jueves, 16 de febrero de 2012

Maxism-Weberism is outdated

I think that the topic of the essay is interesting enough to not waste time revisiting Weber one more time again and again.

There is only one thing that saved protestant countries to fall in the absolute monarchies that Lutero and Calvino advocated:  The geography of central Europe and England.  If you stop a moment from your task of whitewashing protestantism, you will agree that absoluite monarchy and intolerance of catholics where in the plans of Luther. And a tyranny of the Just People was in the program of Calvino in Geneva.

But, while the coast of spain had very little ports and  the spanish King controlled all the maritime traffic with America by simply controlling only one port, the port of Seville (and the mountain pass of despeñaperros)  The kings of England, Germany an Hollad coul'nt control its own territories full of swamps, canals and ports.  Visiting the Indias archive in Spain you can look at the detailed account of each ship content, including the name of every person,and every object that were embarqued and disembarqued to/from America. In the meantime, Holland and Englad experimented an uncontrolled  private traffic of people and goods. Even the monopolistic, state owned East India Company indulged in black market. It was out of the control of the King, using alternative ports and following alternative routes differentf from the official ones. That was possible because the greath quantity of ports in england, that the king could´nt control.
"In the 17th and 18th centuries, the East India Company established a monopolistic trade network on the high seas, gaining immense wealth and influence at home in England. Their ships sailed from Europe with silver and bullion, returning months or years later with exotic goods from Asia and Africa. Along the way, enterprising ships� captains engaged in private trading of their own, abusing company resources for personal gain. Now, researchers at Columbia University have shown that it was this illicit trading, rather than officially sanctioned activity, that was directly responsible for the creation of the first global market and the success of the East India Company"

iIlegal textile produrers in the countriside commerced in black market ports with america and elsewere, while in Spain and in a lesser degree, in France the ports and the textile producers were under the control of the King. Specially in spain, where the king had total control of traffic and commerce in the few mountain passes and ports of the Iberian Peninsula.
That si the reason of the vaunted success of the so called "protestant revolution"
That was not a matter of religion. It was a question of mere geography combined with the discovery of America that switched the center of commerce form the Mediterranean coast to the atlantic.
It is exactly  the same geography that, in the mediterranean sea, two centuries before, permitted to flourishmet of  the Poo valley in Italy, with Venize, Firenze etc. Because they had similar geography: (plains,ports, swamps, navigable rivers) and an intrincate coast, that was very difficult to control by a central authority.
The same happenend in Greece with the thounsands of the Aegean islands and in a lesser degree, in Egypt. Central autority promote monopolies because it is easier to collect taxes from them.  That produces closed societies.
But  abudance of ports, swamps, islands  fluvial comunications permits uncontrolled alternate centers of production and distribution. With this competition appears, private property and commerce flourish, Inter-cultural contacts are more frequent, philosophical inquiry develops and culture in geneeral flourish.  until a central ruthless authority manages to control everithing again.
So here is the role of your magic protestantism, folks, Almost nothing. If anything, Protestantism is the consequence of the change of the commerce traffic from the Mediterranean sea to the Atlantic.

..If anything, Protestantism, As I said above, is a consequence of the change of the centers of commerce from the Mediterranean sea to the Atlantic. The Protestantism as Voegelin said, was born as a consequence of the economic prosperity. and incorporated the good practices that favoured commerce: For example, tolerance of  other´s ideas under the ecumenic value of money. Not before learning to reject sectarian intolerance, after the bloody fights between sects along Central Europe that initiated inmediately after the birth of Reformation. Because the values of capitalism, and much less of Democracy, were not in the protestant doctrinaries.  Neither lutero or Calvino liked interest rates for example.

Protestantism in its infancy was sobject to a bloody process of darwinian selection with two alternatives: either closed sectarianism or to embrace the rules of tolerance and commerce that had enriched them.  Torerance was an specially critical value in the inhomogeneous central Europe. Of course the efficient alternative won. So the Spirit of Capitalism‎ was ijncorporated at the hearth of the protestant ethics.  It was a matter of pragmatism. 

1 comentario:

  1. That's an interesting point of view, not short of truth.

    Anyway, when studying History there is never one simple explanation nor one single process nor an exclusive fact.

    Almost everytime it happens to be a combined amount of facts, processes and "luck".

    Maybe protestantism as the rest of ideologys was not that important, but it played an important role in History.

    Kind greetings!!