Weber uses the term “rationalization” to describe how the Calvinists influenced Capitalism. He uses the term “rationalization” because he wants to explain the reasons behind why the Calvinsists were involved in contributing to the Capitalist movement, and changing the traditional economic system. Weber manages to go onto explain about Benjamin Franklin’s father, and how his father thought the Calvinists were responsible for encouraging Capitalism, an economic system of modern society. “Franklin answers with a maxim from the Bible that, as he says, his strict Calvinist father again and again drilled into him in his youth: ‘seest thou a man vigorous in his vocational calling (Beruf)? He shall stand before the kings (Prov. 22:29).’
As long as it carried out in a legal manner, the acquisition of money in the modern economic order is the result and manifestation of competence and proficiency in a vocational calling” (Kivisto 77). In this quote, Franklin’s father, a Calvinist, is saying that it is acceptable to obtain a certain sum of money, as long as if it was obtained legally. He is also saying that if it was obtained through an occupation, it is legal, and that is how people are paid in modern society. These are the principles that people of the Calvinist religion believed to be true, which certainly lead to Capitalism, and a more modern way of the way society does things.
Weber is also able to rationalize how Capitalism is becoming part of modern society, by explaining how when someone is introduced to the norms of capitalism, they are very likely to abide by the rules of Capitalism, and even support it. “To the extent that people are interwoven into the context of capitalism’s market forces, the norms of its economic action are forced onto them. Every factory owner who operates in the long term against these norms will inevitably be eliminated from the economy” (Weber 77).
In this quote, Weber is saying that as someone experiences a Capitalistic culture more and more, they will have a better understanding of how it works, and really make it apart of their everyday lives. He also goes on to explain that if a person isn’t able to adapt to a Capitalistic culture, they will not be able to succeed in the economy. If someone can’t succeed by not adapting to modern society, that really goes to show how much things have changed from societies in the past. To conclude, Weber bringing up this point, and the Calvinist’s ideologies on how society should work, contribute to Weber’s rationalization of how a past society has transformed into a more current one.