Первый год нового правительства: немецкая экономика теряет терпение
The paper is the second part of a two-part critical essay on the discursive methods used by the great German sociologist Max Weber in his classic study on relationship between economy and religion The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904–1905). As is well known, the only pieces of empirical evidence that Weber used to verify his Thesis were estimates of the differences in school enrollment between pupils from Protestant and Catholic families in the German state of Baden at the end of the nineteenth century, as provided by M. Offenbacher. These estimates implied that Protestants tended to choose “market” education, while Catholics chose “non-market” types of education. However, this conclusion is based on Offenbacher’s arithmetic error, such that, after its correction, all differences in educational preferences between the two groups (and hence differences in their work ethics) simply disappear. Analysis also suggests that the “Protestant ethics,” as it was interpreted by Weber, is a deeply dualistic concept; de facto, he attributed (for unclear reasons) one type of ethic to workers and an entirely different one to entrepreneurs. The Protestant Ethics discusses in detail the life and ideas of B. Franklin, who was, for Weber, an archetypical bearer of “the spirit of capitalism.” But this is a fundamental misinterpretation, as all of Franklin’s biographers argue. A more serious problem is that the Weberian analytical scheme contradicts the available historical statistics: it implies that, due to the proliferation of “the spirit of capitalism” in England, the pace of capital accumulation in the country in the seventeenth to eighteenth centuries should be very high, while in reality, it was much lower than in other Western European countries. Finally, various attempts to test Weber’s Thesis with the help of modern econometric techniques have mostly failed. The author concludes that Weber’s exegetics of religious texts are entirely or at least partially incorrect, that his claim about the significantly higher economic achievements of Protestants as compared with Catholics is not confirmed empirically, that his concept of “the spirit of capitalism” suffers from unavoidable internal contradictions, that his portrait of B. Franklin has almost nothing in common with the actual man, that his attempt to explain the quick accumulation of capital in England in the seventeenth to eighteenth centuries deals with non-economic phenomena, and that the results of current empirical studies are mostly unfavorable for Weber’s Thesis. However, the Weberian idea about the origin of “the spirit of capitalism” from “the Protestant ethics” has so strong a hypnotic power over human minds that their phantoms will, for a long time yet, excite the imagination of academic researchers and permeate mass media.
The main idea of the article written in the genre of the philosophical satire is the search for an answer to the question of the possibility of theories in an age of a triumph of empiricism and positivism. Reflecting on the problems of education in the modern world, the author refers to the recently published book of Richard Pohl «Plato as a teacher. Plato’s Renaissance and Antimodernism in Germany (1890–1933)». The book tells how, while solving the tasks of a nation building and the transformation of Germany into the intellectual and cultural center of all mankind, the state educational machine of the German Empire used Plato and his doctrine of «eternal forms» for the needs of education. In addition, the book analyzes a very noteworthy phenomenon of «German neo-Platonism», which arose in the late XIX – early XX century and represented by a variety of schools – from the neo-Kantians to the circle of Stefan Gheorghe, each of which had its own concept of Plato. The author notes that Plato’s philosophy is also actualized in the modern times. But does this mean that Plato can become a «staple» for culture and a symbol of education in the current conditions? And is it possible today to restore the authentic image of Plato, or does each era re-imagines the philosopher in its own way?
The European Union’s development vector will largely depend on Germany, the engine of the European economy and integration. Europe in general and Germany in particular are at a crossroads. Strained relations with the United States, the migration crisis, the rise of populism, climate change, and China’s economic boom push relations with Russia into the background. How do young Germans see the future of Europe and their own country? To answer this question, it is essential to take a look at the entire spectrum of political trends in Germany and to analyze which of them evoke the greatest response from the younger generation.
Collected artictes contain papers of master students from Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics, Ural State Economic University, Ryazan State Radio Engineering University, Saint-Petersburg State University, Novgorod State University named after Yaroslav the Wise, the Cracow University of Economics (Poland), Bulent Ecevit University (Turkish Republic) and other universities on current problems and prospects of development of the Russian Federation and cooperation with other countries in the current socio-economic conditions. Materials of interuniversity conference has an interest for researchers, graduate students, undergraduates and students as well as professionals in the field of economics, finance, management, marketing, commerce, quality and logistics, tourism, sociology, public municipal management, linguistics and law.
The article considers economic cooperation of Russian and German regions. Some examples of such cooperation are analyzed and a number of reasons impeding its development is stated. Based on the analysis, the author marks out the fields of cooperation, which should be accentuated in further development.