Too long in the library #4

August 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

From Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism, pub. 1904, and still pretty much on the money.

The care for external goods should only lie on the shoulders of the saint “like a light cloak, which canbe thrown aside at any moment”. But fate decreed that the cloak should become an iron cage… No one knows who will live in this cage in the future, or whether at the end of this tremendous development entirely new prophets will arise, or there will be a great rebirth of old ideas and ideals, or, if neither, mechanized petrification, embellished with a sort of convulsive self importance. For of the last stage of this cultural development, it might well be truly said: “Specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart; this nullity imagines that it has attained a level of civilisation never before achieved.”

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