Religion Hurdle or barricade?

Hurdle or barricade?
 Obstacle course trad-modern
And authentic-deformed
 Modernization hurdles
Characteristics of capitalism
social environment
motivation geist = “spirit”
Spirit of capitalism
Endorses acquisition
Applies to gain without limit
Reorganize procedures re total task
Labour until you drop
Discipline & self control
“Sociology of Pain”
 Curse of rationality
Bur org = price of civilization
Acetism unnatural
Need explanation for motivation
Calvinism fits bill
Five points of Calvinism
T-U-L-I-P , T, Total Inability;
U, Unconditional Election; L, Limited
Atonement; I, Irresistible(efficacious)
Grace; and P, Perseverance of the Saints."
Intuitively important
Hard to prove effects
Few have direct economic links
Minimal role in authority?
Religion as barricade
Religion as defense
 Aggressive developers
 Or protection against system that
violates ethics?
 Progress not the enemy, moral
Porous barricades
 Social values yield to capitalism
 Rational economy not because of
Calvinist strength, but insipid
 Identified as variable
 per capita growth gap with
Hindu/Buddhist/Islamic states
 “Eastasia” values identified:
loyalty/ nationalism/ education/
single-party/ respect/
 Benevolence explains weak labour
 Family explains high savings rates
 Miroshima rushes in and claims
Confucian strand in Japan explains
superior growth over China
more than necessary condition: prime
Davis’ critique
 Confucius opposed to profit! [239]
 Neglects presence of self-interest,
disloyalty, conflict
even Samurai wanted rewards!
 Consensus elusive
 [Note lack of sacrifice to bail out
flagging economy]
Max Weber (1864-1920)
Protestant Ethic and the
Spirit of Capitalism
Weber’s observations 1
 Chinese had wrong “geist”
 Laboured but lacked capitalist selfdiscipline
 Family protection and kinship a
 Moral and legalistic state failed to
provide rational bureaucracy
Weber’s observations 2
 Scholarship “magical”
 Study “assimilation” not creation
 Puritans sought to transform world:
Confucian to accommodate to it
Weber’s observations 3
 Lack of tension or angst
 “Nothing more radical than a good
solid education was needed to make
the world as good as it ever was,
or could be” [243]
 Ethnocentrism abounding
 Cards stacked against 1603-1868
 Resource poor, isolationist,
hereditary merchants … likened to
toads!, toll roads, ancestral land,
economy embedded in kinship and
Japan Negative
 By C19th had economic surplus,
literacy, rural proletariat, economy
was disembedded
 Buddhism used by Tokugawa and
autocratic Meiji developers to
control masses
 An individual oriented religion not
confronting social injustice
Japan Negative
 Buddhism passively “accepts the
spirit of the times” [251]
 Shinto was equally compliant
“Silent accomplice”
 Religious belief became secularized
Japan Positive enablements
 Early modern Japan had ethic for
society with embedded economy
 Confucian barricades held during
1920s & 1930s
 Work ideology, not ethic
=principles averred in public
Embedded society
 Industry now seeking protection
from society and its claims
 Organic model of society --> into
organic model of industry
 Japan: people yielding their claims
to those of the economy
[still true as state tries to boost
Spirit of capitalism!?
Weber & Asia
 Traditional economies showed
“universal and mutual distrust”
 Then “rational depersonalizing of
 Paternalistic industry
“Simply co-opted the symbols and
values of the traditional households
and villages they were actually
destroying” [266]
Work ethic?
 Industries have patrols and spies
 Militant unions destroyed after
 Horizontal mobility restricted
 Seniority pay as inducement
 [268] “industrial discipline in the
Far East depends on much more
than a “work ethic” […]
 1683 Failed siege of Vienna
 Fundamentalists see Islam
challenged by infidels and Muslim
 Democracy irrelevant
no questioning of republic permitted
God’s polity
 no state, only a ruler; no court, only a
judge; no city, just … neighborhoods
 No legislative or corporate bodies, thus
no need for principle of representation
 History of Islamic states almost wholly
 Reinforces obstacles
 Power of state to intimidate
 Philosophy sharpened by foreign
Sunnis see Caliph elected by those
qualified to make a choice
relationship contractual
Islamic ruler is not above the law, but
is subject to it like humblest servant
Pluralism also accepted in Islamic law
and practice
 Doctrine of elective and contractual
sovereignty largely ignored since
early days of Caliphate
 Consultation restricted to ruler and
inner circle
Policies for west?
 Right wing accepts dictators in
name of democracy
 Left wants concessions on rights
 Existing regimes might be better
 Fundamentalists hard to remove

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