BELIEF AND RITUAL: THE PROTESTANT ETHIC, CAPITALISM, AND THE NATION 1517 THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION • A movement in Europe that began with Martin Luther’s opposition to the corruption of Catholicism. • Divided Christianity between Catholicism and a number of Protestant denominations. • Contributed to a sociocultural milieu in Europe that fostered science, technology, modern philosophy, and capitalism. 1648 THE WESTPHALIA PEACE ACCORD • Considered to be the culmination of the Protestant Reformation. • Established national boundaries in Europe. • Ended the political dominance of the Holy Roman Empire. • Instigated the transformation in the political organization of European powers from feudal states to nation states. CAPITALISM • An economic system in which the means of production--land and capital goods--are privately owned, and the labor of workers becomes the property of owners. • Capital, generated for most part by the labor of workers, is monopolized by owners and invested for individual profit. • Commodities and services are produced for the sole purpose of profit in the marketplace. • Capitalism collapses if it does not continually expand. • Capitalism only functions through inequality. CONFLICT THEORY • MARX: The history of the world is a history of conflict between CLASSES: – Those who have access to resources and establish power over their production and distribution. – Those who do not have access to resources. • Societies are held together by coercive power, and change due to escalating conflicts between the classes. • The capitalist system is based in class inequity, and generates disenfranchisement and alienation. • WEBER: Systems of oppression are able to operate because they are self legitimizing. • In addition to socioeconomic class, status and power-”power for power’s sake”-- contributes to social inequity. • MACRO PERSPECTIVES WEBER IS CRITICAL OF MARX’S ECONOMIC DETERMINISM AND ARGUES RELIGION GENERATED THE CAPITALIST ECONOMIC SYSTEM. He asked: Why was capitalism created and developed in Western Europe rather than somewhere else? Because historical conditions caused the emergence of religious values that created an ethos conducive to capitalism. CALVINISM DURING THE 1500s JOHN CALVIN PARTICIPATED IN AND IMPACTED THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION, AND THE MANY BRANCHES OF “CALVINISM” EMERGED. CALVINIST DOCTRINE • PREDESTINATION: God has predetermined who will go to heaven, all others will not. • TULIP -- The five points of Calvinism: – Total depravity: All are born into sin. – Unconditional election: God saves through total mercy. – Limited atonement: Christ atoned only for the elected. – Irresistible grace: The elected cannot resist God’s grace. – Perseverance of the saints: The elected will never fall. • THE CALLING: Anxious people look for signs of salvation. – Hard work is a high moral obligation to fulfill ones duty in worldly affairs. – Worldly success is a sign of God’s favor. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN ON SAVINGS AND THRIFT • Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich. • Hope of gain lessens pain. • Beware of little expenses, a small leak will sink a great ship. • Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to gain leisure. • Nothing so likely to make a man’s fortune as virtue. THE ETHOS OF CAPITALISM • Frugal and thrifty economic behavior is virtuous and leads to wealth. • Wealth designates virtue. • Weber asserts: The ETHOS of capitalism predates the emergence of capitalism in the late 18th century. PREDESTINATION AS THE VITAL SPARK OF CAPITALISM • Accumulation becomes a moral imperative. • The pursuit of profit becomes endowed with sacred character. WEBER’S “IRON CAGE” • Economic activity becomes separate from the household. • Cities become separate from the country. • People are divided by class statuses. • Nation states become more homogenous, geographically bounded, autonomous, and selfdetermining. A SELF-PERPETUATING AND SELF-LEGITIMIZING SYSTEM • RATIONALIZATION: Positivistic organization, including military might, to maintain social order. • Capitalism is fortified through rationalization. • Religious beliefs become unnecessary. • Asceticism, thrift, and capital accumulation become secular virtues. • WEBER’S IRONY: The Puritan wanted to work as a calling; we are forced to do so. THE MODERN NATION AND THE IDEOLOGY OF NATIONALISM • Nations are constructed through social and cultural engineering. • NATIONALISM: An ideology that generates homogeneity, compliance, and loyalty. • People are convinced or coerced into sharing a common religion, language, ethnic membership, and history. • Constructions of the different, inferior, evil, etc., “OTHER” remain integral to the identity formations of nationalisms. The monopoly on legitimized violence is essential to constructing and maintaining the nation. Nations can and do eliminate or force into submission, those who refuse to conform, or who demand recognition as distinct groups. Nations can and do wage war on other nations for religious, social, cultural, political, and economic reasons. NATIONALISM AND RELIGION • Like religions, modern nationalisms are “systems of belief” that share characteristics with anthropological perspectives on religion. • SACRED NARRATIVES • SYMBOLS • ADDRESSING THE SUPERNATURAL • SPIRITS AND SACRED POWERS • RITUALS NARRATIVES Hhmmm…EVET! Babadevlet ve anavatan! “I CANNOT TELL A LIE.” REMEMBER THE ALAMO! SYMBOLS ADDRESSING THE SUPERNATURAL SPIRITS AND SACRED POWERS RITUALS US MILITARY BOOT CAMP: A NATIONALISTIC RITE OF PASSAGE RITES OF PASSAGE: Public events that mark the transition of an individual or group from one social status to another. • Rites of Passage involve three phases: – SEPARATION • The person or group is detached from a former status. – THE LIMINAL STAGE • A state of limbo between the former status and the new status to come. – REINCORPORATION • The passage into the new status is symbolically completed. New rights and obligations accompany the new status. The LIMINAL Stage • BETWIXT AND BETWEEN. • Symbols of the liminal stage often focus on nothingness, death, and ambiguity. • The initiates are in a temporary state of solidarity called: COMMUNITAS. ANTI STRUCTURE: A temporary dissolution of the established order that occurs during the liminal stage. Behaviors that violate social norms are permitted. Establishes where normal structural boundaries are and reinforces social norms. “PRIVATE JOKER” A TRICKSTER FULL METAL JACKET – PART ONE STUDY GUIDE FOR “PART ONE” OF FULL METAL JACKET • What characteristics of religion do you see in boot camp as portrayed in the film? • Weber asserts that the Protestant ethic is the cultural basis for capitalism and, in part, the ideology of nationalism. These systems become rationalized, self-legitimizing, and eventually secular. What evidence of this theoretical logic do you see in the film? • What characteristics of boot camp correspond with Victor Turner’s explication of the liminal state? • What social status are the initiates being prepared for? When reintegrated, how will they fortify the social order of the nation state? • In the context of communitas, what role does the drill sergeant play? • What role does Private Joker play? • What role does Private Pyle play?