Relationships in a World of Individualism

  • rWorld

    The rWorld is about more than Dale Kuehne's book Sex and the iWorld.
    The rWorld is a New England based, non-profit (in formation), that is composed of a growing number of people and organizations from many faith and ideological backgrounds worldwide. We believe that much of the fulfillment for which women and men are looking can be found by enhancing the quality of our relationships. While the individual freedom we enjoy in the West is a gift, the love and intimacy for which humans yearn will not be found in self-serving materialism or hedonism, but in a variety of healthy relationships.

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  • Dale Kuehne

    Sex & the iWorld

    Professor of Politics and The Richard L. Bready Chair for Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good at Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH.

    In this blog I'm highlighting signposts of the world in which we presently reside as a means of helping promote a civil, and meaningful dialogue about what kind of world in which we wish to live. I am particularly interested in exploring how might we reconcile the individual good and the common good, and where reconciliation isn’t possible, which should take precedence and why.

    I also blog at

    [Content Caution]

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Commerce and Consequences

Posted by Dale Kuehne on February 2, 2010

“Commerce diminishes the spirit, both of patriotism and military defence. And history sufficiently informs us, that the bravest achievements were always accomplished in the non-age of a nation. With the increase of commerce England hath lost its spirit. The city of London, notwithstanding its numbers, submits to continued insults with the patience of a coward. The more men have to lose, the less willing are they to venture. The rich are in general slaves to fear, and submit to courtly power with the trembling duplicity of a spaniel.”

Thomas Paine, Common Sense 1775

Is the same true of morality?


5 Responses to “Commerce and Consequences”

  1. Lauren Fithian said

    We all risk becoming “slaves to fear.” When fear (or even mere misperception) leads us to believe we have something to lose it can (inappropriately?) guide our determinations/interpretations of what is “moral.” Or, perhaps, fear or the perception of potential loss leads us to act, or fail to act, in a way that is out of step with our morality. Fear and misunderstanding are powerful negatives.

  2. Wendy DeLuca said

    This quote definitely describes the cautiousness that humans in general display. Thomas Paine uses this quote to validate the actions of men who are fearful of getting involved in wars; once commerce comes into play, men have more to loose and subsequently act cowardly toward their responsibilities as citizens.

  3. Ann said

    Are you asking if commerce and resultant wealth diminish the spirit to resist evil, stand for truth and vs. commercial machinations, too? If so, I’d agree, Dale. In the corporate business world, most of us who lead with integrity and solid understanding have experiences of being threatened, bullied, and coerced by people who rule by engendering fear of job-loss/paycheck-loss, demotion, etc. The higher the Lord may allow one to proceed in integrity, it seems that the worse, the more vicious and the more brutal the attacks become.

    I would consider that Christianity has an analogy to Paine’s “non-age of a nation” in the humble and loving servant. Only the humble can withstand the attacks and continue to work faithfully, speak truth to power and to neighbor, give grace, and offer mercy, and we need the indwelling power of Christ to walk this out. We’re living this out, right now, and under some of the strongest spiritual attacks we’ve faced, yet.

  4. Hi,I’m taking some time to write you a comment. I hope you don’t mind I’ve bookmarked your page, your article is genuinely usefull for me. Zoe x

  5. reduction rue du commerce…


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