It should be noted that, although the ethical individualism implicit in Luthers vision was a significant re-evaluation of religiosity and certainly displays the presence of the separative thought of public/private division, Weber did not consider Lutheranism to contain a "suitable religious inspiration for the development of the spirit of capitalism" (Poggi, 1983:61). This inspiration came later, with the organizational change from Lutheranism to Calvinism.
This occurred most notably in Marxs era, after the industrial revolution was in full swing, with his idea of the "withering away of the state", although some earlier authors did mention dissolution of government, e.g. Locke.
This sounds conspicuously like what current neo-classical economists are describing as the proper model for decision-making.
Tolkein (1937) was aware of this concept when he spoke through his character Gandalf in The Two Towers: "Perilous to us all are the devices of an art deeper than we possess ourselves" (258).
Regarding the subject of "cheese", noted musician and composer Frank Zappa (1981) has contributed this hilarious (and enlightening) tidbit to the discussion of American capitalist culture:
"It has been suggested that the Gross National Product is perhaps not the best indicator of how well we are doing as a society since it tells us nothing about the Quality of our Lives . . . but, is this worth dwelling upon as we grovel our way along in the general direction of the 21st Century? When future historians write about us, if they base their conclusions on whatever material goods survive from Present-Day America, we will undoubtedly stand alone among nations and be known forevermore as "THOSE WHO CHOSE CHEESE."
As you will recall, folks, nobody ever had as much going for them in the beginning as we did. Let's face it . . . we were fantastic. Today, unfortunately, we are merely WEIRD. This is a shocking thing to say, since no Red-Blooded American likes to think of his or herself as being WEIRD, but when there are other options and a whole nation CHOOSES CHEESE, that is WEIRD.
Our mental health has been in a semi-wretched condition for quite some time now. One of the reasons for this distress, aside from CHOOSING CHEESE as a way of life, is the fact that we have (against some incredibly stiff competition) emerged victorious as the biggest bunch of liars on the face of the planet. No society has managed to invest more time and energy in the perpetuation of the fiction that it is moral, sane and wholesome than our current crop of Modern Americans.
This same delusion is the Mysterious Force behind our national desire to avoid behaving in any way that might be construed as INTELLIGENT. Modern Americans behave as if intelligence were some sort of hideous deformity. To cosmeticize it, many otherwise normal citizens attempt a peculiar type of self-inflicted homemade mental nose-job (designed to lower the recipient's socio-intellectual profile to the point where the ability to communicate on the most mongolian level provides the necessary certification to become ONE OF THE GUYS). Let's face it nobody wants to hang out with somebody who is smarter than they are. This is not FUN.
Americans have always valued the idea of FUN. We have a National Craving for FUN. We don't get very much of it anymore, so we do two things: first, we rummage around for anything that might be FUN, then (since it really wasn't FUN stuff in the first place) we pretend to enjoy it (whatever it was). The net result: STRESSED CHEESE.
But where does all this CHEESE really come from? It wouldn't be fair to blame it all on TV, although some credit must be given to whoever it is at each of the networks that GIVES US WHAT WE WANT. (You don't ask-you don't get.) Folks, we now have GOT IT . . . Iots of it . . .
and, in our Infinite American Wisdom, we have constructed elaborate systems to insure that future generations will have an even more abundant supply of that fragrant substance upon which we presently thrive.
If we can't blame it all on TV, then where does it come from? Obviously, we are weird if we have to ask such a question. Surely we must realize by now (except for the fact that we lie to ourselves so much that we get confused sometimes) that as Contemporary Americans we have an almost magical ability to turn anything we touch into a festering mound of self-destructing poot.
How can we do this with such incredible precision? Well, one good way is to form a Committee. Committees composed of all kinds of desperate American Types have been known to convert the combined unfulfilled emotional needs and repressed biological urges of their memberships into complex masses of cheese-like organisms at the rap of a gavel. Committee Cheese is usually sliced very thin, then bound into volumes for eventual dispersal in courts of law, legislative chambers, and public facilities where you are invited to eat all you want.
* * *
The Quality of Our Lives (if we think of this matter in terms of "How much of what we individually consider to be Beautiful are we able to experience every day?") seems an irrelevant matter, now that all decisions regarding the creation and distribution of Works of Art must first pass under the limbo bar (aka "The Bottom Line"), along with things like Taste and The Public Interest, all tied like a tin can to the wagging tale of the sacred Prime Rate Poodle. The aforementioned festering poot is coming your way at a theatre or drive-in near you. It wakes you up every morning as it droozles out of your digital clock radio. An ARTS COUNCIL somewhere is getting a special batch ready with little tuxedos on it so you can think it's precious.
Yes Virginia . . . there is a FREE LUNCH. We are eating it now. Can I get you a napkin?"
Adding once again to our archive on corporate images, Hanes produces a line of panty-hose under the conspicuous name "No-Nonsense".
When we are children, interestingly, we arent wearing shoes; were just walking through the store getting ready to make our choice(s). This is the primary reason for our strong devotion to them - they embody what we would embrace ourselves in an ideal world.
Agger, Ben. 1989. Fast Capitalism: A Critiical Theory of Significance. Urbana:University of Illinois Press.
Agger, Ben. 1992. The Discourse of Domination: From the Frankfurt School to Postmodernism. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press.
Alexander, Jeffrey and Steven Seidman, eds. 1990. Culture and Society: Contemporary Debates. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Arendt, Hannah. 1958. The Human Condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Ashley, David and David Orenstein. 1990. Sociological Theory: Classical Statements. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Averitt, Robert. 1968. The Dual Economy: The Dynamics of American Industry Structure. New York: W.W. Norton.
Collard, David. 1978. Altruism and Economy: A Study in Non-Selfish Economics. New York: Oxford University Press.
Durkheim, Emile. 1984 (orig. 1893). The Division of Labor in Society. New York: The Free Press.
Entine, Jon. 1995a. Article forthcoming in the journal of Business Ethics, received by author through e-mail discussion group entitled the "Socially Responsible Business and Investing" mailing list, SRB digest # 75. For more information contact Jon Entine at "RunJonRun@aol.com" or the moderator of the SRB mailing list at "Barry_Koch@together.net".
Entine, Jon. 1995b. From SRB digest # 72.
Freud, Sigmund. 1961 (orig. 1930). Civilization and its Discontents. New York: W.W. Norton.
Gerth, H.H. and C. Wright Mills. 1946. From Max Weber. New York University Press.
Habermas, Jurgen. 1992 (orig. 1962). The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.
Human Resources Network, eds. 1975. The Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility: Profiles of Involvement. Radner, Pennsylvania: Chilton Book Co.
Lager, Fred. 1994. Ben & Jerrys: The Inside Scoop: How Two Real Guys Built a Business with a Social Conscience and a Sense of Humor. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc.
Lovejoy, Arthur. 1936. The Great Chain of Being. Cambridge, Massachusetss: Harvard University Press.
Lyon, David. 1994. Postmodernity. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Lyotard, Jean-François. 1979. The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Machiavelli, Niccolo. 1981 (orig. 1513). The Prince. New York: Bantam Books.
Makower, Joel. 1993. The E Factor: The Bottom-Line Approach to Environmentally Responsible Business. New York: Times Books.
McKie, James, ed. 1974. Social Responsibility and the Business Predicament. Washington: The Brookings Institution.
Mills, C. Wright. 1959. The Sociological Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press.
Myers, William. 1995. From SRB digest # 69 (e-mail at "email@example.com").
Poggi, Gianfranco. 1983. Calvinism and the Capitalist Spirit: Max Webers Protestant Ethic. Amherst, Massachusetts: The University of Massachusetts Press.
Polachek, Solomon and W.S. Siebert. 1993. The Economics of Earnings. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Reese, William. 1980. Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion: Eastern and Western Thought. London: Humanities Press.
Ritzer, George. 1993. The McDonaldization of Society. London: Pine Forge Press.
Sen, Amartya. 1987. On Ethics and Economics. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Shelton, Allen. 1993. "Writing McDonalds, Eating the Past: McDonalds as a Postmodern Space", in Studies in Symbolic Interaction, 15:103-118, JAI Press Inc.
Shirer, William. 1959. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany. New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc.
Smith, Adam. 1976 (orig. 1776). The Wealth of Nations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Stout, Jeffrey. 1988. Ethics After Babel: The Languages of Morals and Their Discontents. Boston: Beacon Press.
Teichgraber, Richard, III. 1986. Free Trade and Moral Philosophy: Rethinking the Sources of Adam Smiths Wealth of Nations. Durham: Duke University Press.
Wallerstein, Immanuel. 1988. "Should we unthink nineteenth-century social science?", in Rethinking the Nineteenth Century Contradictions and Movements, Fransisco O. Ramirez (ed.) (Studies in the Political Economy of the World-System, 1988, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press)
Zappa, Frank. 1981. From the recording You Are What You Is, © 1981 Munchkin Music ASCAP.
For more information on Ben & Jerrys Homemade, Inc., the following list references popular and trade media articles regarding the business, in chronological order:
"Scooping Up Cold Cash." Esquire, March, 1985.
"Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream Versus Haagen Dazs." Forbes, Sept. 16, 1985.
"American Chronicle: Competitors." Calvin Trillin, New Yorker, July 8, 1985.
"Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream Capades." Dairy Foods, August, 1987.
"Ben & Jerrys Look to Moscow." Boston Globe, August 27, 1987.
"Marketing Ben & Jerrys Equals Fun." 1988 Yearbook of Agriculture, Marketing US Agriculture, US Government Printing Office, 1988.
"Ice Cream Diplomacy." Blaine Cutler, American Demographics, Feb. 1988.
"Ben, Jerry Vermonts Businessmen of the Year." Burlington Free Press, Burlington VT,
Feb. 11, 1988.
"Conscience Awards to Nine Corporations." New York Times, March 1, 1988.
"Social Contributions of 10 Firms Praised by Watchdog Group." Wall Street Journal, March 2, 1988.
"Top Dollar: Corporate Chiefs Compensation Far Outpaces Inflation and the Gains of Staffs." Wall Street Journal, March 28, 1988.
"Ben & Jerrys: A New Age Interview." New Age Journal, March/April 1988.
"Ben & Jerrys Big Chill." U.S. News and World Report, April 4, 1988.
"The Inc. 100 Portfolio." Inc. Magazine, May, 1988.
"Ben & Jerrys Founders Win Small-Business Award." USA Today, May 10, 1988.
"Ben & Jerrys: A Success Story Without the Ads." Adweek, May 30, 1988.
"Forever Young: Ben & Jerrys Quest to Keep Their Companys Spirit Alive as Their Business Grows." Inc. Magazine, July, 1988 (reprinted in Utne Reader, Jan-Feb 1989 issue).
"Scoops of fun: Ben & Jerrys blends business, social action." Philadelphia Inquirer, July 3, 1988.
"Ben & Jerrys Small-Town Appeal Creams Rivals." New York Daily News, July 3, 1988.
"Baskin Robbins Goes to Moscow With Ben & Jerrys Close Behind." Washington Times, July 22, 1988.
"Selling to the Marx Brothers." Adweek, Dec. 5, 1988.
"Ice Cream Makers Rivalry Heating Up." Wall St. Journal, Dec. 21, 1988.
"Wntd: C.F.O. With Flair for Funk." New York Times, March 26, 1989.
"Movers and Shakers: Ben & Jerrys Homemade." Dairy Foods, April, 1989.
"Making Candy for a Cause." Food Business, April 3, 1989.
"Birth to Billions: Those Madcap Ice Cream Makers." Entrepreneur, May, 1989.
"A Call to Pig Out For Peace." Newsweek, May 8, 1989.
"Factory Tours Beyond Heavy Metal." U.S. News and World Report, Sept. 18, 1989.
"Ten Scoops That Shook the World." New England Monthly, Dec., 1989.
"Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream: growth and environmental concerns go hand in hand for this company." Textile Rental, Jan., 1990.
"Bosses for the 90s." USA Weekend, Jan. 19, 1990.
"Ordinary People." Harrowsmith, Jan/Feb., 1990.
"Ice Cream Socialists." Village Voice, Feb. 27, 1990.
"Ben & Jerrys Homemade." Dairy Foods, April 1, 1990.
"Ben & Jerrys ice cream: A grassroots approach." Plastics World, April 22, 1990.
"A Kinder, Gentler Industry." Dairy Foods, May 1, 1990.
"How to Spend Your Summer Vacation." Inc., July, 1990.
"Industry and the Environment: A Farewell to Arms." Industry Week, August 20, 1990.
"Ben & Jerrys Recycles." Waste Resources, Sept. 1990.
"When it Comes to Garbage, Processors Find that Less is More." Dairy Foods, Sept. 1990.
"For New Age Ice Cream Moguls Ben & Jerry, Making Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey is a Labor of Love." People, Sept. 10, 1990.
"No Meltdown in Sight." Fancy Food, Jan., 1991.
"Trouble in Camelot." Business Ethics, Jan., 1991.
"Going Crazy Over Waterbury." Yankee Magazine, Jan., 1991.
"Organization Cites Acts Doing Well While Doing Good." Wall Street Journal, Mar. 22, 1991.
"Products That Are Wrapped In Messages." New York Times (Consumers World), March 30, 1991.
"Ben & Jerrys: Surviving the Squeeze." Food Business, May 6, 1991.
"Milking the Cash Cow." Meeting News, June 1991.
"Ben & Jerry Save the World." Fortune, June 3, 1991.
"Oh, Wow, Man: Lets, Like, Hear from the Auditors." Wall Street Journal, June 28, 1991.
"The Real Scoop on Ben & Jerry." Baltimore Jewish Times, July 26, 1991.
"Split Decision." Dairy Foods, August 1, 1991.
"An Inspirational Ice Cream Factory." New York Times, Sept. 11, 1991.
"Gray Acres." Utne Reader, Sept./Oct., 1991.
"Unmarried With Benefits." Personnel Journal, Dec., 1991.
"Optimas Award for Quality of Life." Personnel Journal, Jan., 1992.
"Working on the Joy Gang." Business Ethics, Jan./Feb., 1992.
"The Selling of the Simple Life." Worth Magazine, Feb/March 1992.
"Ice Cream Insights." Dairy Foods, June 1992.
"50 Concerns Will Join on Social Issues." New York Times, June 10, 1992.
"Lifes Just a Bowl of Cherry Garcia for Ben & Jerrys." Wall Street Journal, July 15, 1992.
"Sundae in Harlem With Joe." New York Magazine, Aug. 3, 1992
"Subarctic Success for Ben & Jerrys." Burlington Free Press, Aug. 17, 1992.
"An Ice Cream Truck Not Just For Kids." New York Times, Aug. 21, 1992.
"Breaking All the Rules." Dairy Foods, September, 1992.
"Ice Cream Gurus Tasteful Search For World Peace." We/Mbi, Sept. 7, 1992.
"Good Ice Cream -- In Russia!" Newsweek, Sept. 7, 1992.
"Sundae School." People, Sept. 14, 1992.
"Ben & Jerry & Merrick." New York Newsday, Oct. 26, 1992.
"Ben & Jerrys Caring Capitalism." Personnel Journal, Nov., 1992.
"Anatomy of a Start-Up." Income Plus, Nov. 1992.
"Ben And The Art Of Ice Cream Making." USA Today, Dec. 8, 1992.
"The Ice Cream Sorcerer." New York Times, March 21, 1993.
"While Many Competitors See Sales Melt, Ben & Jerrys Scoops Out Solid Growth." Wall Street Journal, May 25, 1993.
"Cookies, Cream n Controversy: Has Ben & Jerrys strayed from its hippie roots?" Newsweek, July 5, 1993.
"The Flavor of Success, and Failure, in Russia." L.A. Times, Aug. 31, 1993.
"Growing Pains." Vermont Magazine, Nov-Dec., 1993.
"Store Leases Help a Landlord With a Cause." New York Times, Dec. 6, 1993.
"Will BGH Make Your Childs Milk Unsafe?" Parents Magazine, March 1994.
"Kids in Control." Ithaca Times (NY), March 3, 1994.
"Ive Seen the Lite." G.Q. Magazine, April, 1994.
"Ben & Jerrys Opens in Times Square." New York Post, Apr. 9, 1994.
"Its not Easy Bring Green." Vermont Sunday Times Argus, April 10, 1994.
"Ben & Jerrys Stands By Independent Growers." New York Journal of Commerce, May 2, 1994.
"Ben & Jerrys Seeks Sales Boost With a Radical Dose of Nostalgia." Wall Street Journal, May 5, 1994.
"Icy Activists." USA Today, May 9, 1994.
"Russians Get Scoop on Grant." Burlington Free Press, May 10, 1994, 1A.
"Ads for the Politically Challenged." San Francisco Examiner, May 16, 1994.
"Heres the Scoop. Brace Yourself: The Ice Cream Wars are Heating Up." L.A. Times, May 17, 1994.
"The Big Chill: Ben & Jerrys trots out the activists." Newsweek, May 23, 1994.
"Ben & Jerrys Scoop on Environmentalism." Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy, (pub. by Univ. of Tennessee), Summer 1994.
"Salary Cap Thaw." USA Today, June 14, 1994.
"Ben & Jerrys is Looking for Bens Successor." Wall St. Journal, June 14, 1994.
"Squares Need Not Apply." Newsweek, June 27, 1994.
"Exploring New Flavor Horizons With Ben & Jerrys Homemade, Inc." Refrigerated & Frozen Foods, July 1994.
"The world in their scoop." London Independent, July 14, 1994.
"Ice-cold war will reveal a taste of blood." London Evening Standard, July 15, 1994.
"Life Wont Be Just a Bowl of Cherry Garcia." Business Week, July 18, 1994
"Ben & Jerrys is Looking for Franchises Again." Restaurant Business, July 20, 1994.
"Ben & Jerry at a Fork on a Rocky Russian Road." New York Times, July 30, 1994.
"Chunky Monkey Invasion." London Financial Times, Aug. 11, 1994.
"Ben & Jerrys Contestants Come in Many Flavors." USA Today, August 29, 1994.
"Zero Tolerance: Ben & Jerrys seeks probe of secret synthetic hormone use." Boston Phoenix, Sept. 2, 1994.
"Interview: Ben Cohen." Business Ethics, Sept./Oct., 1994.
"The 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers." Working Mother, October, 1994.
"Ben & Jerrys Foundation Gives Employees A Voice." Corporate Philanthropy Report, October, 1994.
"Peace Pop reduces waste, though not waists." Plastic News, Oct. 10, 1994.
"Two Real Guys." Vermont Times, Nov. 23, 1994.
"Ben & Jerrys Flavors CEO Search." Advertising Age, Nov. 28, 1994.
"Profile: Flavor of the Mac." Electronic Link Magazine, December, 1994.
"Passing the Scoop: Ben & Jerry." New York Times Magazine, Dec. 18, 1994.
"Yo! Ben & Jerrys Finds a CEO!" Buffalo News, Feb. 1, 1995.
"Ben & Jerrys looking abroad to double sales." Buffalo News, June 26, 1995.
Back to Title Page
Back to Cyberstudies