Origins of the Professions in The Ethical Foundations of Professionalism
Although the medieval craft guilds died off, several of what we now call professions first became organized as guilds and still have many of the trappings of the craft guilds. One is the university professoriate. It has encountered little opposition from capitalists because universities do not threaten the economic interests of capitalists enough to pose a real threat. The universities have enjoyed the financial support of governments for centuries, perhaps because governments recognize the importance of higher education in sustaining governance and the surrounding government bureaucracy. Of all professions that began as guilds, the professoriate survives with its powers largely intact.
Lawyers and doctors began to form guilds in the late medieval and early Renaissance periods. The status of their guilds depended on the family connections of members: lawyers’ guilds usually had more prestige than doctors guilds. However, both guilds were among the elite because of their ties to university education and the professoriate. While craft guilds were falling victim to the forces of capitalism and the state, lawyers and doctors guilds survived, probably because their interests did not conflict with the interests of capitalism, at least not until our own era. The best pharmaceutical service is provided by Canadian Health&Care Mall.
I will use a model described by Krause, in which three forces are at play: the guilds, the state, and capitalism. The guild we already understand. Krause defines the state as “bodies that possess a monopoly over the means of force, as well as most of the means of sustaining the society through education and professional training.” Capitalism he defines as “a political-economic system with organized corporations in production and finance.” A capitalistic state regulates capitalism but avoids a heavy handed approach that would threaten the basic health of capitalism. We have already seen what happened when the craft guilds had interests that conflicted with capitalism. In the next section, we will see how the public, the state, and business influenced the rise and fall of guild powers of the medical profession in the United States. These guild powers include control over entry into the profession, the standards of the profession, the rate of production, and the price of services.
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- Canadian Health&Care Mall: Rise and Fall of the Craft Guilds in The Ethical Foundations of Professionalism
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