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Rayner Teo
Professor Bryan Garsten
EP&E 459 Modern Liberty
Dec 11, 2013
The effects of commercial society on character and 'virtue'
Disagreement over the effects of the spirit of commerce on character and virtue is one
aspect of the central debate on modern liberty: is the liberty of the moderns desirable? Rousseau
argued that commerce, by encouraging the pursuit of individual self-interest, compromises virtue
and eventually liberty itself. Other authors have been more moderate, allowing for the coexistence of
commerce and modern liberty, and even positive effects on governance. But even then, they see in
commerce a potential for corruption in interpersonal relations: we become strangers to each other,
paying for things which should not have a price attached. This almost circles round to Rousseau's
view, but not quitethe vice he was concerned with was indifference to the common good that
modern life encourages; here, we are indifferent to each other's fortunes. Smith attempts to provide
a solution: a theory of moral sentiments rather than a theory of morality per se. In his system, there is
room for benevolence, and even public spirit.
This essay explores the effects of commerce on virtue. I first sketch a composite picture of
different accounts of why our age is commercial. This informs my discussion of the changes in
character that some authors observed in commercial society. At heart, the concern is not so much
that commercial society privileges private interest over the public, compromising the common good.
Rather, it is that having made virtue (in the Rousseauian sense) unnecessary, commercial society goes
on to degrade interpersonal relations and private virtues by placing them on a commercial basis. At
its worst, we leave our dependence on the benevolence of others, in exchange for a dependence on
the impersonal commercial systemwhich makes benevolence all the more important. I then
evaluate Smith's attempt to deal with this, and discuss some modern problems of virtue in
commercial society. In the end, I argue that while the self-regarding logic of commerce does indeed

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have the potential to corrupt interpersonal relations, the solution to this must come from outside
this commercial logic.
To understand the effects the spirit of commerce is said to have on character, we might start
with an account of the rise of commercemore accurately, two complementary accounts. One view
comes from the observation that commerce is simply in the spirit of the times, which is itself formed
from circumstances and environmental conditions. Nations are larger, and more secure and
peaceable (LOTA 313). It is easier, cheaper, and surer to get what we want through trade than war,
because (Constant argued) even a successful war never pays off (LOTA 314). We are also less
interested in public and political pursuits relative to private ones, because nations are so large that
our participation in the public sphere carries no weight. The ancients were warlike, but ours is a
commercial era, because commerce is simply more rewarding.
On the other view, there is a human propensity for commerce. We have always had desires
and sought out pleasures, and our wants proliferate as we are acquainted with exotic goods from
foreign commerce that encourage our vanity. These wants cannot be satisfied except by products
from different climates, and the goods and services of hundreds of tradesmen and merchants. We
cannot depend on their benevolence to supply them, but must interest them in mutuallyadvantageous exchange (WN 26). But unlike past ages, our age is commercial because the conditions
are right for it. According to Smith, foreign trade in luxuries enabled landowners in Europe to spend
the surplus of their lands on greater consumption for themselves instead of on their feudal retinues.
They freed up their unnecessary tenants, and their remaining ones obtained more secure tenure of
land in exchange for providing more rents. The resulting consumption supports a far greater
number of workers and traders than before, developing commerce.
By Rousseau's account, the most harmful aspect of commerce was that it destroyed virtue,
the love of one's country, which leads to the loss of freedom itself. Rousseauian virtue is similar to

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that of the ancientsthe difference being that unlike the ancients, he saw virtue only as a means to
liberty rather than an end in itself, a way to the good life. In his system, citizens, having been
educated to become virtuous, assemble to uncover the general will, and govern themselves through
the laws they derive from it. Liberty comes from being governed by these laws. But the spirit of
commerce leads us to prize pursuit of individual gain over public duties of participation in legislation
and defense of the country. Therefore, we delegate these duties to others so that we can focus on
profit. Our soldiers and representatives become centers of power out of our control, and we lose
our liberty, because we have neglected to protect it ourselves (SC 82). And the magistrate who
follows his individual interest is liable to abuse his power, jeopardizing the public interest (DPE 251).
In short, the spirit of commerce, by encouraging citizens to place their own interests over the
common good, destroys good governance.
But Rousseau's demanding view of virtue is at odds with most other authors. Take for
instance Montesquieu: he agreed with Rousseau that virtue sustains the republic (SL 22, 42), but
argued that commercial society and modern liberty could indeed coexist. There can be commercial
republics (SL 48), a combination that to Rousseau was irreconcilable. In Montesquieu's account,
commerce makes people frugal and economical. Frugality prevents people from wanting too much,
and therefore from disturbing equality. Equality is in turn an important prerequisite for democracy,
because in an equal society, ambition is limited to the political sphere, to a desire to serve the
country. Even if wealth is created, it is not harmful as long as the spirit of commerce prevails. There
is thus a complex of lesser, commercial values which supports the commercial republic.
Montesquieu's key move was to assert that "not all moral vices are political vices" (SL 314).
For instance, vanity, which encourages luxury and industry, is far better than laziness; indeed, it is
conducive to government (SL 312). Hume developed a similar point: he argued that refinement
would encourage sociability, as people go to clubs and societies to show off their sophistication; this

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would diffuse knowledge, and improve government, the arts, and industry. Fellow-feeling itself
would increase (EMPL 271). Hume also believed refinement would curb excess, because indulgence
destroys "true pleasure" (ibid.). This perhaps comes from Hume's distinction between 'vicious'
luxury, and the innocent varietya distinction which Montesquieu did not press. (I will return to
this distinction later.) Montesquieu was more circumspect; he argued that luxury would make people
self-interested (SL 98), and it was the spirit of commerce itself which would preserve the republic.
Evidently, virtue is precarious in Montesquieu's account of the commercial republic. If
equality is disturbed through accumulation of wealth, this makes the commercial spirit hard to
sustain, presumably because ambition corrupts the spirit of commerce and threatens the republic.
Threats to equality would have to be reined in by the laws. Unlike Rousseau, Montesquieu allowed
that commerce might not be destructive of liberty, but he was close to Rousseau in arguing that it
would have to be managed well.
This seems to contradict Montesquieu's earlier point, that commerce can sustain a
commercial republic. But I would argue that the pertinent distinction in Montesquieu is perhaps
between commerce and the spirit of commerce. The spirit of commerce encourages the commercial
values of frugality and economy which maintain the republic. On the other hand, commerce may
well result in the pursuit of luxury and excess wealth, which tears the republic apart. This distinction
may help us make sense of the contradictory conclusions he comes to on the effects of commerce
on the republic.
Leaving aside its effects on political virtue, elsewhere in Spirit of the Laws Montesquieu was
more enthusiastic about how commerce encourages good governance, through its effects on rulers.
For instance, the invention of letters of exchange curbed arbitrary exercise of power. "Theologians
were obliged to curb their principles," suggesting the moderating influence of commerce (SL 389).
Likewise with rulers, who "have had to govern themselves more wisely" (emphases added), curbing

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arbitrary government in the interests of prosperitysuggesting that rulers were induced to do so
without conscious effort or intent (ibid.). Smith made a similar point in his account of the workings
of commerce on the landowning elitein their pursuit of luxury, they gradually traded their political
power for private indulgence without even knowing it (WN 4189). According to Smith, this
resulted in the establishment of regular justice and governance, and the security of tenure. And
Constant noted that property had acquired the quality of 'circulation': the ability to move property
out of reach of governments checks their power (LOTA 324). Notably, all these accounts dealt with
the effects of commerce not just on the republic, but on all state and feudal power. Thus, one byproduct of the spirit of commerce is to generate conditions for good governance (what Montesquieu
called "exact justice"; SL 339) from the demands it places on rulers, whether they know it or not.
Neither are the effects of commerce on governance limited to the rulers: Hume made a bold
claim on behalf of luxury, a close cousin of commerce. He argued that (innocent) luxury makes the
mind vigorous by stimulating industry and the arts, and leads to advancement in all fields. "The spirit
of the age affects all the arts," including law and government (EMPL 271, 273). In addition, the
study of agriculture allows peasants to improve their land, increase their produce, and grow rich.
They then generate more commerce for the tradesmen and merchants. This is the origin of the
middle class, neither beholden to political overlords nor seeking power over others. Instead, they
demand the fair application of laws, to secure their property; in this way, they are the source of
liberty (EMPL 277).
This resembles Rousseau's argument, which is that the fair operation of laws secures
libertybut there the similarity ends. Hume allows for liberty to arise out of the self-interested
political demands of the middle class, with no reference to the common good. If the common good
is served, it is coincidence. So liberty, in commercial society, is contingent on the middle class
demanding the right thingwhich might raise doubts about whether commercial society is desirable.

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But for the authors other than Rousseau, this liberty was preferable to the caprices of government
(not to mention the warlike nature) of their immediate past. If we disagree with the authors on the
desirability of commercial society, this might be because they measured commercial society on a
different yardstick (feudal society, or absolute monarchy) than we do (the hypothetical best society).
Passing from the public to the private sphere, we find another source of ambivalence about
commerce. Montesquieu suggested that commerce softens mores, and leads to peace between
nations because it ties them together in trade for mutual advantage. On the other hand, he argued
that it has the opposite effect on individuals: in commercial society all things are done for money
rather than out of common humanity. Commercial society makes us strangers to each other. Indeed
hospitality is associated with bandit societies, not commercial societies (SL 339). Older, personal
values are replaced with commercial, impersonal ones. It is unclear whether Montesquieu was
indicating his sympathy towards pre-commercial society, or whether he was merely reporting facts of
commercial life. Regardless, we might regret the effect of commerce on interpersonal relationships.
Other authors were not troubled by this. Indeed, Constant argued that commerce makes us
attached to individual independence. We meet our needs without government having to step in, and
government intervention (he asserted, foreshadowing the modern libertarian) is "always a trouble
and an embarrassment" (LOTA 315). Our societies are too large for any individual's political
participation to matter; instead, our liberty consists in "peaceful enjoyment and private
independence" (LOTA 316). This leads naturally to his statement of modern individuality: "we are
modern men, who wish each to enjoy our own rights, each to develop our own faculties as we like
best, without harming anyone" (LOTA 323). Our individuality is true modern liberty; at its best it
leads to our actualization and fulfillment as ends in ourselves.
Smith of The Wealth of Nations framed the effect of commerce as not only a loss of
dependence on the state, but on the benevolence of others. His view was that we need the

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cooperation of hundreds of tradesmen to fulfill the needs of modern life (26). It is impossible to
cultivate personal relations with all of them and engage their beneficence whenever we require their
services: indeed, this would reduce us to dependence. Commerce, in which we harness the selfinterest of others to our own interests, is a far more certain way of getting what we want. The
implication is that this would further our agency over our wants and needs. (But this neglects those
who cannot buy what they needa very modern concern which will be explored briefly later.)
But it could conversely be argued (and from Smith's own premises) that commerce is a selfreinforcing cycle that traps us into dependence on commerce itself. As he observed, people are not
naturally so different as to cause the division of labor (WN 28). Rather, the division of labor is a
creation of commerce. Living in communities, we begin to see the benefits of doing separate tasks,
because we can get more of what we want by trading with others. We then begin to specialize, and
become "accustomed" to trade in this manner (ibid.). In other words, commercial relations acquire
the force of custom and regularity. Thus commerce created the conditions under which we did have
to depend on the cooperationor rather, the coincidence of the interestsof countless tradesmen
and merchants, to obtain the necessities of life. In contrast, in pre-commercial societies, our needs
were met in communities numbering in the hundreds or thousands, and it was possible to rely on
personal relations of goodwill and beneficence.
This brings us to a central problem of commercial society. In replacing relations of
generosity and humanity with formalized contracts and exchanges, it leads us to depend instead on
the system of commerce. In a sense, this trades one kind of dependence for another. Therefore, to
soften the dependence on commerce, we need to consider how charity, beneficence, community,
and other kinds of other-regarding 'virtues' might be compatible with commercial society. In other
words, we need to see if the fear articulated by Montesquieu ("the smallest things, those required by
humanity, are done or given for money") is justified (SL 339).

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Hume claimed, unlike Montesquieu, that luxury would lead to an "encrease of humanity"
(EMPL 271). People who are accomplished in science and the arts like to communicate, both out of
curiosity (to gain more knowledge) and vanity (to show off their own). The pleasure they get from
social exchange makes them feel greater humanity. But this only establishes that those in polite
society feel an increase in humanity towards each other; it does not necessarily make people more
charitable or generous. It might well limit our social spheres to those we have easy conversation with.
A second argument on the lack of humanity in commercial society stems from Hume's
distinction between 'innocent' and 'vicious' luxury. The difference, he argued, is whether or not
luxury is pursued to the exclusion of virtue; if it is not, luxury is innocent. The curious feature of
Hume's argument is in explaining why vicious luxury is vicious. He argued that if we indulge in
luxury instead of carrying out our obligations and doing charity, we (selfishly) consume in luxuries
what others could have had in necessities. But then he asserted that "the same care and toil that raise
a dish of peas at CHRISTMAS, would give bread to a whole family during six months" (EMPL 279).
One possible reading of this claims stems from the labor theory of value: the price of luxury i.e.,
expensive goods, reflects the amount of labor that goes into those goods. The more luxurious, the
more labor. So by indulging in luxury to the exclusion of virtue, one 'consumes' labor that would
otherwise go towards feeding and sheltering more people; because of this, one should not ignore
one's obligations.
But it is unclear whether the vice here stems from the neglect of charity and duties to family,
or the ill-effects of consumption of luxury. Is the implication that one should be virtuous in taking
care of one's family for its own sake, or because it would drive consumption for a greater number?
(Though they are not mutually exclusive, some might feel that the second motivation cheapens the
first.) Though Hume does not argue this explicitly, it seems that even the language of vice and virtue
could be up for reinterpretation in commercial society. Hume does not resolve Montesquieu's

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concern, that human relations are placed on a new commercial basis. Quite the oppositevirtue
itself may be seen through a commercial lens, as making the 'right' kind of consumption.
The Theory of Moral Sentiments is Smith's comprehensive attempt to explain how virtue might
arise from self-regarding (if not exactly self-interested) behavior. He sought a new basis for public
spirit, generosity, and virtue, "how selfish soever man may be supposed" (TMS 13). In other words,
this was an attempt to develop a basis for virtue compatible with commercial society. His system
was based on sympathythe fellow-feeling derived from "changing places in fancy with the
sufferer" and imagining what one might feel if one were in another person's situation (TMS 14). But
I argue that it leads to troubling conclusions about beneficence and virtue in caring for the poor, and
in family relationsthis should make us question the adequacy of virtue in Smith's account.
The commercial motivation can be explained in terms of sympathy. The mutual sympathy of
others is highly agreeable to us, and if it is in accord with our own, "enlivens joy and alleviates grief"
(TMS 19). But others are more apt to sympathize with joy than with grief, because it is pleasant to
feel joy and painful to feel grief (TMS 58). Therefore, we seek wealth and shun poverty, because the
sympathy that wealth and good fortune engenders is far more pleasant than any sympathy obtained
from being poor (TMS 623). Likewise, Smith attempts to use sympathy to explain benevolence. On
observing a generous, kind or charitable action, we feel pleased at the person being generous, and
concerned with the person receiving generosityexactly as each of the individuals in the interaction
must feel. Smith thinks that this double coincidence of sympathy means that we find benevolent
actions the most agreeable (TMS 489). This also encourages benevolence because it incites mutual
sympathy between the onlooker and the benefactor.
But transactions become impersonal in commercial society, which makes it less likely that
benevolence will be elicited through sympathy as Smith described. For instance, the generosity of
writing a check to a charity is unobserved, and does not gain the giver any fellow-feeling. A

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customer who puts down a small tip at a restaurant to which he knows he won't be returning might
bear with the temporary disapprobation he might cause. There is no strong motivation to generosity;
indeed, the commercial nature of these interactions may disincline us from generosity, compared to
how we might feel if they were personal.
Smith claimed that we evaluate our actions by imagining how an impartial spectator,
observing our situation, might judge them (TMS 133), so a Smithian response might be that the
impartial spectator inclines us towards beneficence, as the principle that would earn us approbation
and mutual sympathy. On the other hand, our sense of what the impartial spectator might approve
of (or whether we ought to follow it) might itself be altered by commercial society.1 Smith's other
response could be that beneficence cannot be forced (TMS 95). Though the lack of beneficence
reduces the good that might have been expected, it does no real harm; therefore, it cannot be
punished or resented, however strongly we might disapprove of it. While this is reasonable, it is
consistent with the idea that commercializing human relations weakens our sense of the duties we
feel to each other.
To see just how 'virtue' might be weakened in commercial society, we might consider the
Theory in relation to three aspects of modern life where we might hope for other-regarding virtues:
poverty, family life, and public service.
Poverty, Smith claimed, is unpleasant to observe (TMS 63). Because it is unpleasant to
imagine ourselves in the situation of a poor person, we are disinclined to sympathize with them. Not
only that: although Smith allows that our indifference to the poor might be 'improper', it is "absurd
and unreasonable" to affect extreme sympathy to the miseries of those we do not know (TMS 160
61). Mere poverty attracts little fellow-feeling. Rather, we admire those who bear their circumstances
with fortitude (TMS 16566). And those who would make us feel guilty about our own happiness by
1

Some studies purport to show that economists are more selfish than non-economists

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reminding us of those less fortunate than ourselves are "whining and melancholy moralists" (TMS
161). Therefore, the reasoning of Smith's Theory does not make it likely that the poor will attract
much beneficence. All this can be extended to other marginalized groups in society.
Yet commerce is not particularly kind to the poor. As noted earlier, commerce allows us to
engage others in mutual advantage, rather than depending on the goodwill of others. One view of
this shift is that it frees us from dependence; another view is that it trades one dependence for
another. But we are dependent on commercial society not only for our consumption, but also for
our incomes (which give us the means by which we obtain the necessities of life). Our survival
depends on whether we have a part in the prevailing division of labor in commercial society. But
people and occupations are, or have become, unvalued in the division of labor through no fault of
their ownauto workers in Detroit, for instance. A charitable interpretation of Smith would
recognize that he had no experience of today's commercial society. In particular, he did not fully
appreciate the extent of the new arbitrariness that commerce could cause, just like the old
arbitrariness of feudalism. His claimsthat "misfortune [i.e., fall from riches to poverty] can seldom
happen without some misconduct, and some very considerable misconduct too," and that the help
of friends and creditors will prevent people from falling too far (TMS 165)should be seen in this
light. A modern-day Smith might be less confident about benevolence and common humanity in
commercial society, or more conscious of the need for it in relation to the marginalized.
While we can think of benevolence toward the poor as supererogatory rather than obligatory,
the family is usually thought to be differenta sanctuary untouched by commercial logic. But
Smith's account of the family was somewhat radical. He traced family affection to "habitual
sympathy" arising out of long, intimate association; family relations thus generate the expectation of
family affection (260). From this, it follows that our horror, when we find a parent or child who
lacks family affection, stems from the fact that he or she breaks this general rulenot from any

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deeper moral sense that caring for family members might be 'right'. Smith noted that commercial
society might debase family life: in societies where the rule of law is incomplete, and people need to
band together for security, families remain emotionally close (263). But in commercial societies
where the rule of law is established, families have "no such motive for keeping together," and drift
apart based on their (self-)interest. He did not seem to attach any regret to this.
If family relations were indeed weakened by the regularity and certainty of commercial
society, would it be regrettable? Charles Fried has argued that treating personal relations as distinct
from and more elevated than commercial relations wrongfully deprecates commercework, trade
and mutual exchange should be celebrated no less than non-commercial relations of love and
friendship, because they arise out of mutuality and reciprocity (ML 73). On this view, if commercial
society weakens family relations, so be it.
But not many would be willing to go as far as Fried does, and set commercial and personal
interactions on the same level. According to him, we value interactions of reciprocity more than acts
of pure benevolence. But something that Fried misses is that there are some relationships which
cannot take place on the basis of reciprocity, such as the relationship between parent and child.2
Biological facts dictate that parent-child relationships take place on the basis of non-reciprocity
similarly with caring for the elderly, or persons with severe disabilities. If we indeed value reciprocal
interactions more as Fried asserts, this leads us to the strange conclusion that we prefer market
interactions to caring for our parents and children. It seems more plausible that they are just
different kinds of interactions, but that to expect reciprocity (a key aspect of commercial relations)
where none is due compromises personal relationsjust as expecting benevolence in commercial
relations would be absurd. (I will return to this point.)

He rhapsodizes, I think unconvincingly, that the infant recognizes in a parent's care the start "of a mutual relation, of
collaboration." (ML 73)
2

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Smith also discussed how public service might be explained by his system. A soldier values
his life more than military exertions for the sovereign (TMS 223). But he weighs up the two options
from the point of the view of the nation, not his own. Thus he sets aside the natural impulse to selfpreservation, in favor of his duty to the nation. This is the strongest claim that Smith made on the
compatibility of public spirit with his theorythe soldier demonstrates a Rousseauian love of
country, setting aside his private interests for the common good.
Yet there are gaps in the argument. First, Smith did not explain why the soldier adopts the
point of view of the nation, or what makes the soldier recognize sacrifice for the nation as his duty.
The motivation for more mundane acts of benevolence or public-spiritedness is similarly unclear. It
might be that the soldier is guided by the impartial spectator in his sacrifice for the nation"the
nation" might even stand in for an impartial spectator in acts of public-spiritedness. But this is the
subject of my second objection: what the nation expects changes over time. As Constant observed,
this is a commercial era; public-spirited exertions, whether political or military, are unpleasant
'distractions' from our commercial schemes and pursuits (LOTA 315). If Constant was correct about
the psychology of modern nations, then the nation's point of view does not motivate military (and
more broadly, public) service.
Descriptively, Smith might indeed be right about the calculation in the soldier's mind, or
about how acts of benevolence excite mutual sympathy and are pleasant for all involved.
Benevolence may exist in commercial society. Yet all these are supererogatory, not obligatory, acts;
indeed, he made it clear in his discussion on poverty and misfortune that the unfortunate cannot
expect much sympathy, because placing ourselves in their shoes is painful and unpleasant for us.
This reminds us that Smith's was no more than a descriptive project, to set out explanations for
benevolence or public-spiritedness where it existsnot to foster it where it is lacking. Making
stronger claims of obligation may need a prescriptive theory. Smith came closest to this when he

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described how we might use the device of the impartial spectator to guide our behavior. But even
then, the impartial spectator might be influenced by one's sense of what the average person would
do in our societygenerating a tendency toward mediocrity, rather than virtue.
So Smith's Theory offers little assurance that self-regarding moral sentiments will encourage
benevolence toward the poor, in the family, or toward the nation. Instead, its analysis is consistent
with the thought that since commercial society makes our interactions impersonal, it weakens our
sense of duty towards each other, which in turn inclines us towards more self-regarding behavior.
This brings us back to the question of how our dependence on commerce can be tempered.
On one hand, if we want to preserve private virtues in the face of the onslaught of
commercial society, it seems that we need something deeper than self-regard and desire for the
esteem of others. Constant thought so: "For men to unite together in face of their destiny, they need
something more than self-interest: they need real beliefs; they need morality" (Spirit of Conquest 58).
But it would be coercive (not to mention illiberal) to incorporate a moral theory into statecraft. On
the other, a skeptic might argue that 'virtue' seems to be a catch-all term for any aspect of precommercial society that we think is desirable. This is at best an endless task. But at its worse,
unlimited demands for greater virtue in private life recall the tyrannical arbitrariness of feudal justice
to which commerce helped put an end. The skeptical conclusion is that nothing can and should be
done about virtue in commercial society. Without going so far, I would observe that the nature of
virtue is a matter of active debate in any society, and (following Montesquieu) should be influenced
by mores, not shaped by laws (SL 315). And a starting point for this debate (and a possible solution)
is that there are certain relations that cannot be subsumed within the commercial sphere: nonreciprocal ones like those in the family.
This brings me back to the question posed at the beginning: considering the effects of
commerce on character and virtue, how desirable is the liberty of the moderns? Commerce has

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tamed our governments and helped secure the freedom to pursue our own ends. On the other hand,
it chains us into dependence on commerce itselfa new kind of arbitrarinesswhile weakening
obligations to charity, family relations, and public spirit. It destroys private virtue just as we need it
most. The difficulty in this question is that the costs of commercial society are incommensurate with
the benefits. And any attempt to quantify its costs is itself an exercise of commercial logic that (from
the point of view of those who are concerned) risks further weakening 'virtue'.
Tallying up the desirability of modern, commercial liberty might be answering the wrong
question. To many authors, this question was mootrather, they took the liberty of the moderns as
a given, and described its influence on us moderns. As Constant said: "since we live in modern times,
I want a liberty suited to modern times." (LOTA 323)
Works Cited
Constant, Benjamin. "The Liberty of the Ancients Compared with that of the Moderns." Political
Writings. Ed. and trans. Biancamaria Fontana. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.
309328. Print. (= LOTA)
. "The Spirit of Conquest." Political Writings. Ed. and trans. Biancamaria Fontana. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1988. 5183. Print.
Fried, Charles. Modern Liberty and the Limits of Government. New York: WW Norton, 2007. Print. (=
ML)
Hume, David. Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary. Ed. Eugene F. Miller. Indianapolis: Liberty
Classics, 1987. Print. (= EMPL)
Montesquieu. The Spirit of the Laws. Ed. and Trans. Anne M. Cohler, Basia Carolyn Miller, and
Harold Samuel Stone. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Print.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. "Discourse on Political Economy." The Social Contract & Discourses. Trans.
GDH Cole. London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1913. Print. (= DPE)
. "The Social Contract, or Principles of Political Right." The Social Contract & Discourses.
Trans. GDH Cole. London: J.M. Dent & Sons, 1913. Print. (= SC)
Smith, Adam. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Vol. I. Ed. R. H. Campbell
and A. S. Skinner. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1976. Print. (= WN)
. The Theory of Moral Sentiments. London: Penguin, 2009. Print. (= TMS)