Ep: 61 The Protestant Work Ethic and Labor Day
As we look forward to labor day we decided to think a bit deeper about the popular holiday we might take for granted. As we talked about it with friends and colleagues, we kept coming back to the idea of "the Protestant Work Ethic" and Max Weber. While it might sound high falutin', talking about a sociological connection between Protestantism and work in America. While we certainly do not think that protestants have cornered the market on a good work ethic, or that American prosperity is due to a set of theological beliefs, it is interesting to talk about the genesis of a peculiar socio-economic system that grew up side by side with the Protestant Reformation and English Puritans in the New World.
We talk history, politics, and ideas about work and puritanism. Dan tells a story about who really cut off Van Gogh's ear and his ill fated interview with the History channel. Jeff explains the connection between an economic system, swiss watches, and the Reformation.
Like most shows, we circle around the big ideas surrounding labor (that we celebrate in early September every year) and the sanctity of working hard for its own sake.
From Queen Elizabeth to the Puritans, Weber to Tawney, and Wealth and Capitalism join us as we dig a little bit deeper into a day that we tend to mostly mark as the end of summer (and the last day to wear white linen trousers).