The Protestant Ethic, the Christian Right, and the Spirit of Recapitalization
This chapter looks at the political importance of the New Christian Right (NCR) and shows: Why did the social movement organizations known as the New Right or the NCR emerge to social prominence and political power in the late 1970s and early 1980s? It suggests that the NCR provided a diffuse ideological justification for the recapitalization of US capitalism. The chapter argues that just as the original Protestant ethic was coopted and reformulated by capitalism, the Christian Right's beliefs and energy have been coopted and diverted by economic elites who favor recapitalization policies. The Protestant ethic would have to be secularized in order to survive in rational society. In the United States the secular Protestant ethic is a part of a general value structure or ideology that remains extremely religious. Recapitalization policies aimed at strengthening the economic position of big business have already been the primary beneficiaries.