August 30th, 2008

rock

how not to complain about capitalism

In his analysis of the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism, Max Weber documented their conflict by quoting John Wesley writing in 1786:

I do not see how it is possible, in the nature of things, for any revival of true religion to continue long. For religion must necessarily produce both industry and frugality, and these cannot but produce riches. But as riches increase, so will pride, anger, and love of the world in all its branches.
By analogy, it is hard to see how it is possible, in the nature of things, for any revival of true socialism to continue long. For such revival must necessarily depend upon both industry and frugality, and these cannot thrive in the face of ubiquitous temptations to squander capital. But as capital dwindles, so will industry. Accordingly, any social arrangement that undermines returns on capital, would undermine the basis of its industry. Collapse ) This appeal to authorities has been extracted from an interminable debate on [info]real_philosophy, with snide asides.

Posted to [info]larvatus; banned from [info]real_philosophy.