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In a sense, before sociology, people knew well that they were acted upon by a force greater than themselves during these sacred times and in these sacred places.But what they did not know well is by what. So they posited a mystical forces represented by the totem or some such sacred symbol.Then there is the totem as the flag of the clan: religion as representing the clan to itselfReligion is the way society represents itself to itself and conveys its own power.And all that represents society to itself, in modern as well as pre-modern societies, remains in a crucial way religious and sacred. Examples: The soldier who dies for his flag, dies for his country, but he has the flag first place in his consciousness.Take the Danish cartoons of Mohammad or the Charlie Hebdo cartoons: Why do they prompt such reaction?
In the sixties, radicals burning flags infuriated many/most Americans: why?In this second form, Durkheim saw the eternal role of religionoSymbolic basis of all social lifeHow are these collective forces brought under the totem?How do these external forces, the effervescent powers of the collective experience, come to be thought of under the form of totems? The key is in the power of a SYMBOL? The complicated is made simple by the symbol. The symbol distills, subsumes, simplifies a complicated emotional and collective experience. The collective effervescence is capsuled by the figurativerepresentation of the totem.And where ever it appears, strong echoes of the power follow ready to kickoff another collective effervescence.Big conclusion: We are social animals because we are symbolic animals. No symbol, no society!Return to Materialism versus Idealism: Marx contra DurkheimMarx Weber-Dates to orient yourselfoMarx, 1818-1883oDurkheim, 1858-1917oSimmel 1858-1918oFreud,1856-1939 oWeber, Max 1864-1920oCharacters in Weber’s protestant ethicMartin Luther 1483–1546: In 1517 he posted his 95 theses inviting debate—as good a mark of the beginning of the Reformation as any.John Calvin (1509-1564)Richard Baxter (1615-1691)Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)-Weber’s BiooFoot in father’s world—pre-modern aristocratic Mom—liberal modern capitalism Father was a politician Very macho, status worldTorn between the two—early ages tried to follow father
Dependent upon opium—very depressed from not reconciling with father before he died after fight over mistreatment of his mother-What is capitalismoBig question: why and how did modern western capitalism come about and why first only in Europe? To answer, must answer what is capitalism?oFor Marx-- > commodification of laboroWeber says that modern capitalism is theContinual, rational, predictable pursuit of profit oThis is an important thing to keep in mind because it will distinguish the modern capitalism from early varieties: the continuous, methodical, sustained, rational, pursuit of profitsoThis differentiates it from booty capitalism or adventure capitalism or even mercantile capitalismoWe also need to distinguish the capitalism that Marx and Weber were