chapter  2
22 Pages

The Origins of the Capitalist Spirit

ByWerner Sombart

This chapter presents the biological foundations on which the history of the whole capitalist spirit is built up. The original traits of people are only a starting-point in the consideration of its biological development. The chapter reviews how the capitalist spirit thrives in bourgeois natures. It considers the variations in the root elements of the capitalist spirit, the question as to the origins of that spirit assumes a twofold importance. The tribes or races from which the modern European nations have sprung were partly over-inclined to capitalism and partly under-inclined. The chapter considers the moral forces, which have influenced mankind in determining how much, or how little, of the capitalist spirit it should imbibe. It shows how outward circumstances helped to mold human beings with a capitalist turn of mind. The chapter realizes how manifold have been the influences at work on the capitalist spirit.