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I am looking for a single word that means to shun doing things for commercial purposes, or to shun trading for money. It can either be the act of so shunning or an instruction to so shun.

In context: I'm writing a story with a military group with a bunch of one-word-commands that encompass their ethical principles. They would have ceremonies where they assembled to receive officer training. And on each of (about) twelve posts there would be a single one-word instruction that captures a part of their ethics. It breaks up into 12 chapters where each principle is illustrated. So on the posts would be things like Honor, Loyalty, Prowess, Guile, and others.

The command to shun doing things for money is to keep them on the straight and narrow regarding motives. Doing things for cash all too easily leads to doing things for the enemy for cash. It's an idea at least as old as ancient Sparta, possibly considerably older.

The word Integrity almost captures it. If there is nothing better I can live with that.

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  • Selflessness might work.
    – Lambie
    Commented May 17, 2022 at 19:29
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    There are nouns for good ethics in general ("incorruptibility", "probity", etc.) and nouns for avoiding money (e.g., "freeganism"), but I'm not aware of any that precisely convey your meaning. Commented May 18, 2022 at 4:18
  • The characteristics you mention, honor, loyalty, etc. are all exhibited through interpersonal relationships. In other words, to define one of those characteristics involves describing how a person would react to another person. You are not talking about people, however. You are instead talking about money. There won't be an equivalent. You could try to consider how rejecting cash payment relates to people and then use the associated characteristic or you can use a more verbose phrasing that mentions money or finance, such as Financial Austerity.
    – EllieK
    Commented Mar 23, 2023 at 19:20

3 Answers 3

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As mentioned by MarcInManhattan and yourself, there's "integrity", "probity" and synonyms "rectitude" or "righteousness".

Some religious sects literally take vows of poverty, so "poverty", "penury" or synonyms might be appropriate here.

Another category of words that might work are "asceticism" or "austerity", implying not indulging in something, usually sensual pleasures, but potentially stretchable to encompass commerce.

Finally, maybe "rigour", which can connote integrity while primarily indicating difficult conditions the way that "austerity" etc. do.

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Altruistic, altruism might be a little more than your looking for but If previous answer of selflessness is close, than altruism would be a more precise word.

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Words that come to mind:

  • anti-commerce
  • anti-capitalism
  • non-mercenary

At a stretch:

  • selflessness
  • altruisim
  • uncorruptability

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