Contrary to a number of his contemporaries, Montesquieu did not consider that an inescapable antagonism existed between the republican government, based on the virtue of citizens and their dedication to the public good, and commercial activity, which was aimed at material interests. Well aware of the recurrent historical phenomenon of commercial republics, Montesquieu detected various mechanisms by which the commercial spirit could in fact encourage the formation of the psychological mindframe and behaviour necessary for republics. These included, in particular, a respect for rules, a distrust of emotions, a taste for individual independence acquired through work, and allegiance to a noncapricious government.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science