Week5_economic science

Week5_economic science - DSoc
1101,
Fall
2011
...

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Unformatted text preview: DSoc
1101,
Fall
2011
 Week
5
 How
does
Weber’s
essay
on
the
Protestant
 ethic
characterize
the
relationship
between
 power
and
religion?
(cf.
Gaventa’s
3rd
 dimension)
   Smith,
Adam.
The
Theory
of
Moral
Sentiments
   Tawney,
R.H.
Religion
and
the
Rise
of
 Capitalism
   Hirschl,
Thomas
A.,
Mark
R.
Rank
and
Dela
 Kusi‐Appouh.
2011.
"Ideology
and
the
 Experience
of
Poverty
Risk:
Views
about
 Poverty
within
a
Focus
Group
Design."
Journal
 of
Poverty
15:350‐370

   How
do
people
understand
society
&
social
 change?
(Frank
Sobatka
from
“The
Wire”:
 “we
used
to
make
stuff
in
this
country…”)
   How
is
popular
understanding
related
to

 social
science/policy
rationale?
 1.  2.  3.  The
Protestant
ethic:
market
morality
and
 power
(Weber)
 Economic
science
&
individualism
(Robert
 Frank)
 Individualism
as
a
social
ideology
   Religious
thinking
needed
to
change
with
 changing
power
relations
related
to
transition
 from
feudalism
to
capitalism
   capitalist
class
would
not
pay
nonwage
cost
 of
workers,
as
in
feudal
times
   Calvinism
modified
traditional
Christian
 doctrine
to
be
consistent
with
power
 relationship
between
capitalist
elite
&
 working
class

   Poverty
is
a
function
of
economic
cycles
&
 structural
change
   Yet
most
Americans
believe
that
people
are
 poor
because
they’re
stupid,
irresponsible,
 and/or
lazy
   Protestant
ethic
connects
these
two,
makes
 them
logical:

   only
a
select
few
get
to
heaven

   wealth
is
a
Godly
sign
of
moral
worthiness
 Source: Cited in Hunt, 1996   Geneva:
financial
center
and
commodity
 trading
center
   16th
Century
was
the
“autumn
of
 feudalism”
(Tawney):
rising
prosperity,
aging/ decrepit
social
institutions,
profit
in
 commodity
trade
(wheat,
wine)
   Traditional
religious
laws
no
longer
relevant,
 e.g.,
laws
regulating
interest
rate
(usury)
       Calvin,
a
lawyer
and
religious
leader,
proposed
to
make
 Geneva
a
“holy
city,”
to
reconstruct
Church
and
state,
and
 purify
the
individual
 Roman
church
had
encouraged
luxury
and
ostentation,
 reformers
wanted
discipline
&
modesty
 Calvin
drafted
administrative
rules
for
Geneva,
as
well
as
for
 the
individual;
all
areas
of
life
subject
to
control
by
the
 Church
   Calvin
created
a
sort
of
“Christian
socialism”
 where
the
rich
were
strictly
regulated,
the
 poor
morally
judged
   Weber
notes
that
Calvin’s
system
was
more
 restrictive
than
the
feudal
(traditional)
state:

 150
heretics
burned
in
60
years;
child
 beheaded
for
striking
his
parents
   Moral
bifurcation
of
society
and
doctrine
of
 predestination:
few
are
chosen,
most
are
 damned
to
afterlife
in
Hell.

Wealth
is
a
sign
of
 being
chosen,
of
personal
virtue
   Inner
loneliness,
trust
only
God,
rejection
of
 emotional
religion
   Calvinist
asceticism
related
to
thrift,
 investment
for
the
sake
of
profit
   Calvinist
Diaspora:

seedbed
of
rising
 capitalism,
carried
by
men
of
commerce
to
 London,
Antwerp,
and
Geneva;
no
more
 “ethics
from
the
eyes
of
peasants”
(eg,
“The
 Lord’s
Prayer”
Tawney)
   Calvinism
also
spread
to
Holland
and
 Scotland,
and
the
Puritans
took
it
to
New
 England
   Calvinism
is
world’s
most
influential
 Protestant
sect
   The
reformed
church
and
especially
Calvinism
 externalized
the
inward
spiritual
energy
of
 Christian
asceticism
(e.g.,
the
Monastery)
   Protestant
ethic:

An
ascetic
belief
system
 associated
with
Protestantism
that
views
the
 accumulation
of
profit
as
a
sign
of
God’s
 pleasure
in
hard
work,
frugality,
and
 righteous
living
   Epistemology:
nature
of
knowledge,
 presuppositions,
foundations,
extent
and
 validity
   Methodology:
a
system
of
methods,
 principles,
and
rules
regulating
a
given
 discipline
   Methodological
individualism
   Calvinism:
most
people
not
worthy;

 Christianity:
we’re
all
God’s
children
   Elitism
versus
democratic
ideals
   Individualism:
ahistoric
idealism
(versus
 society‐individual
dialectic)
   Idealism:
the
object
of
external
perception
 consists
of
ideas
   Adam
Smith:
individuals
“truck
&
barter”
   Robert
Frank:
CU
students
optimize
altruism
 &
self‐interest
 The starting point for the individualist paradigm is the simple fact that all social interactions are after all interactions among individuals. The individual in the economy or in the society is like the atom in chemistry; whatever happens can ultimately be described exhaustively in terms of the individuals involved. Source: Nobel Laureate economist Kenneth Arrow, 1994   Individual:
self‐interested,
rational
   Capitalism:
economy
where
individuals
free
 to
invest/exchange,
and

wealth
is
privately
 owned
   Social
cause:
social
forces
(social
class,
 political
power)
cause
structural
 unemployment
   Economic
science:
market
disequilibrium
will
 right
itself
when

individual
decisions
are
 harmonized

           GDP
=
Consumption

+
Investment

+

Government
 expenditures

+

Net
Exports
 C
is
down
–
People
have
rediscovered
savings
 I
is
down
–
Why
invest
if
nobody
is
buying?
 NX
is
down
–
The
rest
of
the
world
is
in
recession
 also
 That
leaves
only
G
able
to
expand

 Source: Prof. Steven Kyle, http://www.kyle.aem.cornell.edu/   Enlightenment
   Individuals
created
by
God
   Self‐interest
is
man’s
nature
(God‐given)
   Smith’s
(1761)
Theory
of
Moral
Sentiments
   Market‐individual‐private
property
nexus:
   Dispense
with
Christian
love
   Dispense
with
ascetic
restraint
   Individual
self‐interest
salutary
for
all
   Philosophical
foundation
in
Stoicism
   “Invisible
hand”
akin
to
Stoic
Deity
 Adam Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments Adam Smith Adam Smith Source: New Yorker, October 12, 2009, p.53   “natural
self‐interest
and
rapacity”
fights
 poverty

   “Then,
even
the
poor
can
enjoy
the
fruits
of
 the
rich
person’s
selfishness”
   “without
intending
it,
without
knowing
it,
 [the
greedy]
advance
the
interest
of
society”
   Smith’s
conception
of
the
market
has
 religious
origins
–
how
can
negative
qualities
 (greed,
rapacity)
sum
to
a
positive
(poverty
 reduction)?
(Supernatural
arithmetic)
   Economic
science
emerged
from
religious
 discourse,
and
reflects
faith
in
markets
   Economy
is
self‐correcting
   Private
ownership
superior
to
public
 ownership
   However,
beginning
with
the
2008
 financial
crisis
these
conceptions
are
being
 modified
   Ideology:
connected
set
of
beliefs
that
guide
 reactions
to
the
social
world
   Economics
as
a
science
related
to
faith
in
 capitalism
   Ontology:
metaphysics
about
the
nature
of
 existence
or
being
   Economic
individualism
=
atomistic
&
 ahistoric
ontology
   Economics:
society
has
no
ontological
status,
 only
individuals
do
   Other
social
sciences
posit
that
society
does
 have
ontological
status,
e.g.
historical
 materialism
   Two
types
of
individualism:
religious
(Adam
 Smith)
and
secular
(Robert
Frank)
 individualism
   Both
types
can
be
shown
to
be
idealist
and
 ahistorical
(have
individuals
ever
behaved
 rationally?
Environmental
determinants
of
 behavior?)
   Students
prepared
to
pay
for
altruism
–
but
 how
are
altruistic
opportunities
 (employment)
created
in
the
first
place?

   Do
altruistic
individuals
create
altruistic
 opportunities?
   (Are
there
social/historic
influences
on
job
 opportunities?
Or
are
job
opportunities
 created
by
individual
decisions?)
   Methodological
individualism
   Markets
&
private
property
necessary
for
 individual
freedom
   Economic
science
is
related
to
ideology
about
 capitalism
&
individual
   Religious
individualism
versus
secular
 individualism
 Physicist
Michio
Kaku
argues
that
human
 progress
is
contingent
on
planetary
 coordination/sharing
of
energy
resources.
 Kaku’s
contingency
implies
private
ownership
 of
energy
is
an
obstacle
to
solving
 environmental
dilemma
(agree
or
disagree?)

 Source: Kaku (1997) Visions: How Science Will Transform the 21st Century ...
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