Why Religious Tenets Cannot be Left out of Economic Freedom

By Alex Gonzalez

According to Schumpeter from the Economist,  success in the business has to do a lot with religious attitude, and especially if it is a religion that was “invented” in a time when capitalism was thriving in America. Consequently,  a religion that was developed around the principles of freedom and freedom and capitalism, tend to foment a business-friendly pious attitude.

“Mormons have produced a striking number of successful businesspeople. They have large families, stable marriages, and more importantly, they have a passion for business.  Mormons have constructed a huge pro-business infrastructure.  What explains the Mormons’ success? A history of persecution may breed self-reliance: 19th-century escaped the kind of bigots who murdered their founder, Joseph Smith, in 1844.  But some of the answer may lie in the faith itself. Mormonism—the only global religion to have been invented in the past 200 years—is in some ways more business-friendly than its more ancient rivals.  Mormons revere organization. They believe that God created the world out of chaos, rather than out of nothing. They also believe that men and women are capable of “eternal progression” towards “Godhood”, so long as they conduct themselves like busy little bees. Mormon men serve as missionaries for two years when they turn 19; women for 18 months when they turn 21; they are cut off from their  Few other groups experience anything as demanding at a similar age.  So Mormon are successful business people because of stringent religious adherences and early challenged in life and past experiences from persecution. ”     

But Mormons are not the only group that have thrived  financially because to their religion.  Max Weber in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism argued Protestantism is important to because it is  a fervent positive religious ideal, “a calling”, and it was the catalyst to the development of western-style capitalism.  Weber argues that the psychological conditions that made possible the development of capitalist societies were found in Protestantism because labor organizations were “rational”. Rationalism is a system no based on tradition but on a deliberate systematic adjustments of economics meant to the attainment of the objective of economic profit.   Weber believed that for Protestants, the “calling” is not a condition in which an individual is born, but an strenuous and exiting enterprise to be chosen by himself; business, considered a vice for many, takes sanctity in Calvinist theology, and “Labour (work)  is not merely on economic means: it is a spiritual end”. These religious views are essential to spring rational organizational labor.

Weber pointed out  that for protestant,  the greater zeal, the grater their inclination to trade and industry.  Therefore, “a rational systematic, and specialized pursued of science, with trained and specialized personnel, has only existed in the west…. At is true of all modern states of the economic life of the West”–an efficient centralized bureaucracy.

Weber points out that Catholics lagged behind in larger number from graduation from institution of higher learning than protestant. Catholics did not graduate in carriers for technical studies, and industrial and commercial occupation, in general, only for middle class business life. They prefers more “humanitarian gymnasium affords”.   Hence, to Weber, the mental and spiritual conduct that  are acquired in religious environment at home, community, and parental home, and which determines the choice occupation in the professional career, and set the condition for labors in their careers. This religious attitude was also important for Martin Luther’s calling and Calvinist. In Luther’s notion, Specialization of people leads to the development of skill, and it leads to quantitative and qualitative improvements and the common good.

However, if the Mormon Religion would have “invented”, not in America, but in some other country, would Mormon still be as thriving as they are in the US?  The late Samuel Huntington argued in his book How Are We, that “we are a deeply and primary Christian county” encompassing many religions. Thus, “religion has been and still is a central part of our identity.“ America was founded by religions reason, he argues, and religious movements have shaped its evolution for nearly two centuries. In 1787, when the Constitution was drafted, 98 % of the population was broadly protestant sharing common culture and the political values embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution–principles of equality and individualism, which are central to the American character, according to Huntington. This creed was a product of distinct Anglo-Protestant culture of the Founding Fathers, Puritan ideals, more precisely.

In the late 18th century, according to Huntington, there was a need to broaden the characterization of American ethnic identity to included Catholics from Ireland, Germany, Italy, Southern and Eastern Europe. “The ethnic (religious) composition of America was broaden to include Irish and Germans” and churches utilized their religions to transform their alliances from Roman Catholicism to American Catholicism–alliances to Americans institution, not Rome. These new religious groups had to adapt to standards of the Anglo-Saxon patterns of institutionalism. As a result, without the principles of Protestantism, such institutionalism and dedication protect the rights of  individualism.

Thus, any religion can be as thriving as Mormonism, but they need to embraced the tenet of institutionalism, respect for individualism and  capitalism.   If Mormons indeed are by-product of our national creed because Mormonism was “invented” at the time when American was developing its own identity, Mormons are thus imbued with all those characteristics that made American capitalism, society and industriousness thrived. But at the core, it is religion what has allowed America to be successful nation. Thus, in creating a successful business class of people–Mormons or Protestants—with sense moral adherence (obligation), religion ought to be one of main foundation, but it needs to accompany by an orderly society and specialization of workers. Though often Conservative often struggle with the idea “organization” because for some organization is equal to bureaucracy, and often they resort to Libertarian non- religious mantra, the reality is that we need on organized society that reveres religion as its foundation. We need a constant religious cultural upheaval that comes from our home and from our communities, not from government. Religious tenets lead to economic success, economic success lead to economic freedom; and economic freedom lead to a freer society and a freer individual. All if which operated under an organized society.

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