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Курсовик Статья America drops, Asia shops, описание наступления подходящего момента для спада в американской экономике. Разработка плана обустройства береговой линии. Оригинал и перевод книги Макса Вебера The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
Тип работы: Курсовик.
Предмет: Ин. языки.
Уникальность по antiplagiat.ru: --.
Пензенский Государственный Педагогический Университет
Факультет экономики, менеджмента и информатики
Кафедра перевода и переводоведения
Письменный перевод с английского языка на русский язык
Выполнил: студентка гр. БА-51
Кудакова Евгения Сергеевна
Проверил: Андросова О.Е.
Пенза - 2008
1. Оригинал статьи «America drops, Asia shops» , журнал Economist №21, 2006
2. Перевод статьи «America drops, Asia shops» , журнал Economist №21, 2006
3. Оригинал статьи «A half century of decline...», газета New York Times, 2006
4. Перевод статьи «A half century of decline...», газета New York Times, 2006
5. Перевод книги Макса Вебера "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism"
1. Оригинал статьи «America drops, Asia shops» , журнал Economist №21, 2006
America drops, Asia shops
Thanks to the vigour of Asia's consumers, it is a good time for the American economy to slow
IT IS a commonplace that American consumers have kept the world economy spinning. Asians are frugal, Europe ans are gloomy, so if Americans do not keep spending as fast as they have been lately, the world economy is in trouble. That view will be tested over the next couple of years as Americans adjust to the end of their housing bonanza. By virtually every measure America's housing market is in trouble. Home sales and residential construction are tumbling, the overhang of unsold homes has soared and, according to some statistics, house prices have started to slide. And despite the odd bit of good news, such as this week's figures showing that housing starts rose unexpectedly in September and builders' gloom had lifted slightly, the painful truth is that America's housing adjustment probably has a lot further to go.
The effect of that adjustment on Americans' spending has yet to be felt. So far, the housing bust has hit builders most. America's gdp growth slowed to a crawl over the summer as builders cut back. Consumers have barely noticed, mainly be cause unemployment remains low and tumbling fuel prices have boosted their bank balances and buoyed their spirits. Petrol prices have fallen by almost 30% over the past two months. The strength of consumer spending has led many economists to argue that America is headed for a soft landing. Perhaps, but as the housing bust deepens, even the most spendthrift Americans will keep a tighter grip on their wallets. America may avoid recession, but it won't avoid a slow-down. Will it drag the world economy with it?
The reason it will not is that the common view of the Amer ican consumer as the engine of the world economy is flawed. imf figures show that Asia, not America, has been the main driver of global demand, powering the world economy through its fastest five-year period of growth since the early 1970s. That is not just because Asians are producing so much more, but also because they're buying so much more. Asian consumers are on a spending spree, splashing out on anything from mobile phones to designer clothes.
They know how to spend
Asia is the world's fastest-growing consumer market. The imf forecasts that total household spending there will rise by al most 7% in real terms this year. In comparison, the 3% growth in American consumption looks almost parsimonious. Al though America's consumer spending is still larger than the whole of Asia's in current dollars, the growth in Asian spend ing this year will be half as big again as that in America. Asia's consumer market already exceeds America's if converted at purchasing-power parity (which makes sense, because housing and domestic services are much cheaper in poorer countries, leaving more of a given sum to spend on consumer durables and the like). No wonder Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, is eager to expand in China. This week it agreed to buy the country's second-largest hypermarket chain. International retailers are battling to get a stake in China as rising living stan dards and rapid urbanisation create masses of new consum ers. On today's trends, the consumer market there, measured in ppp, will overtake America's by 2020.
Economists, who tend to be less excitable than retailers, point out that Asian consumption levels are still fairly low. In Asia, household consumption accounts for only around 55% of gdp on average, compared with 71% in America. But it is the pace of the increase in consumer spending as much as its share of gdp that determines overall growth. And the lower consumption's current share of gdp, the more scope there is for it to grow.
Still, however bouncy Asian consumers are feeling, slow ing growth means that America will buy fewer goods from the rest of the world. So the big question is how much the rest of the world depends on exporting to America. And the answer is: less than is generally thought. Smaller Asian economies, notably Taiwan, are heavily export-dependent. But the bulk of growth in China, India and Japan in recent years has been dri ven by domestic demand (see pages 81-83).
It is true that China runs a large current-account surplus with America and rising net exports have contributed almost two percentage points of China's growth over the past year, but even without that boost, China's gdp growth would still have been an impressive 8.5%. Moreover, America is not the only importer. Indeed, its share of world imports has fallen from 21% to 16% over the past five years-further proof that de mand is strong elsewhere. If America imports less, Asia's gdp growth will slow, but by less than doomsters predict.
Buoyant Asian demand should help keep Europe afloat, too, for European exporters are a lot more dependent on Asia, and a lot less dependent on America, than they used to be. Ex ports to Asia last year were €244 billion, €44 billion higher than in 2001. Those to America were, at €185 billion ($230 bil lion), only a little more than they were four years ago.
Europe cheers up
European demand should also do its bit for the world econ omy. Europe's recovery is not, as is widely held, purely export-driven. Most of the euro area's current growth comes from do mestic demand, as spending by firms and households has perked up. Third-quarter gdp figures are likely to show the euro-area economies outpacing America's for a second con secutive quarter. The euro zone has a reasonable amount of spare capacity, which could allow it to grow above trend for a few years. And European consumers have not been as profli gate in recent years as American ones, so they have the scope to reduce their saving and spend more. As a result, the euro area is likely to make a bigger contribution to global growth over the next few years than it has of late.
Asia's growth has changed the global economy in a lot of ways, mostly for the better. One of them concerns the rest of the world's vulnerability to the vagaries of the American economy. In the past, American recessions meant global reces sions. But this time round, even if America drops sharply, the world won't stop. ¦
2. Перевод статьи «America drops, Asia shops» , журнал Economist №21, 2006
Экономист, октябрь №21, 2006.
Америка замедляется, Азия ускоряется.
Благодаря энергии азиатских покупателей наступил подходящий момент для спада в американской экономике.
Привычное дело, что американский покупатель заставляет мировую экономику продолжать функционировать. Азиаты экономны, европейцы угрюмы, поэтому если американцы не будут тратиться так же много, как они это делали в последнее время, мировая экономика будет испытывать трудности.
Это будет проверено в течение пары следующих лет, когда американцы совсем свыкнуться с окончанием празднества на рынке жилья, которое сейчас происходит в Америке. Фактически по всем показателям каждая часть внутреннего рынка в Америке является проблемной. Продажи и его строительство падают, убытки от непроданной недвижимости растут, и согласно некоторым статистическим данным, цены на недвижимость начали снижаться. И не смотря на отдельные хорошие новости, такие как цифры в прессе на этой неделе, показывающие неожиданный рост цен на дома в сентябре и уменьшение депрессии строительных компаний, горькая правда состоит в том, что в сфере недвижимости в Америке еще многое, что должно быть сделанным.
Влияние от таких корректировок не может не сказаться на расходах американцев. В большей степени неудачи в сфере недвижимости отразились на строительных компаниях.
Потребители едва ли это заметили, главным образом из-за того, что уровень безработицы остается низким, а падающие цены на топливо поддерживают уровень денежных средств на счетах банков и поднимают дух.
Цены на бензин упали на 30% за последние два месяца. Интенсивность потребительских расходов привела к спору между экономистами о том, что Америка взяла курс на «мягкую посадку».
Возможно, так как экономический спад усугубляется, даже такие транжиры-американцы затянули пояса потуже. Америка может избежать кризиса, но не замедления в экономике. Потянет ли она за собой всю мировую экономику в таком случае?
Причина, по которой этого не случится - общее мнение о том, что американский потребитель больше не является двигателем мировой экономики. По данным МВФ, это вовсе не Америка, а Азия является главным инициатором мирового спроса, добавляя сил мировой экономике в течение наиболее быстрого пятилетнего периода роста с начала 1970-х годов. И это происходит не только от того, что Азия производит в больших объемах, но также из-за того, что она потребляет намного больше. Азиатский потребитель находится в состоянии покупательской лихорадки, тратясь на все - от мобильного телефона до одежды от дизайнеров.
Они умеют тратиться.
Азия - мировой наиболее быстро растущий потребительский рынок. По прогнозам IMF, общие расходы домохозяйств вырастут почти на 7% в реальных условиях в этом году, по сравнению с 3% роста американского потребления, которые выглядят весьма скупо. Хотя расходы американского потребителя все еще больше, чем азиатского в пересчете на американские доллары, рост азиатского потребления в этом году будет в два раза больше американского. Потребительский рынок Азии уже превышает американский при пересчете на паритет покупательной способности (значение которого впечатляет, потому что услуги домохозяйств и внутренние услуги гораздо дешевле в более бедных странах, оставляя большую часть от заработанной суммы на покупку потребительских товаров длительного пользования и т.п.)
Неудивительно, что Волмарт - крупнейшая розничная сеть в мире, - стремится к расширению в Китае. На этой неделе Волмарт согласился купить вторую по величине сеть гипермаркетов в стране.
Международные продавцы розничной торговли борются за то, чтобы застолбить за собой место в Китае, так как рост уровня жизни и набирающая темпы урбанизация создают массы новых потребителей. Настоящими темпами потребительский рынок Китая, выраженный в паритете покупательной способности, будет преобладать над американским к 2020 году.
Экономисты, которые остаются менее взбудораженными, чем продавцы, отмечают, что уровень потребления в Азии все еще достаточно низок. Здесь потребление домохозяйств составляет только около 55% ВВП в целом по сравнению с 71% в Америке. Но на самом деле тенденция роста потребительских расходов, равных доле ВВП, определяет общий рост. И чем ниже доля настоящего потребления в общем объеме ВВП, тем больше вероятность ее роста. Пока, однако, замедляющийся рост означает, что Америка приобретет меньше товаров, чем остальные страны. Поэтому важным вопросом остается: насколько остальные страны мира зависят от экспорта в Америку. И ответ: меньше, чем предполагалось ранее. Меньшие экономические системы Азии, в частности Тайвань, являются очень зависимыми от экспорта. Но основной объем экономического роста в Китае, Индии и Японии в последние годы был вызван внутренним спросом.
Это правда, что Китай имеет огромный прирост текущих активов за счет сотрудничества с Америкой, и растущая сеть экспорта добавила почти два пункта к росту Китая за последний год. Но даже и без этого подъема рост ВВП Китая все равно был бы на впечатляющем уровне 8,5%. Более того, Америка - не единственный импортер. В действительности ее доля в мировом экспорте сократилась с 21% до 16% за последние пять лет, а также падающий спрос является еще одним доказательством этого. Если Америка импортирует меньше, рост ВВП Азии будет замедляться, но меньшими темпами, чем прогнозировали пессимисты.
Возросший спрос Азии также должен помочь Европе держаться наплаву, т.к. европейские экспортеры являются намного более зависимыми от Азии и намного менее зависимыми от Америки, чем они были раньше. Экспорт в Азию в прошлом году составил 244 млрд. евро, что на 44 млрд. евро больше, чем в 2001 году. Экспорт в Америку был на уровне 185 млрд. евро (или 230 млрд. долл.) - всего несколько меньше, чем он был 4 года назад.
Европейский спрос также должен внести свою лепту в мировую экономику. Вопреки расхожему мнению, восстановление экономики Европы произошло не только благодаря экспорту. В большинстве стран Евро-зоны рост активов произошел из-за роста внутреннего спроса, так как домохозяйства и организации оживились в плане потребления.
Евро зона обладает достаточной потребительской способностью, которая могла бы позволить ей добиться экономического роста даже выше предполагаемого в течение нескольких лет уровня. Европейский потребитель не был настолько расточительным в последние годы в отличие от американского, поэтому у него есть возможность меньше откладывать и тратить больше. В результате, евро-зона, похоже, внесет больший вклад в мировой экономический рост в течение следующих лет, чем она вносила раньше.
Экономический рост Азии изменил мировую экономику в различных отношениях, в большей степени в лучшую сторону. В какой-то степени это касается мировой экономической чувствительности к причудам американской экономики. В прошлом экономический спад в Америке означал мировой экономический спад. Но времена меняются: даже если Америка резко упадет, земля не остановиться.
Оригинал статьи «A half century of decline...», газета New York Times, 2006
3. Перевод статьи «A half century of decline...», газета New York Times, 2006
После полувекового периода спада Баффало разработал план обустройства береговой линии.
На протяжении многих лет на духе города Баффало отпечатывалось все больше и больше шрамов, уменьшая его до размера тени когда-то процветающего города.
Сначала Эраи Кэнэл, который помогал городу развиваться, перестал быть настолько популярным как раньше с появлением железных дорог и магистралей. Затем тяжелая индустрия - дюжины фабрик по всему региону, в основном сталелитейная промышленность и производство зерна, - прекратила свое существование в середине 1970-х годов. Экономический спад был настолько сильным, что половина населения покинула данную местность, численность населения сократилась с 580 000 человек в середине 20 века до 290 000 на сегодняшний день.
Похоже, что наибольшей проблемой в последние годы была береговая линия. Кливленд, Питсбург, Балтимор и другие индустриальные города, пришедшие к упадку, вложили миллионы в реконструкцию местности вдоль береговой линии, что сделало из них преуспевающие центры к настоящему моменту. Баффало отставал от них, а береговая линия озера Эраи оставалась заброшенной.
Но сейчас кажется, что период упадка этого города подходит к концу. В далеко идущих планах восстановления береговой линии наблюдаются ощутимые продвижения вместе с дюжинами частных и государственных проектов по недвижимости в центре города.
Реставрационные работы в исторической внутренней гавани в том месте, где Эраи Кэнэл впадает в Великие озера, успешно продвигаются. В центре города, несколько кварталов в сторону двое застройщиков города - один из Лонг Айленд, а другой из Англии, - оба приобрели исторические здания, нежилые или недоиспользуемые, с целью дальнейшей их эксплуатации для различных нужд. Также строится новое офисное здание площадью практически 500 000 кв. футов, что должно будет повысить уровень центра за последние не менее чем 20 лет. Это офисное здание - одно из дюжины или даже больше, - помогло сделать местность Баффало одной из первых в плане офисных строений в последнем квартале прошлого года.
«Я не говорю, что все эти планы будут осуществлены в течение 18 месяцев, и город будет выглядеть, как Торонто, - говорит Чарльз Ф. Розноу, президент корпорации развития береговой линии канала Эраи, новой государственной организации, на плечи которого возложено развитие городского внутреннего берега, - но дыры начинают залатываться, и мы усердно работаем».
Но не все настроены так же оптимистично. Даже мистер Розноу шутит, что дюжинами планов относительно восстановления береговой линии, которые уходят вникуда из-за недостатка денежных средств, можно было бы заполнить библиотеку. Скептики вспоминают другой великий проект восстановления береговой линии - офисный и торговый комплекс, который должен был быть установлен компанией Адельфия, проваленный, когда сотрудники компании были обвинены в конспирации и мошенничестве в 2002 году.
«Для общественности, которая думает, что мы выжидаем на протяжении полувека, что что-нибудь произойдет, - это не настолько быстрый процесс», - говорит Томас А. Кучарский, президент и исполнительный директор Баффало Ниагара Энтерпрайс, некоммерческой организации экономического развития.
Хотя пока многие думают, что настоящий момент является очень важным. Новый майор Баффало Байрон В.Браун активно продвигал потенциал города от Калифорнии до Массачусетс. Существует финансовая поддержка государственных и федеральных правительств, способствующая проектам по строительству магистралей и очистке районов, в прошлом загрязненных промышленными отходами, и это несколько другой вид инвестирования, нежели привлеченные дешевой недвижимостью города, блеском архитектурных памятников и красивыми парками, построенными в лучшие времена города, бизнесмены.
Внизу Майн Стрит, например, мощенные булыжником улочки и настоящий коммерческий слип на берегу Эраи Кэнэл сейчас восстанавливаются.
Новое здание для существующего морского исторического музея находится на стадии строительства. Также планируется открытие рынка, созданного в честь Фаноель Холл в Бостоне, и музея, посвященного Эраи Кэнэл и Великим озерам.
Важным достижением было создание Корпорации по Развитию побережья канала Эраи, а также филиала агентства по государственному экономическому развитию. Эта новая корпорация имеет право на эмиссию облигаций и должна сохранять движущую силу для развития побережья.
Этой весной корпорация произвела впечатление на общественность, пригласив на работу Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects из Манхеттена, которые принимали участие как в проекте по восстановлению внутреннего побережья Балтимора, так и в проекте Battery Park City, которые Баффало стремится превзойти.
Возможно наибольшая активность в работе пришлась на июнь с заверением договоренности Брайаном Хиггинсом представителем США между представителями власти штата Нью-Йорк и Корпорации по Развитию побережья канала Эраи. Представители власти, которым принадлежит ГЭС недалеко от города Ниагара Фолс, как часть своего доверительного заявления, согласились внести 279 млн. долларов за 50 лет с целью защиты окружающей среды от воздействия функционирования ГЭС.
Утвержденная сумма денежных средств, которая уже начала перечисляться, предназначена на улучшение береговой линии. Чиновники планируют получить большую сумму денег вперед путем продажи облигаций.
В недавние годы город и штат на многие мили вдоль побережья создавали парки, прокладывали велосипедные и пешеходные дорожки. Начало строительства запланировано на начало октября на территории вокруг внешнего берега шириной в 100 футов.
Одним из наиболее точных планов по усовершенствованию береговой линии является строительство здания Franck Lloyd Wright. В 2000 году местная группа купила права на использование дизайна лодочного домика 1905 года, который так и не был построен. В городе с шестью другими зданиями Wright лодочный домик, который будет являться местом существования West Side Rowing Club, мог бы стать местной достопримечательностью, говорят городские чиновники. На его строительство группа получила около 5 млн долларов. Работы начались в этом месяце.
«Наконец-то дело пошло, - говорит Гретчан Ф.Гроб, житель Баффало и старший представитель по обслуживанию посетителей художественной галереи Олбрайт Нокс - городского музея, в котором представлены работы художников эпохи импрессионизма и современности, - люди очень рады. Восстановление береговой линии вернет население в город».
Однако не все идет так хорошо. Штату еще предстоит довести до конца дело по переносу Басс Про Шопс, - сети магазинов, торгующих товарами для активного отдыха, известных своими яркими интерьерами, - на давно пустующее место, посвященное памяти погибших на войне, в конце Майн Стрит. Чиновники рассчитывают на Басс Про, чьи 300 000 кв. футов флагманского магазина в Спрингфилде привлекают 4 млн покупателей в год, - на то, что он расшевелит внутреннее побережье.
Вопреки заявлению 2-летней давности о том, что Басс Про подписал меморандум о понимании, компании все еще предстоит это сделать. Обе стороны все еще говорят о продолжении переговоров.
Планы относительно внешнего побережья, заброшенного треугольного холма закопанного мусора недалеко от озера Эраи, также не определены.
Первые 120 акров внешнего побережья принадлежат уполномоченному органу по транспортным границам Ниагары, государственному агентству по управлению работой автобусов, метро и аэропортов. Это агентство ведет переговоры с частными застройщиками по смешанным проектам, но этот процесс столкнулся с трудностями в связи с возникшими экологическими проблемами. Для того, чтобы обозначить необходимость улучшения береговой линии, Майор Браун сделал на этом акцент в своем офисе в январе.
«Важно, чтобы люди были уверены, что мы можем представить результаты своей работы на воде», - сказал мистер Браун в своем недавнем интервью.
Дэвид А. Стеббинс, координатор проектов по работе на побережье из корпорации государственного благоустройства в Баффало, сказал, что открытие побережья было необходимым для того, чтобы бороться с уменьшением численности населения.
«Все это делается для развития туризма, а также с целью повышения уровня жизни, - говорит он, - в этой местности дюжины колледжей и университетов с 100 000 студентов. Но они здесь не остаются. Если вы сохраните все эти умы, у вас будет экономика».
Пока город находится в ожидании инвестиций для обустройства своего побережья, большое количество застройщиков переделывают центр. За последние два года пустующие и недоиспользуемые здания были реконструированы под жилые помещения, добавляя около 1000 квартир. С коммерческой точки зрения, Дьюк Риэлти Корпорейшн из Индианополиса вложили 100 млн долларов в штаб-квартиры БлюКросс БлюШилд Запалного Нью-Йорка. Участок площадью 469 000 кв. футов находится на территории бывшей промышленной застройки с заброшенными объектами.
Также в центре города застройщики из Лонг Айленда только что купили старое здание военного магазина AM&A, который пустовал много лет. В планах - создать центр с торговыми площадями, офисами и жилыми квартирами.
Возможно наибольшим сюрпризом был неожиданный интерес молодого застройщика из Британии Бараша Исса, 28 лет, который работал в Англии - Манчестере, так же как и в Дубаи и в Китае. Недавно он приобрел Статлер Билдинг, когда-то первоклассный 1100-комнатный отель, который сейчас превратился в полупустую офисную башню. Мистер Исса говорит о своих планах вложить 80 млн долларов в это здание с целью создания совладения, квартир, магазинов, офисов и комнат отеля.
«Мы стараемся войти на рынок США, и мы говорили со многими посредниками по всей стране, - говорит он в телефонном интервью, - я очень поражен тем, что Баффало в своем экономическом развитии было оставлено позади по каким-то причинам. Это второй по веоичине город в штате Нью-Йорк. Я действительно чувствую, что у меня появился второй дом».
4. Оригинал книги Макса Вебера "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism"
"The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism"
PART I. THE PROBLEM
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION AND SOCIAL STRATIFICATION
A glance at the occupational statistics of any country of mixed religious composition brings to light with remarkable frequency a situation which has several times provoked discussion in the Catholic press and literature, and in Catholic congresses in Germany, namely, the fact that business leaders and owners of capital, as well as the higher grades of skilled labour, and even more the higher technically and commercially trained personnel of modern enterprises, are overwhelmingly Protestant. This is true not only in cases where the difference in religion coincides with one of nationality, and thus of cultural development, as in Eastern Germany between Germans and Poles. The same thing is shown in the figures of religious affiliation almost wherever capitalism, at the time of its great expansion, has had a free hand to alter the social distribution of the population in accordance with its needs, and to determine its occupational structure. The more freedom it has had, the more clearly is the effect shown. It is true that the greater relative participation of Protestants in the ownership of capital, in management, and the upper ranks of labour in great modern industrial and commercial enterprises, may in part be explained in terms of historical circumstances which extend far back into the past, and in which religious affiliation is not a cause of the economic conditions, but to a certain extent appears to be a result of them. Participation in the above economic functions usually involves some previous ownership of capital, and generally an expensive education; often both. These are to-day largely dependent on the possession of inherited wealth, or at least on a certain degree of material well-being. A number of those sections of the old Empire which were most highly developed economically and most favoured by natural resources and situation, in particular a majority of the wealthy towns, went over to Protestantism in the sixteenth century. The results of that circumstance favour the Protestants even to-day in their struggle for economic existence. There arises thus the historical question: why were the districts of highest economic development at the same time particularly favourable to a revolution in the Church? The answer is by no means so simple as one might think.
The emancipation from economic traditionalism appears, no doubt, to be a factor which would greatly strengthen the tendency to doubt the sanctity of the religious tradition, as of all traditional authorities. But it is necessary to note, what has often been forgotten, that the Reformation meant not the elimination of the Church's control over everyday life, but rather the substitution of a new form of control for the previous one. It meant the repudiation of a control which was very lax, at that time scarcely perceptible in practice, and hardly more than formal, in favour of a regulation of the whole of conduct which, penetrating to all departments of private and public life, was infinitely burdensome and earnestly enforced. The rule of the Catholic Church, "punishing the heretic, but indulgent to the sinner", as it was in the past even more than today, is now tolerated by peoples of thoroughly modern economic character, and was borne by the richest and economically most advanced peoples on earth at about the turn of the fifteenth century. The rule of Calvinism, on the other hand, as it was enforced in the sixteenth century in Geneva and in Scotland, at the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in large parts of the Netherlands, in the seventeenth in New England, and for a time in England itself, would be for us the most absolutely unbearable form of ecclesiastical control of the individual which could possibly exist. That was exactly what large numbers of the old commercial aristocracy of those times, in Geneva as well as in Holland and England, felt about it. And what the reformers complained of in those areas of high economic development was not too much supervision of life on the part of the Church, but too little. Now how does it happen that at that time those countries which were most advanced economically, and within them the rising citizen middle classes, not only failed to resist this unexampled tyranny of Puritanism, but even developed a heroism in its defence? For citizen classes as such have seldom before and never since displayed heroism. It was "the last of our heroisms", as Carlyle, not without reason, has said.
But further, and especially important: it may be, as has been claimed, that the greater participation of Protestants in the positions of ownership and management in modern economic life may to-day be understood, in part at least, simply as a result of the greater material wealth they have inherited. But there are certain other phenomena which cannot be explained in the same way. Thus, to mention only a few facts: there is a great difference discoverable in Baden, in Bavaria, in Hungary, in the type of higher education which Catholic parents, as opposed to Protestant, give their children. That the percentage of Catholics among the students and graduates of higher educational institutions in general lags behind their proportion of the total population, may, to be sure, be largely explicable in terms of inherited differences of wealth. But among the Catholic graduates themselves the percentage of those graduating from the institutions preparing, in particular, for technical studies and industrial and commercial occupations, but in general from those preparing for middle-class business life, lags still farther behind the percentage of Protestants. On the other hand, Catholics prefer the sort of training which the humanistic Gymnasium affords. That is a circumstance to which the above explanation does not apply, but which, on the contrary, is one reason why so few Catholics are engaged in capitalistic enterprise.
Even more striking is a fact which partly explains the smaller proportion of Catholics among the skilled labourers of modern industry. It is well known that the factory has taken its skilled labour to a large extent from young men in the handicrafts; but this is much more true of Protestant than of Catholic journeymen. Among journeymen, in other words, the Catholics show a stronger propensity to remain in their crafts, that is they more often become master craftsmen, whereas the Protestants are attracted to a larger extent into the factories in order to fill the upper ranks of skilled labour and administrative positions. The explanation of these cases is undoubtedly that the mental and spiritual peculiarities acquired from the environment, here the type of education favoured by the religious atmosphere of the home community and the parental home, have determined the choice of occupation, and through it the professional career.
The smaller participation of Catholics in the modern business life of Germany is all the more striking because it runs counter to a tendency which has been observed at all times including the present. National or religious minorities which are in a position of subordination to a group of rulers are likely, through their voluntary or involuntary exclusion from positions of political influence, to be driven with peculiar force into economic activity. Their ablest members seek to satisfy the desire for recognition of their abilities in this field since there is no opportunity in the service of the State. This has undoubtedly been true of the Poles in Russia and Eastern Prussia, who have without question been undergoing a more rapid economic advance than in Galicia, where they have been in the ascendant. It has in earlier times been true of the Huguenots in France under Louis XIV, the Nonconformists and Quakers in England, and, last but not least, the Jew for two thousand years. But the Catholics in Germany have shown no striking evidence of such a result of their position. In the past they have, unlike the Protestants, undergone no particularly prominent economic development in the times when they were persecuted or only tolerated, either in Holland or in England. On the other hand, it is a fact that the Protestants (especially certain branches of the movement to be fully discussed later) both as ruling classes and as ruled, both as majority and as minority, have shown a special tendency to develop economic rationalism which cannot be observed to the same extent among Catholics either in the one situation or in the other. Thus the principal explanation of this difference must be sought in the permanent intrinsic character of their religious beliefs, and not only in their temporary external historico-political situations.
It will be our task to investigate these religions with a view to finding out what peculiarities they have or have had which might have resulted in the behaviour we have described. On superficial analysis, and on the basis of certain current impressions, one might be tempted to express the difference by saying that the greater other-worldliness of Catholicism, the ascetic character of its highest ideals, must have brought up its adherents to a greater indifference toward the good things of this world. Such an explanation fits the popular tendency in the judgment of both religions. On the Protestant side it is used as a basis of criticism of those (real or imagined) ascetic ideals of the Catholic way of life, while the Catholics answer with the accusation that materialism results from the secularization of all ideals through Protestantism. One recent writer has attempted to formulate the difference of their attitudes toward economic life in the following manner: "The Catholic is quieter, having less of the acquisitive impulse; he prefers a life of the greatest possible security, even with a smaller income, to a life of risk and excitement, even though it may bring the chance of gaining honour and riches. The proverb says jokingly, 'either eat well or sleep well'. In the present case the Protestant prefers to eat well, the Catholic to sleep undisturbed."
In fact, this desire to eat well may be a correct though incomplete characterization of the motives of many nominal Protestants in Germany at the present time. But things were very different in the past: the English, Dutch, and American Puritans were characterized by the exact opposite of the joy of living, a fact which is indeed, as we shall see, most important for our present study. Moreover, the French Protestants, among others, long retained, and retain to a certain extent up to the present, the characteristics which were impressed upon the Calvinistic Churches everywhere, especially under the cross in the time of the religious struggles. Nevertheless (or was it, perhaps, as we shall ask later, precisely on that account?) it is well known that these characteristics were one of the most important factors in the industrial and capitalistic development of France, and on the small scale permitted them by their persecution remained so. If we may call this seriousness and the strong predominance of religious interests in the whole conduct of life other-worldliness, then the French Calvinists were and still are at least as other-worldly as, for instance, the North German Catholics, to whom their Catholicism is undoubtedly as vital a matter as religion is to any other people in the world. Both differ from the predominant religious trends in their respective countries in much the same way. The Catholics of France are, in their lower ranks, greatly interested in the enjoyment of life, in the upper directly hostile to religion. Similarly, the Protestants of Germany are to-day absorbed in worldly economic life, and their upper ranks are most indifferent to religion. Hardly anything shows so clearly as this parallel that, with such vague ideas as that of the alleged other-worldliness of Catholicism, and the alleged materialistic joy of living of Protestantism, and others like them, nothing can be accomplished for our purpose. In such general terms the distinction does not even adequately fit the facts of to-day, and certainly not of the past. If, however, one wishes to make use of it at all, several other observations present themselves at once which, combined with the above remarks, suggest that the supposed conflict between other-worldliness, asceticism, and ecclesiastical piety on the one side, and participation in capitalistic acquisition on the other, might actually turn out to be an intimate relationship.
As a matter of fact it is surely remarkable, to begin with quite a superficial observation, how large is the number of representatives of the most spiritual forms of Christian piety who have sprung from commercial circles. In particular, very many of the most zealous adherents of Pietism are of this origin. It might be explained as a sort of reaction against mammonism on the part of sensitive natures not adapted to commercial life, and, as in the case of Francis of Assisi, many Pietists have themselves interpreted the process of their conversion in these terms. Similarly, the remarkable circumstance that so many of the greatest capitalistic entrepreneurs--down to Cecil Rhodes--have come from clergymen's families might be explained as a reaction against their ascetic upbringing. But this form of explanation fails where an extraordinary capitalistic business sense is combined in the same persons and groups with the most intensive forms of a piety which penetrates and dominates their whole lives. Such cases are not isolated, but these traits are characteristic of many of the most important Churches and sects in the history of Protestantism. Especially Calvinism, wherever it has appeared, has shown this combination. However little, in the time of the expansion of the Reformation, it (or any other Protestant belief) was bound up with any particular social class, it is characteristic and in a certain sense typical that in French Huguenot Churches monks and business men (merchants, craftsmen) were particularly numerous among the proselytes, especially at the time of the persecution.
Even the Spaniards knew that heresy (i.e. the Calvinism of the Dutch) promoted trade, and this coincides with the opinions which Sir William Petty expressed in his discussion of the reasons for the capitalistic development of the Netherlands. Gothein rightly calls the Calvinistic diaspora the seed-bed of capitalistic economy. Even in this case one might consider the decisive factor to be the superiority of the French and Dutch economic cultures from which these communities sprang, or perhaps the immense influence of exile in the breakdown of traditional relationships.
But in France the situation was, as we know from Colbert's struggles, the same even in the seventeenth century. Even Austria, not to speak of other countries, directly imported Protestant craftsmen.
But not all the Protestant denominations seem to have had an equally strong influence in this direction. That of Calvinism, even in Germany, was among the strongest, it seems, and the reformed faith more than the others seems to have promoted the development of the spirit of capitalism, in the Wupperthal as well as elsewhere. Much more so than Lutheranism, as comparison both in general and in particular instances, especially in the Wupperthal, seems to prove. For Scotland, Buckle, and among English poets, Keats, have emphasized these same relationships. Even more striking, as it is only necessary to mention, is the connection of a religious way of life with the most intensive development of business acumen among those sects whose other-worldliness is as proverbial as their wealth, especially the Quakers and the Mennonites. The part which the former have played in England and North America fell to the latter in Germany and the Netherlands. That in East Prussia Frederick William I tolerated the Mennonites as indispensable to industry, in spite of their absolute refusal to perform military service, is only one of the numerous well-known cases which illustrates the fact, though, considering the character of that monarch, it is one of the most striking. Finally, that this combination of intense piety with just as strong a development of business acumen, was also characteristic of the Pietists, is common knowledge.
It is only necessary to think of the Rhine country and of Calw. In this purely introductory discussion it is unnecessary to pile up more examples. For these few already all show one thing: that the spirit of hard work, of progress, or whatever else it may be called, the awakening of which one is inclined to ascribe to Protestantism, must not be understood, as there is a tendency to do, as joy of living nor in any other sense as connected with the Enlightenment. The old Protestantism of Luther, Calvin, Knox, Voet, had precious little to do with what to-day is called progress. To whole aspects of modern life which the most extreme religionist would not wish to suppress to-day, it was directly hostile. If any inner relationship between certain expressions of the old Protestant spirit and modern capitalistic culture is to be found, we must attempt to find it, for better or worse, not in its alleged more or less materialistic or at least anti-ascetic joy of living, but in its purely religious characteristics. Montesquieu says (The Spirit of Law, Book XX, chap. 7) of the English that they "had progressed the farthest of all peoples of the world in three important things: in piety, in commerce, and in freedom". Is it not possible that their commercial superiority and their adaptation to free political institutions are connected in some way with that record of piety which Montesquieu ascribes to them?
A large number of possible relationships, vaguely perceived, occur to us when we put the question in this way. It will now be our task to formulate what occurs to us confusedly as clearly as is possible, considering the inexhaustible diversity to be found in all historical material. But in order to do this it is necessary to leave behind the vague and general concepts with which we have dealt up to this point, and attempt to penetrate into the peculiar characteristics of and the differences between those great worlds of religious thought which have existed historically in the various branches of Christianity. Before we can proceed to that, however, a few remarks are necessary, first on the peculiarities of the phenomenon of which we are seeking an historical explanation, then concerning the sense in which such an explanation is possible at all within the limits of these investigations.
THE SPIRIT OF CAPITALISM
In the title of this study is used the somewhat pretentious phrase, the spirit of capitalism. What is to be understood by it? The attempt to give anything like a definition of it brings out certain difficulties which are in the very nature of this type of investigation.
If any object can be found to which this term can be applied with any understandable meaning, it can only be an historical individual, i.e. a complex of elements associated in historical reality which we unite into a conceptual whole from the standpoint of their cultural significance.
Such an historical concept, however, since it refers in its content to a phenomenon significant for its unique individuality, cannot be defined according to the formula genetic proximity, differential specification, but it must be gradually put together out of the individual parts which are taken from historical reality to make it up. Thus the final and definitive concept cannot stand at the beginning of the investigation, but must come at the end. We must, in other words, work out in the course of the discussion, as its most important result, the best conceptual formulation of what we here understand by the spirit of capitalism, that is the best from the point of view which interests us here. This point of view (the one of which we shall speak later) is, further, by no means the only possible one from which the historical phenomena we are investigating can be analysed. Other standpoints would, for this as for every historical phenomenon, yield other characteristics as the essential ones. The result is that it is by no means necessary to understand by the spirit of capitalism only what it will come to mean to us for the purposes of our analysis. This is a necessary result of the nature of historical concepts which attempt for their methodological purposes not to grasp historical reality in abstract general formula, but in concrete genetic sets of relations which are inevitably of a specifically unique and individual character.
Thus, if we try to determine the object, the analysis and historical explanation of which we are attempting, it cannot be in the form of a conceptual definition, but at least in the beginning only a provisional description of what is here meant by the spirit of capitalism. Such a description is, however, indispensable in order clearly to understand the object of the investigation. For this purpose we turn to a document of that spirit which contains what we are looking for in almost classical purity, and at the same time has the advantage of being free from all direct relationship to religion, being thus, for our purposes, free of preconceptions, time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labour, and goes abroad, or sits idle, one half of that day, though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness, ought not to reckon that the only expense; he has really spent, or rather thrown away, five shillings besides.
"Remember, that credit is money. If a man lets his money lie in my hands after it is due, he gives me the interest, or so much as I can make of it during that time. This amounts to a considerable sum where a man has good and large credit, and makes good use of it.
"Remember, that money is of the prolific, generating nature. Money can beget money, and its offspring can beget more, and so on. Five shillings turned is six, turned again it is seven and threepence, and so on, till it becomes a hundred pounds. The more there is of it, the more it produces every turning, so that the profits rise quicker and quicker. He that kills a breeding-sow, destroys all her offspring to the thousandth generation. He that murders a crown, destroys all that it might have produced, even scores of pounds.”
"Remember this saying, The good paymaster is lord of another man's purse. He that is known to pay punctually and exactly to the time he promises, may at any time, and on any occasion, raise all the money his friends can spare. This is sometimes of great use. After industry and frugality, nothing contributes more to the raising of a young man in the world than punctuality and justice in all his dealings; therefore never keep borrowed money an hour beyond the time you promised, lest a disappointment shut up your friend's purse for ever.
"The most trifling actions that affect a man's credit are to be regarded. The sound of your hammer at five in the morning, or eight at night, heard by a creditor, makes him easy six months longer; but if he sees you at a billiard-table, or hears your voice at a tavern, when you should be at work, he sends for his money the next day; demands it, before he can receive it, in a lump.
"It shows, besides, that you are mindful of what you owe; it makes you appear a careful as well as an honest man, and that still increases your credit.
"Beware of thinking all your own that you possess, and of living accordingly. It is a mistake that many people who have credit fall into. To prevent this, keep an exact account for some time both of your expenses and your income. If you take the pains at first to mention particulars, it will have this good effect: you will discover how wonderfully small, trifling expenses mount up to large sums, and will discern what might have been, and may for the future be saved, without occasioning any great inconvenience."
"For six pounds a year you may have the use of one hundred pounds, provided you are a man of known prudence and honesty.
"He that spends a groat a day idly, spends idly above six pounds a year, which is the price for the use of one hundred pounds.
"He that wastes idly a groat's worth of his time per day, one day with another, wastes the privilege of using one hundred pounds each day.
"He that idly loses five shillings' worth of time loses five shillings, and might as prudently throw five shillings into the sea.
"He that loses five shillings, not only loses that sum, but all the advantage that might be made by turning it in dealing, which by the time that a young man becomes old, will amount to a considerable sum of money."
It is Benjamin Franklin who preaches to us in these sentences, the same which Ferdinand Kьrnberger satirizes in his clever and malicious Picture of American Culture as the supposed confession of faith of the Yankee. That it is the spirit of capitalism which here speaks in characteristic fashion, no one will doubt, however little we may wish to claim that everything which could be understood as pertaining to that spirit is contained in it. Let us pause a moment to consider this passage, the philosophy of which Kьrnberger sums up in the words, "They make tallow out of cattle and money out of men". The peculiarity of this philosophy of avarice appears to be the ideal of the honest man of recognized credit, and above all the idea of a duty of the individual toward the increase of his capital, which is assumed as an end in itself. Truly what is here preached is not simply a means of making one's way in the world, but a peculiar ethic. The infraction of its rules is treated not as foolishness but as forgetfulness of duty. That is the essence of the matter. It is not mere business astuteness, that sort of thing is common enough, it is an ethos. This is the quality which interests us
When Jacob Fugger, in speaking to a business associate who had retired and who wanted to persuade him to do the same, since he had made enough money and should let others have a chance, rejected that as pusillanimity and answered that "he (Fugger) thought otherwise, he wanted to make money as long as he could", the spirit of his statement is evidently quite different from that of Franklin. What in the former case was an expression of commercial daring and a personal inclination morally neutral, in the latter takes on the character of an ethically coloured maxim for the conduct of life. The concept spirit of capitalism is here used in this specific sense, it is the spirit of modern capitalism. For that we are here dealing only with Western European and American capitalism is obvious from the way in which the problem was stated. Capitalism existed in China, India, Babylon, in the classic world, and in the Middle Ages. But in all these cases, as we shall see, this particular ethos was lacking.
Now, all Franklin's moral attitudes are coloured with utilitarianism. Honesty is useful, because it assures credit; so are punctuality, industry, frugality, and that is the reason they are virtues. A logical deduction from this would be that where, for instance, the appearance of honesty serves the same purpose, that would suffice, and an unnecessary surplus of this virtue would evidently appear to Franklin's eyes as unproductive waste. And as a matter of fact, the story in his autobiography of his conversion to those virtues, or the discussion of the value of a strict maintenance of the appearance of modesty, the assiduous belittlement of one's own deserts in order to gain general recognition later, confirms this impression. According to Franklin, those virtues, like all others, are only in so far virtues as they are actually useful to the individual, and the surrogate of mere appearance is always sufficient when it accomplishes the end in view. It is a conclusion which is inevitable for strict utilitarianism. The impression of many Germans that the virtues professed by Americanism are pure hypocrisy seems to have been confirmed by this striking case. But in fact the matter is not by any means so simple. Benjamin Franklin's own character, as it appears in the really unusual candidness of his autobiography, belies that suspicion. The circumstance that he ascribes his recognition of the utility of virtue to a divine revelation which was intended to lead him in the path of righteousness, shows that something more than mere garnishing for purely egocentric motives is involved.
In fact, the superior good of this ethic, the earning of more and more money, combined with the strict avoidance of all spontaneous enjoyment of life, is above all completely devoid of any eudaemonistic, not to say hedonistic, admixture. It is thought of so purely as an end in itself, that from the point of view of the happiness of, or utility to, the single individual, it appears entirely transcendental and absolutely irrational. Man is dominated by the making of money, by acquisition as the ultimate purpose of his life. Economic acquisition is no longer subordinated to man as the means for the satisfaction of his material needs. This reversal of what we should call the natural relationship, so irrational from a naive point of view, is evidently as definitely a leading principle of capitalism as it is foreign to all peoples not under capitalistic influence. At the same time it expresses a type of feeling which is closely connected with certain religious ideas. If we thus ask, why should "money be made out of men", Benjamin Franklin himself, although he was a colourless deist, answers in his autobiography with a quotation from the Bible, which his strict Calvinistic father drummed into him again and again in his youth: "Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings". The earning of money within the modern economic order is, so long as it is done legally, the result and the expression of virtue and proficiency in a calling; and this virtue and proficiency are, as it is now not difficult to see, the real Alpha and Omega of Franklin's ethic, as expressed in the passages we have quoted, as well as in all his works without exception.
And in truth this peculiar idea, so familiar to us today, but in reality so little a matter of course, of one's duty in a calling, is what is most characteristic of the social ethic of capitalistic culture, and is in a sense the fundamental basis of it. It is an obligation which the individual is supposed to feel and does feel towards the content of his professional activity, no matter in what it consists, in particular no matter whether it appears on the surface as a utilization of his personal powers, or only of his material possessions (as capital).
Of course, this conception has not appeared only under capitalistic conditions. On the contrary, we shall later trace its origins back to a time previous to the advent of capitalism. Still less, naturally, do we maintain that a conscious acceptance of these ethical maxims on the part of the individuals, entrepreneurs or labourers, in modern capitalistic enterprises, is a condition of the further existence of present-day capitalism. The capitalistic economy of the present day is an immense cosmos into which the individual is born, and which presents itself to him, at least as an individual, as an unalterable order of things in which he must live. It forces the individual, in so far as he is involved in the system of market relationships, to conform to capitalistic rules of action. The manufacturer who in the long run acts counter to these norms, will just as inevitably be eliminated from the economic scene as the worker who cannot or will not adapt himself to them will be thrown into the streets without a job.
Thus the capitalism of to-day, which has come to dominate economic life, educates and selects the economic subjects which it needs through a process of economic survival of the fittest. But here one can easily see the limits of the concept of selection as a means of historical explanation. In order that a manner of life so well adapted to the peculiarities of capitalism could be selected at all, i.e. should come to dominate others, it had to originate somewhere, and not in isolated individuals alone, but as a way of life common to whole groups of men. This origin is what really needs explanation. Concerning the doctrine of the more naive historical materialism, that such ideas originate as a reflection or superstructure of economic situations, we shall speak more in detail below. At this point it will suffice for our purpose to call attention to the fact that without doubt, in the country of Benjamin Franklin's birth (Massachusetts), the spirit of capitalism (in the sense we have attached to it) was present before the capitalistic order. There were complaints of a peculiarly calculating sort of profit-seeking in New England, as distinguished from other parts of America, as early as 1632. It is further undoubted that capitalism remained far less developed in some of the neighbouring colonies, the later Southern States of the United States of America, in spite of the fact that these latter were founded by large capitalists for business motives, while the New England colonies were founded by preachers and seminary graduates with the help of small citizen, craftsmen and yeomen, for religious reasons. In this case the causal relation is certainly the reverse of that suggested by the materialistic standpoint.
But the origin and history of such ideas is much more complex than the theorists of the superstructure suppose. The spirit of capitalism, in the sense in which we are using the term, had to fight its way to supremacy against a whole world of hostile forces. A state of mind such as that expressed in the passages we have quoted from Franklin, and which called forth the applause of a whole people, would both in ancient times and in the Middle Ages have been proscribed as the lowest sort of avarice and as an attitude entirely lacking in self-respect. It is, in fact, still regularly thus looked upon by all those social groups which are least involved in or adapted to modem capitalistic conditions. This is not wholly because the instinct of acquisition was in those times unknown or undeveloped, as has often been said. Nor because the greed for gold, was then, or now, less powerful outside of citizen capitalism than within its peculiar sphere, as the illusions of modem romanticists are wont to believe. The difference between the capitalistic and pre-capitalistic spirits is not to be found at this point. The greed of the Chinese Mandarin, the old Roman aristocrat, or the modern peasant, can stand up to any comparison. And the greed for gold of a Neapolitan cab-driver or barcaiuolo, and certainly of Asiatic representatives of similar trades, as well as of the craftsmen of southern European or Asiatic countries, is, as anyone can find out for himself, very much more intense, and especially more unscrupulous than that of, say, an Englishman in similar circumstances.
The universal reign of absolute unscrupulousness in the pursuit of selfish interests by the making of money has been a specific characteristic of precisely those countries whose citizen-capitalistic development, measured according to Occidental standards, has remained backward. As every employer knows, the lack of conscience of the labourers of such countries, for instance Italy as compared with Germany, has been, and to a certain extent still is, one of the principal obstacles to their capitalistic development. Capitalism cannot make use of the labour of those who practise the doctrine of undisciplined liberal arbitration, any more than it can make use of the business man who seems absolutely unscrupulous in his dealings with others, as we can learn from Franklin. Hence the difference does not lie in the degree of development of any impulse to make money. The greed for gold is as old as the history of man. But we shall see that those who submitted to it without reserve as an uncontrolled impulse, such as the Dutch sea-captain who "would go through hell for gain, even though he scorched his sails", were by no means the representatives of that attitude of mind from which the specifically modem capitalistic spirit as a mass phenomenon is derived, and that is what matters. At all periods of history, wherever it was possible, there has been ruthless acquisition, bound to no ethical norms whatever. Like war and piracy, trade has often been unrestrained in its relations with foreigners and those outside the group. The double ethic has permitted here what was forbidden in dealings among brothers.
Capitalistic acquisition as an adventure has been at home in all types of economic society which have known trade with the use of money and which have offered it opportunities, through commenda, farming of taxes, State loans, financing of wars, ducal courts and officeholders. Likewise the inner attitude of the adventurer, which laughs at all ethical limitations, has been universal. Absolute and conscious ruthlessness in acquisition has often stood in the closest connection with the strictest conformity to tradition. Moreover, with the breakdown of tradition and the more or less complete extension of free economic enterprise, even to within the social group, the new thing has not generally been ethically justified and encouraged, but only tolerated as a fact. And this fact has been treated either as ethically indifferent or as reprehensible, but unfortunately unavoidable. This has not only been the normal attitude of all ethical teachings, but, what is more important, also that expressed in the practical action of the average man of pre-capitalistic times, pre-capitalistic in the sense that the rational utilization of capital in a permanent enterprise and the rational capitalistic organization of labour had not yet become dominant forces in the determination of economic activity. Now just this attitude was one of the strongest inner obstacles which the adaptation of men to the conditions of an ordered citizen-capitalistic economy has encountered everywhere.
The most important opponent with which the spirit of capitalism, in the sense of a definite standard of life claiming ethical sanction, has had to struggle, was that type of attitude and reaction to new situations which we may designate as traditionalism. In this case also every attempt at a final definition must be held in abeyance. On the other hand, we must try to make the provisional meaning clear by citing a few cases. We will begin from below, with the labourers. One of the technical means which the modem employer uses in order to secure the greatest possible amount of work from his men is the device of piece-rates. In agriculture, for instance, the gathering of the harvest is a case where the greatest possible intensity of labour is called for, since, the weather being uncertain, the difference between high profit and heavy loss may depend on the speed with which the harvesting can be done. Hence a system of piece-rates is almost universal in this case. And since the interest of the employer in a speeding up of harvesting increases with the increase of the results and the intensity of the work, the attempt has again and again been made, by increasing the piecerates of the workmen, thereby giving them an opportunity to earn what is for them a very high wage, to interest them in increasing their own efficiency. But a peculiar difficulty has been met with surprising frequency: raising the piece-rates has often had the result that not more but less has been accomplished in the same time, because the worker reacted to the increase not by increasing but by decreasing the amount of his work. A man, for instance, who at the rate of 1 mark per acre mowed 2 1/2 acres per day and earned 2 1/2 marks, when the rate was raised to 1.25 marks per acre mowed, not 3 acres, as he might easily have done, thus earning 3.75 marks, but only 2 acres, so that he could still earn the 2 1/2 marks to which he was accustomed. The opportunity of earning more was less attractive than that of working less. He did not ask: how much can I earn in a day if I do as much work as possible? But: how much must I work in order to earn the wage, 2 1/2 marks, which I earned before and which takes care of my traditional needs? This is an example of what is here meant by traditionalism. A man does not "by nature" wish to earn more and more money, but simply to live as he is accustomed to live and to earn as much as is necessary for that purpose. Wherever modem capitalism has begun its work of increasing the productivity of human labour by increasing its intensity, it has encountered the immensely stubborn resistance of this leading trait of pre-capitalistic labour. And to-day it encounters it the more, the more backward (from a capitalistic point of view) the labouring forces are with which it has to deal.
Another obvious possibility, to return to our example, since the appeal to the acquisitive instinct through higher wage-rates failed, would have been to try the opposite policy, to force the worker by reduction of his wage-rates to work harder to earn the same amount than he did before. Low wages and high profits seem even to-day to a superficial observer to stand in correlation; everything which is paid out in wages seems to involve a corresponding reduction of profits. That road capitalism has taken again and again since its beginning. For centuries it was an article of faith, that low wages were productive, i.e. that they increased the material results of labour so that, as Pieter de la Cour, on this point, as we shall see, quite in the spirit of the old Calvinism, said long ago, the people only work because and so long as they are poor.
But the effectiveness of this apparently so efficient method has its limits. Of course the presence of a surplus population which it can hire cheaply in the labour market is a necessity for the development of capitalism. But though too large a reserve army may in certain cases favour its quantitative expansion, it checks its qualitative development, especially the transition to types of enterprise which make more intensive use of labour. Low wages are by no means identical with cheap labour. From a purely quantitative point of view the efficiency of labour decreases with a wage which is physiologically insufficient, which may in the long run even mean a survival of the unfit. The present-day average Silesian mows, when he exerts himself to the full, little more than two-thirds as much land as the better paid and nourished Pomeranian or Mecklenburger, and the Pole, the further East he comes from, accomplishes progressively less than the German. Low wages fail even from a purely business point of view wherever it is a question of producing goods which require any sort of skilled labour, or the use of expensive machinery which is easily damaged, or in general wherever any great amount of sharp attention or of initiative is required. Here low wages do not pay, and their effect is the opposite of what was intended. For not only is a developed sense of responsibility absolutely indispensable, but in general also an attitude which, at least during working hours, is freed from continual calculations of how the customary wage may be earned with a maximum of comfort and a minimum of exertion. Labour must, on the contrary, be performed as if it were an absolute end in itself, a calling. But such an attitude is by no means a product of nature. It cannot be evoked by low wages or high ones alone, but can only be the product of a long and arduous process of education. To-day, capitalism, once in the saddle, can recruit its labouring force in all industrial countries with comparative ease. In the past this was in every case an extremely difficult problem. And even to-day it could probably not get along without the support of a powerful ally along the way, which, as we shall see below, was at hand at the time of its development.
What is meant can again best be explained by means of an example. The type of backward traditional form of labour is to-day very often exemplified by women workers, especially unmarried ones. An almost universal complaint of employers of girls, for instance German girls, is that they are almost entirely unable and unwilling to give up methods of work inherited or once learned in favour of more efficient ones, to adapt themselves to new methods, to learn and to concentrate their intelligence, or even to use it at all. Explanations of the possibility of making work easier, above all more profitable to themselves, generally encounter a complete lack of understanding. Increases of piece-rates are without avail against the stone wall of habit. In general it is otherwise, and that is a point of no little importance from our view-point, only with girls having a specifically religious, especially a Pietistic, background. One often hears, and statistical investigation confirms it, that by far the best chances of economic education are found among this group. The ability of и т.д.................
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