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Why are Catholics good at football but bad at business?

It appears that Catholic countries produce excellent footballers but aren't so good at producing economists and business leaders.

  • Nicholas Farrell
  • International
  • July 10, 2012
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Yet again, a Catholic country has won a major international soccer tournament. Why are Catholics so good at kicking around soccer balls but so bad at running their countries? Is it because they are Catholics?

In Kiev, Spain won the European Championships’ final to make it three major international soccer tournaments in a row. (Spain won the 2008 European Championships and the 2010 World Cup.)

The country Spain defeated 4-nil in last Sunday’s final, Italy, is also Catholic. Italy won the World Cup in 1934 and 1938 and the gold medal for soccer at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games in between.

Meanwhile, the Italian and Spanish economies, as well as those of all other Catholic countries in the eurozone, move inexorably closer to total meltdown.

The Protestant British may have invented “the beautiful game,” but the Catholics are much better at it.

Starting in 1930, there have been 19 World Cup tournaments, but only eight countries have won. Of these, Catholic Brazil has won the World Cup the most times (five), followed by Catholic Italy (four). Germany has won three times despite being an extremely well-run country with a highly efficient economy. But roughly one-third of Germans are Catholics, as is the current Pope. Catholic Uruguay and Catholic Argentina each won twice. France won once, but over half of the French are Catholics. So the only properly non-Catholic country ever to win the World Cup was England in 1966….

….Whereas Karl Marx regarded economics as society’s driving force, Max Weber saw religion as more important. He argued in 1905’s The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism that there was a causal connection between Protestantism, especially Calvinism, and capitalism’s rise and that this explained why the Industrial Revolution took place in the Protestant, not Catholic, countries of Europe.

Protestantism possessed what Weber called “the spirit of capitalism”; Catholicism did not. Weber said the Catholic Church was hostile toward the pursuit of wealth while the Protestants emphasized hard work and economic success to achieve salvation.

Weber said that Protestants, unlike Catholics and believers in other gods, had become detached from magic. The fruit of their disenchantment was capitalism. Weber was definitely onto something.

Full Story: The Holy Roman Church of Football

Source: Taki Magazine
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