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Weber’s Cookbook: The Missing Ingredients

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Weber's Cookbook: The Missing Ingredients "The business of America is business." -Calvin Coolidge For America the definition of business is success. Americans are obsessed with business and all they can think about is succeeding in a business. Weber made a rational argument in saying how capitalism holds people to bondage. Capitalism doesn't allow people to freely express themselves. People do things that would be beneficiary for them to survive in the current status of society. [Weber was heavily influenced by the ideas of Marx, but he noticed that some ingredients were missing from Marx's theory. Weber noticed a difference and problem between medieval Catholic society and 19th century American society. Protestantism provided the foundation for the "missing link" he was searching for between medieval society and 19th century American society. Calvinism led to the Protestant work ethic. Weber finds/uncovers Calvinism in the sermons of Baxter and Wesley that establishes the impetus/foundation for its secular transformation. Franklin's ideas are actually "secular sermons" that support the Protestant ethic. Franklin's sermon is enshrined in the 19th century cult of the self-made man and other writings. "The Ad and the Ego" illustrates the materialistic world and can be tied in with Weber's "iron cage" metaphor.] Weber noticed that all capitalist societies all had 3 things in common. He followed Marx's ideas. ...read more.


Weber analyzed these religions on the same categories. One of these categories involved salvation. The basis of being saved in the Catholic religion was based on one's actions, deeds, and sacraments. Standards for salvation were different for people. The spiritual people, such as priests, had higher moral standards to abide by than the general mass. The Lutheran religion twists that notion of "acts" and says faith and a relationship in God will save a person. However, contrary to the Catholic religion, Lutherans believed that everybody's moral standards were the same, no matter how "spiritual" one might be. The odd ball out, the Calvinists believed that one could do nothing to be saved, it is already predetermined, which means that God has already chosen a fate for a person. Like the Lutherans, the Calvinists had one standard and believed two standards would lead to immoral masses. Weber did more investigation on the three religions to find the missing link between the economic traditionalism and capitalism. Weber created asceticism and the "calling" categories. The degrees of asceticism in the Catholic Church were split between the priests and the masses again. Obviously, the people like the priests had a higher degree of asceticism. The high degree of asceticism for the priests labeled them as the "called". The calling of a person in the Catholic Church only occurred to people who are not bound to the secular world, like the priests. ...read more.


In Baxter's sermons, planning rationally in one's life is efficient process. In fact, being lazy is considered one of the deadly sins. Baxter believed that time was valuable. Every second of one's life should be devoted to God's glory. The Calvinist ministries stressed that hard work in one's calling is great because it shows one's devotion and favor towards God. One's calling allowed a person to gain wealth for the glory of God. The more wealth one gains, the more God favors that person. Asceticism was required to regulate the wealth so that it is used for God. Enjoyment is suppressed in all aspects of life. Frugality is highly essential to control one's wealth. However, Wesley pointed out that gaining wealth for the sake of wealth was sinful, but one's calling called for the compiling of wealth. This statement leads to a paradox that is inevitable in the Calvinist faith. Weber distinctively discovered a paradox within the Calvinist religion when analyzing Baxter and Wesley's sermons. While seeking riches is a sin, one's calling forced a person to seek wealth for God. Therefore, seeking riches has become a duty in the Calvinist religion. When one gains wealth, a person will be tempted to live a secular life. However, the Calvinists faith seeks to gain as much as wealth as possible because that showed one's determinism for one's calling and God's favor. The paradox within the Calvinist faith can be easily represented as secular notions. ...read more.

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