Saturday, February 24, 2007

Corporation Christendom Part Two

by Dr. Peter Chojnowski



The Spanish Fairs and Renaissance Banking

To offer proof that the Scholastics, early or late, did not adhere to Libertarian principles of economic life, it is best to cite the historical works of the Neo-Liberals themselves. The two which draw our attention are The School of Salamanca: Readings in Spanish Monetary Theory 1544-1605 by Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson18 and Raymond de Roover's San Bernadino of Siena and Saint Antonino of Florence: The Two Great Economic Thinkers of the Middle Ages.19 Our task can also be simplified if we can demonstrate, using the research of the Neo-Liberal scholars themselves, that the later Spanish Scholastics of Salamanca, along with the two above-mentioned saints, were fully within the great intellectual, social, and economic tradition of Catholic Christendom most particularly concerning the question of the "just price." If the "just price" is formulated in a way which allows for many factors other than the exigencies of "supply and demand" (i.e., whether there is a social and moral aspect of the determination of price), and, especially, if there is a role for the "prince" in the determination of "market prices," then we can safely reject the notion that these Catholic scholars of the past accepted a paleo-capitalistic conception of the determination of price and, hence, of the entire economic life of society.

Even though Salamanca University was the most prominent place of higher learning in the European world at the time, it was Spain's position as master of the New World that set the stage for a concentration on the problems of economics by the Scholastics of Salamanca. The gold and silver coming from the mines of the Americas made Seville, the homeport of the treasure fleet, the economic center of and primary money market in Continental Europe during the middle of the 16th century.20 Here we have a place where there was a large circulation of money and a high price level. Tomas de Mercado (d. 1585), a Dominican from Mexico who was present in Seville and preached on commercial morality, portrays the mercantile and financial situation that grew up in these conditions to us. According to Mercado, when the fleet comes in, every merchant puts into the bank all the treasure that is brought to him from the Indies, the bankers having first given a pledge to the city authorities that they will render good account to the owners.21 The bankers served their depositors free of charge and used the money deposited with them to finance their own operations. Most of the gold and silver brought in by the fleet passed in this way through the hands of the bankers and served as a basis for credit. The opening for usury was occasioned, however, by these transactions. As Mercado complained at the time, "money-changers sweep all the money into their own houses, and when a month later the merchants are short of cash they give them back their own money at an exorbitant rate." In Spain, concludes Mercado, "a banker bestrides a whole world and embraces more than the Ocean, though sometimes he does not hold tight enough and all comes crashing to the ground."22

The above stricture, on the part of Mercado (who died on a ship in 1585 on his way back to Mexico), against the financial transactions of bankers and merchants, was an articulation of an idea that was of ancient origin. Interest paid simply for the use of money during a certain period of time was considered usurious and universally condemned. Much of the moral thought about economics coming out of Spain during this period was, specifically, an attempt to grapple with the moral considerations occasioned by certain attempts to avoid the Church and State's condemnation of usury.

The attempted circumventing of the usury laws occurred in a very subtle way. It originated in a seemingly legitimate attempt to deal with two practical difficulties encountered by merchants at the time. First, there was, generally, a lack of cash available at the time, requiring merchants to set debts against one another at the merchant "fairs" held at various times and in various places throughout the year. Second, the merchants of the period, at the various fairs, had to act as money changers since, often, a debt was incurred in one place, say Seville, and paid in another, say Flanders. In this regard, it was generally agreed that the merchant who paid out money in one place and recouped himself in another was entitled to make a reasonable charge for his services. Even with regard to this type of "financial service," to charge a similar fee for bills transferring money from one Spanish fair to another was forbidden by a royal decree in 1551.23 Clearly the Spanish Catholic Crown was even willing to "dislocate the whole business of the fairs" rather than allow merchants to become involved in unnecessary "financial servicing." There also developed situations in which borrowed money was not to be paid back at the next fair but at one year later. Due to the "fees" attached to such "financial services," these became loans camouflaged as fees and involving a high payment of interest. According to Grice-Hutchinson, these met with "fulminations from both Church and State."24

It is when dealing with this question of the transference of funds from one fair to another, that Grice-Hutchinson, as representative of the Neo-Liberal Economic School, focuses on the question of "price" and the factors determining the "prices" of both money and goods.

The Function of Money and the Question of Foreign Exchange

Medieval ideas about the origin and functions of money are largely based on a few short passages in Aristotle's Politics and Nicomachean Ethics. Here, Aristotle insists that the function of money was its use as a medium for the exchange of goods. Money was first invented to overcome the difficulties of transport and need that are bound to arise in a barter economy.25 Money, therefore, is meant to serve as a common denominator that brings into line with each other things diverse in nature: "Making all things commensurable, equalizes them."26 Along with rendering commensurable for the seller and buyer what is, by nature, qualitatively different, money can serve as "capital," or as a store of value to be used at a future time. Aristotle emphasizes the function of money as a man-made instrument by indicating that its value rests on custom and that it, "rests on us to change its value or make it wholly useless."27 Averroes (1126-98), whose commentary on the Ethics was translated into Latin early in the 13th century, follows Aristotle closely on the origin and functions of money.28

Since St. Thomas Aquinas upheld this traditional view that money was invented for purposes of exchange, he held that it was unlawful to take payment for the use of money lent, which payment is known as usury. Here we have a reassertion of Aristotle's own condemnation of usury. St. Thomas himself applies this to our issue under discussion, gain on account of the foreign exchange of money, by condemning this practice outright. Merchants who attempt to make money by lending money where money is plentiful and collecting it where money is scarce for a real financial gain, meet the following statement by St. Thomas, from his Commentary on Aristotle's Politics, I, lvii:

Likewise the art of money or acquisition is natural to all men for the purpose of procuring food, or money with which to buy food, out of natural things such as fruit or animals. But when money is acquired not by means of natural things but out of money itself, this is against nature.

This teaching concerning making money on the basis of the relative "price" of money in one place or another, appears again in 1532 when the Spanish merchants of Antwerp sent their confessor to Paris to get a ruling on the legitimacy of exchange transactions from the learned doctors of the University. They condemned forthright all exchange business.29 The point that the Neo-Liberals, represented by Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson, would like to draw out of this incident is that, in this reply, the rate of exchange fluctuates according to the state of supply and demand and is not derived from the labor and costs incurred by the person in whose favor the bill is drawn. The assumption here being that that which all think should determine the "price" of money, is the same as what all think should determine the price of commodities. This is an arbitrary assumption. Moreover, the doctors of the University of Paris are, apparently, merely speaking of a matter of fact. In itself, it by no means determines what the Scholastic doctors will say about the "just price" of things that ought to be sold, namely commodities. What we are truly left with from this reply is a further verification of a perennial teaching of the Christian Era; money should not be made off money. As St. Thomas states, such activity is justly deserving of blame, because, considered in itself, "it satisfies the greed for gain, which knows no limit and tends to infinity."30

The School of Salamanca and the Just Price

When considering what the purportedly innovative School of Salamanca said about this important question of the "just price," the economic issue extraordinaire in the Middle Ages, I came across a text, included in The School of Salamanca by Grice-Hutchinson, which led me to hesitate for a moment. Here, in a citation from Domingo de Soto's book De justitia et jure published in 1553, we find the following in answer to the question, "Should prices be determined according to the judgment of the merchants themselves?":

Firstly…excluding fraud and malice, we should leave merchants to fix the price of their wares. Secondly...every man is the best judge of his own business. Now, the business of merchants is to understand merchandise. Therefore, we must defer to their opinion in settling prices. Thirdly, that a man may do as he likes with his own property. Consequently, he may ask and receive whatever price he can extort for his wares.

"Now," I said to myself, "we have a big problem. Domingo de Soto is an important figure in the history of the School of Salamanca. He was a Dominican, a contemporary of the School's founder Vitoria, and considered to be one of its best writers on economic subjects. In 1532 De Soto was appointed to a chair of theology at Salamanca. His fame was such that, in 1545, the Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V appointed De Soto, now regarded as the most eminent of the Spanish theologians after Vitoria, as his own representative at the Council of Trent. He became Charles's own confessor two years later. Surely if this man held for the 'free market' approach to commodity pricing, such must be a genuine teaching emanating out of Salamanca."

After some uncomfortable consternation, it dawned on me what I was reading. Rather than being De Soto's own position and teaching on the matter, these were the Objections to De Soto's own position, which always, of course, appear first in any properly organized Scholastic article. De Soto's own teaching on the matter of the just and proper price is perfectly in line with what you would expect a Catholic theologian of a still flourishing and faithful civilization to say.

De Soto's first "conclusion" with regards to this issue is to make a distinction that is the common-sense ground work for any discussion of prices: the price of a "good" (or commodity) is not determined by its essence (how the thing fits into the whole hierarchy of creation), but rather, "by the measure in which [it] serve[s] the needs of mankind."31 Here he affirms what was taught during this same period (1554) by another Salamancan scholar, Diego de Covarrubias: "The value of an article does not depend on its essential nature but on the estimation of men, even if that estimation be foolish."32 The "goods" we are citing here are "goods" which are good insofar as they service human needs. These things, therefore, have a price insofar as they are valuable in the eyes of the citizens; these goods or commodities would allow the citizens to satisfy their human needs. De Soto concludes this foundational claim about prices by saying, "We have to admit, then, that want is the basis of price." Things are, therefore, more desirable, and therefore will go for a higher price, insofar as they more perfectly satisfy man's desire for fulfillment and sustenance, irrespective of the place which the thing holds in the hierarchy of Creation. As St. Augustine states (City of God, Bk.II, chap. 16), "a man would rather have corn than mice in his house"; this, even though mice are ontologically more perfect than grains of wheat.

When speaking of the "want" which is at the basis of all economic life and pricing, De Soto recognizes, in a very balanced way, that when we speak of "want" we must not exclude a recognition of the fact that the city needs "adornment"; even though such things are not necessary for human life, it is something which renders life "pleasurable and splendid."

In De Soto's second "conclusion," we find a statement which directly contradicts the Libertarian claims that the later Scholastics of Salamanca thought that nothing should be considered when calculating price, other than "supply and demand." De Soto lists supply and demand as one of the elements that go into determining the just price for an item.

Next, we must bear in mind the labor, trouble, and risk which the transaction involves. Finally, we must consider whether the exchange is, for better or worse, to the advantage or disadvantage of the vendor, whether buyers are scarce or numerous, and all other things which a prudent man may properly take into account.

In other words, much to the consternation of those who would insist that the Salamanca School recognized nothing but the needs of "supply and demand," we find one of its most prominent scholars asserting that the entire process and situation of production and sale must be considered when the just price is calculated. Social and economic prudence is truly queen here.

We find out in the next paragraph who it is, exactly, who is entitled to make a binding judgment, while employing this social and economic prudence. The answer to this question depends upon another Scholastic distinction. This distinction is between the "legal" price and the "natural" price. These are, as De Soto states, the "two-fold" aspect of the "just price." Here we find that "the just legal price" is that which is fixed by the prince. The "discretionary" or "natural price" is that which is current when certain prices are not legally controlled. De Soto states that this distinction is one drawn by Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics (V, chap.7). Notice, in this regard, De Soto is not making a "value judgment," saying that the "legal price" is bad and the "natural price" is good. As we will find, the application of these two different types of prices depends upon what type of good or commodity we are speaking of.

The next few paragraphs of the passage we have been citing are very significant and are echoed by other scholars of the Salamanca School. De Soto states:

To understand the [above] Conclusion and to judge its validity, and to see why it is necessary for prices to be controlled, we must realize that the matter is a primary concern of the republic [in the sense of res publicaor the commonweal] and its governors, who, in spite of the arguments repeated above [i.e., those "free market" arguments in the Objections], ought really to fix the price of every article. But since they cannot possibly do so in all cases, the task [of "fixing" the price of those commodities which the prince has not fixed] is left to the discretion of buyers and sellers. The price that results is called the natural price because it reflects the nature of the goods, and the utility and convenience which they bring [emphasis mine].33

In proof that the term "legal price," entails no negative judgment on this form of pricing, we can cite De Soto as stating, "When a price is fixed by law (for instance, when a measure of wheat or wine, or a length of cloth, is sold for a certain sum) it is not lawful to increase this price by even a farthing. If the excess be great, then it is mortal sin and a matter for restitution." Those prices which are not regulated, especially the prices of commodities extraneous to the basic needs of the citizenry, can "enjoy a certain latitude within the bounds of justice." Here we find that even the prices allowed to fluctuate must be kept within the bounds of justice; "justice," in this case, meaning the requirements of the common good.

The Complexity of the Just Price Reaffirmed

De Soto was, as was every Scholastic, an inheritor of a centuries-old tradition of scholarship and learning. His statements concerning the advisability of "fixing" prices had antecedents deep in the heart of the Middle Ages. That characteristic "non-giant," the Viennese scholar Heinrich von Langenstein, was an advocate of a strict system of price controls. He advises the prince, however, to fix prices in accordance with the customary price, which is determined by "the degree of human want." Moreover, Langenstein shows a completely balanced approach to the question of the just price. He acknowledges that there is an objective factor, in the sense that it should be fixed by some authority standing outside the market, and yet subjective as being the product of subjective factors. Some of those subjective factors that Langenstein mentions are: supply and demand, utility, cost of production, remuneration of labor, cost of transport, and risk. All of these are to be taken into account when determining value.34 Just like St. Thomas Aquinas, Langenstein understood "supply and demand" to play a part in determining price. Grice-Hutchinson herself recognizes this to be the generally held position of the Scholastic tradition when she writes, "we have seen that the concepts of utility and rarity were placed high in the traditional list of factors determining value which accompanied scholastic discussions of the 'just price.'" She also admits, "We have seen that our Scholastic writers regarded utility and rarity as the primary, though not the sole, determinants of value [emphasis mine]."35

If we should look specifically for another member of the School of Salamanca who affirms De Soto's teaching on the desirability of fixing prices, especially those of "staple" commodities, we come upon one Pedro de Valencia. In his Discurso sobre el precio del trigo, he states:

[T]hose who allege that a thing is worth the price it will fetch must be understood as referring only to things that are not essential to life, such as diamonds, falcons, horses, swords, and also to other commoner things when there is no fraud, compulsion or monopoly, and when vender and purchaser enjoy equal liberty or suffer equal need [emphasis mine].

Recognizing, however, that in matters of real need the citizenry is at a distinct disadvantage in any exchange, he states, "in the case of bread, in years when it is dear—the vendor always enjoys liberty and plenty, and the purchaser always suffers urgent need and want." Now we come to the question of the just price:

The just price is not whatever a thing will fetch on account of the purchaser's need, nor can such a price in conscience be demanded. No price is just or should be regarded as current if it is against the public interest, which is the first and principal consideration in justifying the price of things.36

Bernadine of Siena and Antonino of Florence: Saints Misconstrued

We ought be very much surprised when we find a Neo-Liberal scholar like Raymond de Roover focusing our attention on two great saints, St. Bernadine of Siena and St. Antonino of Florence.37 It is, first of all, surprising to see that they are termed, "The Two Great Economic Thinkers of the Middle Ages," when they lived their lives square in the heart of the blossoming Italian Renaissance. That these thinkers are acclaimed as far-sighted prophets of the goodness of Liberal Capitalism is also surprising, since their attitude towards economics itself could not be farther away from the mentality of a Ludwig Mises, who would hold the laws of private property and the "free-market" to be adverse to the "heterogeneous" moral claims made by the divine and natural law. Here it would be useful to recall Mises' statement:

In urging people to listen to the voice of their conscience and to substitute considerations of public welfare for those of private profit, one does not create a working and satisfactory social order [emphasis mine].

The only thing which the two great saints under consideration intended by their preaching and writing on economic issues was to "urg[e] people to listen to the voice of their conscience and to substitute considerations of public welfare for those of private profit." They also held that only if such things were done, would a just and satisfying civil order be attained.

When we consider the moral teachings of St. Bernadine (1380-1444) as these relate to economic issues, what we are analyzing are 14 sermons which are part of a larger collection of sermons entitled De Evangelio aeterno (Concerning the Eternal Gospel). These Latin sermons, as opposed to his Italian ones, were meant to be read rather than preached. Here we can see the continuation of a long tradition, echoed in our own age by men like Heinrich Pesch, S.J., of including economic questions within the larger framework of ethics. In these sermons of St. Bernadine (a Franciscan and the great apostle of devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus), we find the general teachings of the Church as regards economic life repeated anew. As De Roover himself admits, the condemnation of usury was a prominent theme in St. Bernadine's writings.38 Just as was the case with the other Scholastics, St. Bernadine was "preoccupied with another set of problems [as opposed to questions of "how the market operates"]: what is just or unjust, licit or illicit? In other words, the stress was on ethics: everything was subordinated to the main theme."39 Both St. Bernadine and St. Antonino (Archbishop of Florence from 1445-59), both frown upon acquisitiveness as leading to sin and eternal perdition. St. Antonino deals with the whole topic of market transactions in the section of his Summa Moralis that deals with the sin of avarice.40 Moreover, economics was discussed within the framework of contracts, as Roman law understood these. The virtues that regulated the individual and collective economic actions of men were the virtues of distributive and commutative justice (i.e., the State giving to its citizens "their due" and citizens "giving to each other their due"). Let us face it, the only "due" that the Libertarians allow is the absolute claim that each man has to have the government and his fellow citizens respect his already demarcated private property right. They forget what the Distributists remembered quite well, all men have a certain right to private property. Those who uphold the Social Teachings of the Catholic Church, better than their Libertarian antagonists, understand the role of private property in personal and familial fulfillment.

When we study De Roover's book on these two putatively innovative saints, we find ourselves at a loss to find a significant teaching that is not firmly rooted in the wisdom of the Catholic past or one which is not clarified, in a purely traditional way, by the later Scholastics of the School of Salamanca. As De Roover himself recognizes, St. Bernadine, like the Medieval Scholastics before him, understood price determination to be a social process. Price is not set by the arbitrary decision of individuals but collectively by the community as a whole.41 St. Bernadine makes this explicit when he states, "the price of goods and services is set for the common good with due consideration to the common valuation or estimation made collectively by the community of citizens [emphasis mine]."42 According to De Roover, in the writings of St. Bernadine, there was "only minimal analysis of changes in demand or supply as this affects prices."43

With regard to the above question of price, as we found earlier with his analysis of the economic thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, De Roover's portrayal of the intellectual "innovations" of St. Bernadine is very forced and often involves the use of statements that do not at all prove his point, in fact, they often contradict it. One example is his citation of a single sentence from the "sermons" of St. Bernadine which seems to indicate that the saint held to an idea of the "just price" which was convertible with the idea of "market valuation." In support of this view, he cites St. Bernadine as defining the "just price" as, "the one which happens to prevail at a given time according to the estimation of the market, that is, what the commodities for sale are then commonly worth in a certain place."44

As we have seen, however, with regard to this determination of price based upon "supply and demand" and "market conditions," there was a solid moral tradition, passing into late Scholastic times, in which it was considered perfectly reasonable that prices of certain inessential items were allowed to "float" freely, their value being determined by how much someone who did not absolutely need the item was willing to pay. De Roover himself seems to recognize that the language of "just price" as "prevailing market price" refers to just this situation and to these kinds of goods. And yet, that De Roover wants to insinuate that St. Bernadine equated the "just price" with the "one that happens to prevail at a given time according to the estimation of the market" in all cases, is clear. With his usual hesitant definitiveness he says, "This statement [about just price and prevailing market price], it seems to me, is so clear that it does not admit any other construction.”

If, as he seems to say, St. Bernadine equated just price with market price, all prices should, for justice's sake, be subject to the free flow of market forces—any interference would be, according to this view, an interference in the market's setting of the "just price." That this is not St. Bernadine's view is made clear, again by De Roover himself, when he admits that the Franciscan taught "prices may be fixed for the common good." Society, then, is in charge of setting prices. Who does not hear the echo of the entire economic ethos of Christendom in St. Bernadine statement that, prices may be fixed for the common good, "because nothing is more iniquitous than to promote private45 interests at the expense of general welfare."

St. Antonino, the Just Price, and the Just Wage

St. Antonino of Florence was explicitly committed to the position that civil authority had the right and, often, the obligation to fix prices for the sake of the common good. Clearly the "common estimation" by which prices ought to be determined, included the possibility of the State explicitly setting the price of items. According to De Roover:

Sant' Antonino…states that it might be desirable under certain circumstances to have prices of victuals [i.e., food stuffs] and other necessities fixed by the bishop, or even better, by the civil authorities. If there is such regulation, it is binding and victuallers and other tradesmen may not, without sinning, raise the price above the legal minimum.46

Rather than being anything like a "free market" advocate, the Archbishop of Florence reaffirms the traditional condemnation of usury and monopoly. He also insisted upon there being a "just wage." The calculation of what would constitute a "just wage" was a social and a complex process that would involve the consideration of many different elements. To quote De Roover's citation of St. Antonino, "Sant' Antonino states that the purpose of wages was not only to compensate the worker for his labor but also to enable him to provide for himself and his family according to his social situation."47 Moreover, "it was as unfair and sinful to pay less than the just wage because a worker had mouths to feed as it was unfair to pay less than the just price because of the seller's urgent need for cash."48 St. Antonino clearly saw man as a whole, not just as a private property owning (or not owning) unit. The whole talk about a "just wage" (not to mention a "just price") means nothing unless we understand man to be a social creature and all of man's activities and social interactions, including his economic ones, as having an orientation to the higher and more perfect good, at least the true and fulfilling good of human existence. We see this over-arching teleological (from the Greek word telos or goal) understanding of the human good present in the following statement that De Roover makes concerning the teaching of St. Antonino:

The purpose of a fair wage was to enable the worker to earn a decent living, the purpose of a decent living was to enable him to lead a virtuous life, and the purpose of a virtuous life was to enable him to achieve salvation and eternal glory.49

As we might expect, from what we have seen from the various Libertarian writers cited in this article, De Roover "summarizes" St. Antonino's position by overturning everything he had previously stated concerning the saint's teaching: "St. Antonino's own wage theory according to which the just wage was set by common estimation, that is, by market forces without any reference to individual needs."50 Here he is asserting A and not A simultaneously. Here we have the manipulation of a classical Christian moral text by a Libertarian whose views on economics, logic, politics, society, and, even simple human psychology would be completely inexplicable to our saintly Renaissance bishop.

Restoration Economics

Why does all of this matter? Much of "conservative" and "libertarian" thought, in the United States, in the British Commonwealth, and on the Continent of Europe has attempted to find a way to, as Arthur Penty put it, "stabilize the abnormal." What is truly needed is a return to the normal. What we have seen when analyzing the actual statements made by the Medieval and Renaissance moral theologians on economic issues is a balanced portrayal of what the "normal" is. What has been amazing to see is not how innovative they were, in a Liberal direction, but rather, how traditional and deeply Christian they were. That there was room for discussion on such questions as the worth of money as a result of foreign exchange is a perfectly normal manifestation of the Catholic desire for justice and a deep prudence that understands the multiplicity of situations in which human beings act. Such prudence cannot be taken as a revolutionary innovation or for an opening to modern economic liberalism.

The basis of our current "abnormal" is an inflated and unnatural understanding of man as an individual, free to "create" his own "value system," which, to a certain extent, means to "create his own world." Liberalism, in its economic and political manifestations, has created a situation in which the ancient psychological, social, economic, and political tapestry of human societies has been unraveled. By upholding an ethereal concept of "choice," it has robbed us of our honor, our personal security, and our heritage. This entire conception of man and human existence is embedded in the Neo-Liberal equation of the "just price" with the "market price." That Arthur Penty and many others would present the "just price" and its attainment as the primary purpose of the Medieval Guild System is testimony to the fact that the very social life of Christendom, in a very real way, pivoted upon this reality. That "justice" should involve more than mere "freedom of choice," rather including within the very term an idea and concrete historical reality expressive of a higher order and more fundamental and essential obligations, is testimony to the fact that the spiritual psychology of Christendom was profoundly different from the one we find possessed by all those who reject the ancient way, whether they be Socialists, Globalists, or Libertarians. For those who would correctly seek for a life outside of the spiritually suffocating totalitarian Liberalism that we find ourselves immersed in, Penty warns them that any attempt to realize the dream of an independent rural existence without price controls put into place, would result, for most, in economic suicide for families and for individuals. These are sobering words. Our struggle must then take on a more encompassing religious, moral, and even political dimension if our children and our children's children are to live a life richer and, hence, more traditional than our own.


Dr. Peter E. Chojnowski has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and another in Philosophy from Christendom College. He also received his master's degree and doctorate in Philosophy from Fordham University. He and his wife Kathleen are the parents of six children. He teaches at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA, and for the Society of Saint Pius X at Immaculate Conception Academy, Post Falls, ID.

1. For Neo-Liberalism's understood indebtedness to Ludwig von Mises during the post-World War II period, see Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism Revisited: From De Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot in the chapter entitled "Real Liberalism" (Washington, D. C.: Regnery Gateway, 1990), p. 180.

2. Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1949), p.726.

3. Ibid., p.728.

4. Ibid.

5. Ibid., pp.728-729.

6. Raymond de Roover, "The Concept of the Just Price: Theory and Economic Policy" in Journal of Economic History 18 (Dec. 1958), p.418.

7. For a traditional view of Medieval history and economics, rejected as a "fairy tale" by Raymond de Roover, cf. William Ashley, An Introduction to English Economic History and Theory, 4th ed., 2 vols. (London: Longmans, Green, 1920), I, Part II, 391; John M. Clark, The Social Control of Business, 2nd ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1939), pp.23-24; Shepard B. Clough and Charles W. Cole, Economic History of Europe, rev. ed. (Boston: D.C. Heath, 1946), pp.31, 68; George Clune, The Medieval Guild System (Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1943), p.55; Alfred de Tarde, L'idee du justeprix (Paris: Felix Alcan, 1907), pp.42-43; Joseph Dorfman, The Economic Mind in American Civilization, 3 vols. (New York: Viking Press, 1946-1949), 1,5; N. S. B. Gras, Business and Capitalism (New York: Crofts, 1939), pp. 122-123; Herbert Heaton, Economic History of Europe, 1st ed. (New York: Harper, 1936), p.204; George O'Brien, An Essay on Medieval Economic Teaching (London: Longmans, Green, 1920), pp. 111-112; Leo S. Schumacher, The Philosophy of the Equitable Distribution of Wealth (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America, 1949), p.47; James Westfall Thompson, An Economic and Social History of the Middle Ages, 300-1300 (New York: Century Co., 1928), p.697. Also, included as a representative of this "erroneous" view of the Middle Ages, Arthur J. Penty, A Guildman's Interpretation of History (New York: Sunrise Turn, n.d.), pp.38-46. De Roover concludes these footnotes by saying, "This list is by no means exhaustive" [emphasis mine].

8. Ibid., p.419. Cf. Werner Sombart, Der moderne Kapitalismus (Munich: Duncker & Humblot, 1916), I, 292-293.

9. De Roover, Just Price, p. 420.

10. As the source of this quotation, de Roover cites Heinrich von Langenstein, Tractatus bipartitus de contractibus emptionis et venditionis, Part I, cap. 12, published in Johannes Gerson, Opera omina, IV (Cologne, 1484), fol. 191. According to de Roover, "No more recent edition is available."

11. De Roover, Just Price, p. 419.

12. Ibid., p.420.

13. Ibid., p.42l.

14. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, II-II, Q. 77, Art. 3, ad 4.

15. De Roover, Just Price, p.423.

16. ST, II-II, Q. 77, Art. I, ad 2.

17. De Roover, Just Price, p.421.

18. Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson, The School of Salamanca: Readings in Spanish Monetary Theory 1544-1605 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952).

19. Raymond de Roover, San Bernadino of Siena and Sant' Antonino of Florence: The Two Great Economic Thinkers of the Middle Ages (Boston: Harvard University Printing Office, 1967).

20. Hutchinson, School of Salamanca, pp. 1-6.

21. Ibid., p8.

22. From Tomas de Mercado's Tratos y contratos de mecaderes published in Salamanca in 1569 cited in Hutchinson, pp.4-8.

23. Ibid., pp.9-11.

24. Ibid., p. l&.

25. The Politics of Aristotle, edited and translated by Ernest Barker (New York: Oxford University Press, 1945), I, 1257a and 1133b.

26. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, trans. Terence Irwin (Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing, 1985), V, 1133a.

27. Ibid. Cf. Hutchinson, School of Salamanca, pp.20-21.

28. Hutchinson, School of Salamanca, p. 22.

29. Ibid., p. 38.

30. Ibid., p.35. Cf. ST, II-II, Q. 77, Art. 4.

31. Domingo de Soto, De Justitia et Jure, Book VI, Q. 2, Art. 3, pp.546-549 (Salamanca, 1553). This text is cited in Hutchinson, pp.83-88.

32. Diego de Covarrubias, Variarum ex pontificio, regio et caesareo jure resolutionum, Book 4, 1554, vol. li, lib.2, chap.3 as found in Hutchinson, p.48.

33. See Hutchinson, School of Salamanca, pp.84-85.

34. Ibid., p.28.

35. Ibid., p.64.

36. Pedro de Valencia, Discurso sobre el precio del trigo (reprinted in Pedro de Valencia, Escritos sociales, in Biblioteca de clasicos sociales espanoles [Madrid, 1945]); the text is cited in Hutchinson, pp.118-119.

37. Raymond de Roover, San Bernadino of Siena and Sant'Antonino of Flor­ence: The Two Great Economic Thinkers of the Middle Ages.

38. Ibid., p. 1.

39. Ibid., pp.7-8.

40. Ibid., p. 1.

41. Ibid., p.20.

42. St. Bernadine of Siena, De Evangelic aeterno, sermon 35, art. 2, cap.2 and 3 in Opera omnia, IV, 197-198. This text is cited in de Roover, San Bernadino, p.20.

43. De Roover, San Bernadino, p.21.

44. Ibid., p.20.

45. Ibid., pp.20-21.

46. Ibid., pp.22-23.

47. Ibid., p. 25.

48. St. Antonino of Florence, Summa Theologica, Part II, tit. I, cap. 17, n.8. This text is cited in de Roover, San Bernadino, p. 25.

49. De Roover, San Bernadino, p.27. The citation is a paraphrasing of St. Antonino's Summa Theologica, Part III, tit. 8, cap.l, n.l.

50. Ibid., p.25

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