Thursday, February 12, 2009

Weber & Capitalism Today

Weber's concept of the influence that The Protestant Ethic has played in the development of rational capitalism provides a fascinating incite into the cause (creation) and characteristics of capitalism in today's modern society. The motivations for working hard and accumulating wealth are easily seen in America's excessive consumer society. However, the stigma of "conspicuous consumption" as an embarrassment before society, has indeed been long forgotten. As Weber has noted, modern capitalism has lost its original nobility in its "call to please God."
Today's' society, and its voracious appetite for acquiring all types of consumer goods has lost its original virtue, that is the pursuit of work as a divine purpose or "reason to live." We would be wise to find and maintain true intrinsic value to our individual work product, in order to maximize our fulfillment in life!
What are some of your life views on why you are pursuing a career, and why do you think you are motivated to work hard? Are you pursuing riches, fame, or status?


  1. People today are being born into a capitalistic economy; he or she has no other choice to conform to the capitalistic rules of order. If one chooses not to take advantage of this equal opportunity they are only casting themselves off. I am attending school to receive a bachelors, then masters to attain the highest pay. Why not stop at a bachelors? Well up until a few years ago a bachelors was one of the highest degrees jobs were taking but as society changes so do the rules it asks for more and more overtime. This is what motivates me to strive higher. Ex: Two people are applying for a job, same sex, same good qualifying skills, same passion but one has a masters. The one with the masters will get the job especially if he/ she was working while obtaining a masters it shows how that individual will go the extra mile. This is what society likes, survival of the fittest. How did we get to this point?
    Society was never born into capitalism but somewhere along the lines there was one unhappy camper and they asked for more money and that’s when everything thing changed. We became a greedy society and now more then ever. So when you ask are you pursuing riches, fame, status, I would be dishonest if I said no. Unfortunately I wasn’t born into riches so if there is still a fair shot at obtaining those riches but means I have to work double I will do just that.

  2. I believe that society encourages us to strive for the very best; I also believe that we are born into a capitalistic economy. Perhaps encourage is the wrong word, society pressures individuals to have it all. I started out my college days wanting to go into medicine. In following this course of study I wanted to help others, at the same time however I expected to profit from my years of study. I then found out that physicians were no longer making an enormous amount of money, so I decided to change majors. I admit that I was wanted to go into a particular occupation for the "wrong" reasons. I was raised in a capitalistic economy, and the fact that I was no longer going to profit from a particular job ended up changing my whole life. I am now in a completely different major and I have no idea what I’m going to do when I graduate. I know realize that I don’t want riches or fame but I want to learn as much as I can and help others find their calling.

  3. Weber suggested that capatilism created social stratification. In todays economy starification can be linked to social class. Social class is based on economically determined relationship. Status and Parties are simply associations that come with social class. Once an individual has achieved a "high" social class affilating with "high" parties comes naturally. Thus the status of that individual increases. In American society it seems that there is a competition to see who has the biggest house or the nicest car. This creates a culture that is money hungry. That is why capatilism fits well inot American society. There are people who have an enourmous amount of money and instead of helping other they choose to keep the unneeded money in order to fit into a capatilist culture.

  4. Capitalism forces individuals to work as hard as possible to achieve their economic goals.
    I am pursuing a career because I want to have more money than I have now. But at the same time I love psychology so I am also doing it because I am very interested in everything related to psychology. I think that I am just pursuing status.