then you have modern capitalism.
  868. If you don't have the right
    ideas, like Calvinism--
  869. he said, "Like in China in
    the twelfth century everybody,
  870. everything was ready for
  871. It did not happen because the
    Confucian and Taoist ideas at
  872. that time did not give the
    ideological framing which would
  873. have helped the development of
    capitalism in China,
  874. and that's why China was held
    back." Right?
  875. Calvinism, you know,
    rationalization of ideas could
  876. happen, but if there are no
    economic conditions for
  877. capitalism, it will not happen
  878. So this is the idea of elective
  879. He rejects a simple causal
    relationship between ideas and
  880. material conditions,
    and he substitutes it,
  881. we would say today,
    an interactive effect.
  882. Right?
  883. There is an interaction between
    ideas and material conditions.
  884. He calls it elective affinity,
    as such.
  885. Thank you very much.
  886. And the test questions will be
    posted, just before 7:00 p.m.
  887. I have a discussion section at
  888. So before I go to the
    discussion section Thursday,
  889. I will post the questions.