The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism - by Max Weber[Reading report] by Nilufar Oberreiner


The author was part of the “Alternative Management” third year program in HEC in 2011-2012.

Following the rational ethics of ascetic protestantism, each man has the duty to prove his devotion to God by leading a work-oriented, methodical, regular life aimed at the increase of divine glory and the certainty of self salvation. To some extent, Weber answers back to Marx, as he claims for the primacy of cultures upon the material conditions of production : given religions and beliefs may bring capitalist mentalities. How could the Puritan conception of profession and the ascetic requirement have an influence on the development of the capitalist way of life ? The more work bears fruit, the more man has the responsibility to make it fructify. Wealth is to be used for utilitarian purposes only : capital accumulation is meant to feed savings which will be invested and therefore increased. As regards task ethics, it introduces the idea of productivity. It is the rise of middle class morals.

Quote article  Nilufar Oberreiner, « The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism - by Max Weber », 08 august 2012, Alternative Management Observatory (AMO), [Reading report]

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