Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: May ::
Re: A Dream of Hanoi
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0841  Friday, 2 May 2003

[1]     From:   Don Bloom <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Thursday, 1 May 2003 08:13:37 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0834 Re: A Dream of Hanoi

[2]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 2 May 2003 10:47:51 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0819 Re: A Dream of Hanoi


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 1 May 2003 08:13:37 -0500
Subject: 14.0834 Re: A Dream of Hanoi
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0834 Re: A Dream of Hanoi

John W. Kennedy notes,

>In any case, John Calvin most definitely and explicitly overturned the
>traditional Christian prohibition on usury.

Well, maybe. There had long been exceptions made to the sinfulness of
causing money to breed through lending at interest -- not just the
famous cases of the Knights Templar and the Fuggers, but others whose
names escape me at the moment.

It seems to me that Calvin by simply disposing of the official
antagonism to lending money at interest perhaps encouraged the
development of the idea of capitalistic investment. But that is scarcely
strong evidence of the idea that he (or his teachings) caused it.

To put it simply, Calvinism was one of a number of trends or
developments of that period (called, for convenience, the Renaissance)
of which embryonic capitalism was another.

As it was probably inevitable that a Luther would come along and start
the Reformation, so it was likewise probably inevitable that a Calvin
would come along and take it a step further. So also with increased
trade, improved manufacture, and the need for economic pooling through
banking and investment.

It could be argued that the reason for the economic decline of staunchly
Catholic countries (Italy and Spain, primarily) relative to their
protestant competitors (Britain, Germany, the Netherlands) may have been
caused by Church resistance to these economic developments (banking and
capital investment). But that doesn't separate Calvinism from
Lutheranism and Anglicanism. Indeed, by the heyday of capitalism in the
19th century, one might more logically assume that those two forms of
Protestantism were far more influential in its development.

Why single out Calvinism?

Cheers,
don

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 2 May 2003 10:47:51 +0100
Subject: 14.0819 Re: A Dream of Hanoi
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0819 Re: A Dream of Hanoi

Don Bloom wrote,

>In the first case, what is meant by "capitalism"? Strictly speaking, the
>term means the investment of money in a business enterprise in exchange
>for a share of any profits the business generates. It may also,
>secondarily, refer to a form of gambling whereby one buys and sells
>these shares as their value increases or decreases. But it doesn't
>appear to have a great deal to do with the theology of John Calvin.

Well, those things don't, but your 'strict' and 'secondary' definitions
of capitalism aren't satisfactory.

Venturing money in an endeavour for a share in the return is not
capitalism, unless one wants a definition so wide (and you claim
strictness) that it includes what happens in the Parable of the Talents
(Matthew 25:14-29). A better definition that would satisfy quite a broad
spectrum of political economists is that capitalism is the relationship
that follows when a producer who owns nothing but her labour meets an
owner of means of production. Such relationships occurred on a wide
scale in England between the 15th and C17th centuries as a series of
expropriations stripped producers of their own means of production.

Puzzling what this has to do with Calvin is an exercize left for the
reader.

Gabriel Egan

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.