Sunday, June 18, 2006

The "Protestant Work Ethic" versus the "POST-Protestant Work Ethic"

Much nonsense is nowadays talked, about the "Protestant work ethic". Every ill is laid at the foot of this ethic - from stress, through overwork and burn-out, to the environmental disasters that are apparently going to affect our entire world.

In these days when spin-doctors rule and people are brought up on the blatant lie that "perception is reality", it may yet be worth distinguishing between "the Protestant work ethic" and the "POST-Protestant work ethic".

The first ("the Protestant work ethic") tried to rescue the world from the complete absence of a work ethic. That absence was the reason for the traditional growth rate of around 3 or 3.5% a year which marked all traditional societies (and still marks traditional societies) around the world. Without a work ethic, no individual, family, group, society or nation can make substantial material progress for long.

What was specific to the "Protestant work ethic" was hard work balanced, as a result of trust in God, with play and rest (for example on Sundays and holidays). In this ethic there was an emphasis on family and friendships, and on living within one's means so that one could use the rest for hospitality and philanthropy within an overall context of environmental responsibility. For those inclined to doubt this description of the "Protestant Work Ethic", I invite attention to the still-existing life of the Amish, the Hutterites, the Mennonites, the Anabaptists, the Quakers, the Methodists, and so on. If you persist in doubt regarding whether, in particular, the Calvinists had the sort of work ethic I describe, here is what John Calvin himself wrote: "We possess the things which God has committed to our hands on condition that, being content with the frugal and moderate use of them, we should take care of what shall remain. Let him who possesses a field, so partake of its yearly fruits that he may not suffer the ground to be injured by his negligence, but endeavour to hand it down to posterity as he received it, or even better cultivated." That quote is from his 16th century commentary on the book of Genesis. Or, again: "Those who long for God's blessing rather than worldy prosperity, will not rely on their own cleverness. They will not be greedy for wealth and honour, but will ask God to give them just what he wants for them in life".

By contrast, after the end of the Second World War, the "POST-Protestant Work Ethic" has come to dominate the West as a result of the decline of Protestantism following the attacks of the global elite on the Bible and on Jesus the Lord. It is this "POST-Protestant work ethic" which works 24-hours a day, seven days a week, at the expense of family and health and the environment and everything else. This is entirely natural, as "POST-Protestants" do not trust in God for their future, and can have little other motivation than greed, fear - and/or the lust for power which masks their greed and fear.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Sphere: Related Content

No comments: