Imatge de l'autor

R. H. Tawney (1880–1962)

Autor/a de Religion and the Rise of Capitalism: A Historical Study

30+ obres 1,238 Membres 7 Ressenyes 2 preferits

Sobre l'autor

R. H. Tawney (1880-1962) was an English economic historian, social critic, ethical socialist, Christian socialist and an important proponent of adult education.
Crèdit de la imatge: R. H. Tawney


Obres de R. H. Tawney

The Acquisitive Society (1920) 181 exemplars
Equality (1931) 81 exemplars
Land and Labor in China (1966) 11 exemplars
History and Society (1978) 6 exemplars

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Tawney, an economic historian, examines the influence of faith on the current (in his case the 1920s revised in the 1930s) economic world. Specifically, he focuses on the rise of individualistic capitalism.

He describes the transition from the era when usury was sin, and making money from money was contrary to the tenets of faith; to an era when Puritan development separated church and economy completely. Hard work and self-reliance became virtues while sloth and dependence became vices.

The book is beautifully written with exquisite prose that enlivens the history as it's presented. I am also happy to say it is a book that sent me to the dictionary on many occasion
… (més)
mjperry | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | May 18, 2021 |
This book consists of an argument tightly focused on the idea that industry should be organized primarily to serve its customers rather than its shareholders. A major aspect of the proposal is the professionalization of the workers, so the quality of work is driven by professional duty and pride rather than threat of loss of employment.

This proposal strikes me as so utterly reasonable that it raises a serious puzzle which is: why hasn't this proposal been taken up? How is it that we are so much deeper into the hole from which Tawney's proposal could rescue us?

This book was written around 1920 a lot of crucial history is missing. I wonder how much of that history was actually driven by the efforts of shareholders to suppress Tawney's proposals? Mass consumerism wasn't really in the picture that Tawney was responding to. To a large extent we all tolerate the present system because its fruits are dangled in front of us. We tend not so much to work to avoid destitution as to be able to afford a bigger house, car, TV, smart phone, etc.

It is certainly a dated book but the logic is very compelling. So the book is very thought provoking. How did we get here?
… (més)
1 vota
kukulaj | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Aug 30, 2016 |
The basis of Tawney's socialism, is not state ownership of assets, but rather businesses run by a working board. This may contain a boss figure, as long as he/she works for the firm and is not an owner, receiving payment simply for capital outlay.

This is a tempting vision and, I can see how it may work with pre-existing companies, particularly in the manufacturing sector. When the book was written, in 1921, this probably covered most firms: now, however, this would be a definite minority. I presume that the concept of 'intellectual property' was also something of an unknown at the time: what incentive is there for someone to share their great idea, if no pecuniary reimbursement is involved?

The other difficulty which I had with the concept, and one which would have been equally relevant then as now, is the whole area of new start ups. I can see that it would be possible to buy out the owner from existing companies but, what happens to start up businesses? Either the government must fund these, resulting in either vast costs on businesses that fail, or a governmental control upon the type of business allowed to enter the market, or a backer be able to fund the venture and then be bought out at a later date, when the business is independently viable. The difficulty with the former, is that the sponsor would require considerably more than the asset value to offset the risk of failure.

These may not be insurmountable objections, but they do need to be faced, and it is disappointing that they seem not to be included in this book.
… (més)
the.ken.petersen | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Aug 3, 2016 |



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