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Readers of Max Weber (1976 [1904]) and Colin Campbell (1983,1987) will recall that capitalism had to overcome traditional attitudes to work and accumulation in order to make any headway. For example:

a man … who at the rate of 1 mark per acre mowed 2½acres per day and earned 2½marks when the rate was raised to 1.25 marks per acre mowed, not 3 acres, as he might easily have done, thus earning 3.75 marks, but only 2 acres, so that he could still earn the 2 ½marks to which he was accustomed. The opportunity of earning more was less attractive than that of working less. He did not ask: how much can I earn in a day if I work as much as possible? but: ...

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