The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Authoritarianism: by Milan Zafirovski

By Milan Zafirovski

Perhaps no traditional knowledge is extra universal and enduring in Western societies, specially the United States, than that of Protestant Puritanism because the resource of recent liberty and democracy. "Puritans" can have turn into an extinct or endangered species within the unique feel via the early twenty first century, yet remain venerated as either the creators and the future of those societies, essentially the United States and secondarily nice Britain. "Puritans are lifeless as a reputation, lengthy stay Puritans as an idea and legacy"--that is how Puritanism might be defined in the United States on the threshold of the 3rd millennium. This booklet severely reexamines the hyperlink of Puritanism and liberty in ancient and comparative point of view. The ebook exposes "Puritanism and liberty" as a loved fable or "sweet lie", suggesting that the Puritan "emperor has no cloths", in traditionally Protestant societies, fairly the USA. It indicates that "Puritanism and liberty" seems to be the complete opposite, enduringly in the USA and quickly in nice Britain. If Puritanism is as American because the apple pie, then it's the "apple pie" of authoritarianism and theocracy instead of of liberty and democracy.

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Additional info for The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Authoritarianism: Puritanism, Democracy, and Society

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Authoritarian Mastery of Politics individualistic, democratic, and progressive as well as ethically universal versus Catholicism and other pre-Protestant religions as illiberal, anti-individualistic, conservative, undemocratic, and particularistic. Recall, Parsons (1967:53–80) asserts that “the primary source of this individualistic cast of European thought lies in [Protestant] Christianity,” invoking the “immediacy of the individual soul to God, inherent” in Puritan and other Protestantism endowed with “ethical universalism,” as somewhat invidiously distinguished from particularism supposedly characteristic for pre- and non-Protestant religions.

Having specified the meaning of Puritanism for the present purpose, specifying the “spirit of authoritarianism” is done next. The “Spirit of Authoritarianism” Weber, probably because of his main focus on the spirit of capitalism, does not explicitly define or develop the alternative concept of the “spirit of authoritarianism,” though intimates it at some occasions by ideas and terms such as the “authoritarian principle,” “authoritarian relations,” “authoritarian constraint,” “authoritarian power,” and the like.

This makes Protestant Puritanism a sectarian and revivalist or fundamentalist religious–political movement, and early English and subsequently American Puritans sectarians and revivalists or fundamentalists (Bremer 1995:233), in the sense or virtue of attempting to restore and realize the old foundational or “natural” Puritan ideals in Christianity and beyond. Within Christianity, it represents the English-American seventeenth-century variation on various moralist, to paraphrase Weber, bibliocratic, or evangelical revivals, awakenings or restorations since its rise, by seeking to reestablish in old and especially New England and eventually America as a whole a “Bible Commonwealth” (Bremer 1995).

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