4.8 Origins of Capitalism

4.8 Origins of Capitalism - Weberian Perspectives on the...

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4/8/11 Weberian Perspectives on the Origins of Capitalism Review Session on Tuesday. Must have done study work to get in. RECAP Weber and Capitalism Weber’s definition of capitalism (See notes from 4/6) Capitalism : (according to Weber) a system of economic organization in which the participants are motivated by the “pursuit of profit and forever renewed profit, by means of continuous, rational, capitalistic enterprise”. What makes Western-style capitalism unique? -rational organization of free labor -separation of production from the household -double-entry bookkeeping (recording both debit and credit) -spirit of capitalism-most important Benjamin Franklin-Poor Richard’s Almanac “Remember, that time is money.” “Remember, that credit is money.” “Remember…money can beget money.” “Remember this saying, ‘The good paymaster is the lord of another man’s purse’.” “The most trifling actions that affect a man’s credit are to be regarded.” “He that idly loses five shillings’ worth of time, loses five shillings, and might as prudently throw five shillings into the sea.” These statements embody the spirit of capitalism. The spirit of capitalism is an ethos in which labor is considered not a means to an end, but an end in itself. (that means, labor should be done for labor’s sake. You don’t work to buy something else, but you work just to work. There is something intrinsically valuable in work itself) It is an ethos where the increase of capital is seen as a duty and that is nonetheless characterized by a this-worldly asceticism . The spirit of traditional is almost the opposite. In the spirit of traditionalism, labor is understood
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4.8 Origins of Capitalism - Weberian Perspectives on the...

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