ds Daniel Saunders


Latest posts by Daniel Saunders.

September 17, 2021in Essays

The Age of Extremes

As tempting as it is to fantasize on what could have been, the historian’s task, Hobsbawm quips, is to analyze what was. And so despite his sympathies and disappointments, Hobsbawm does what no ideological historian can do, but which only the best Marxist thinkers are capable of.

Black and white photo of a Soviet woman looking at fallen hammer and sickle emblem.
May 8, 2021in Notes

Christianity and the New Spirit of Capitalism

Max Weber famously argued for an “elective affinity” between a Calvinist work ethic and the economic requirements of industrial capitalism. In its insistence on secularized vocation and deferment of worldly pleasure, according to Weber, the Protestant work ethic gave religious sanction to certain kinds of economic activity, namely, the reinvestment of wealth as capital to build society’s productive forces.

Pyramid of Capitalist System, 1911 cartoon.
April 2, 2021in Notes

Subversive Bach

The music brings out this sense of inexorableness that the text signals with words like bestimmen (designate, determine, appoint) and the clipped, forceful, almost untranslatable Not (destitution, misery, dire need).

Copperplate print showing perspective view of Nikolaikirche, Leipzig.