The term "mercenary" has Latin roots. In ancient Rome, the word «mercante» called merchants, the merchants.
In modern Italian the word retains the same meaning.
The French gave way mercantile somewhat different meaning - "selfish", "commercialism".
Mercantile spirit - a character, or a result of life circumstances
In our time, a man called mercantileone that puts in the first place benefit considerations for which the money is most important. In a broader sense, the mercantile people - unscrupulous, greedy miser.
Why a person becomes a mercenary, thatIt can affect its character? It is difficult to give a definite answer. A person can become a mercenary, thus reaching up to a painful avarice, for many reasons. Classic examples - the heroes of Gogol's "Dead Souls" - Plyushkin and Chichikov. Apparently the character of Elijah originally present propensity for thrift, savings, time, the author stressed that his hero was once thrifty host, and went to the table in an old coat. However Plyushkin was not greedy, did not reach the point of absurdity in their thrift. Changes that have turned it into a half-crazy money-grubber, occurred after a series of personal tragedies: the death of his wife and youngest daughter, fleeing the eldest daughter, who was married to an officer against the will of his father, quarrels with his son.
From the point of view of medicine, such commercialism - mental illness, which is called "compulsive hoarding." Such "Elijah" occur in our time.
As for Chichikov, he became a mercenaryman, first of all, under the influence of his father, teach him not to trust your friends and believe a penny, to appreciate and to save a penny. That is, this trait emerged from his childhood. The conditions surrounding the Russian reality only contributed to its development.
Is it always bad commercialism
Do not indiscriminately condemn the motives of people,because commercialism is different! For example, if it is a diligent, thrifty attitude to money, the ability to save wisely, plan costs, abandon unnecessary spending, there is nothing wrong with that. On the contrary, it is useful for budgeting and worthy of imitation.
Such commercialism helps intelligently keep the family budget, save money for major purchases.
If it takes the form of commercialismexcessive avarice, makes the person greedy and heartless, capable of a dishonorable act for the sake of money, such a person should be condemned unequivocally. Here it can justifiably be called unscrupulous greedy miser who is "over the head".