A Protestant work ethic, not the flash and shine of prosperity Christianity, is what Africa needs

More than any other sect, prosperous Christianity represents the saying of Karl Marx that ‘religion … is the opium of the people’. Visibility, opulence and miracles are crucial qualities.

I recently read Max Weber’s book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Weber wrote this book as a critic of Karl Marx, who proposed the causal connection between the substructure and the superstructure. The substructure is the means and proportions of economic production. The means of production include the tools used to produce goods and services, such as a tractor or a computer. The ratios of economic production include the owners of the instruments, the investors of the company and their relationship to labor. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) reduced the role of labor in economic production by replacing it with intelligent and automatic machines.

In contrast, the superstructure is everything that is not directly linked to economic production, such as politics, culture, education, etc. In this regard, the means and proportions of economic production influence the culture and politics that emerge. On the other hand, culture and politics also influence the nature of economic production. In this book, Weber describes how religion, a superstructure, the means and relationships of …

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