The desire to acquire

Growing wealth

From the 1930 English edition of Max Weber’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Paragraph breaks added for easier reading:

The impulse to acquisition, pursuit of gain, of money, of the greatest possible amount of money, has in itself nothing to do with capitalism.

This impulse exists and has existed among waiters, physicians, coachmen, artists, prostitutes, dishonest officials, soldiers, nobles, crusaders, gamblers, and beggars.

One may say that it has been common to all sorts and conditions of men at all times and in all countries of the earth, wherever the objective possibility of it is or has been given.

It should be taught in the kindergarten of cultural history that this naïve idea of capitalism must be given up once and for all.

Unlimited greed for gain is not in the least identical with capitalism and is still less its spirit.