St. Thomas and the Defense of Liberty
Many libertarians and classical liberals regard St. Thomas Aquinas as one of the enemies of liberty, of economic liberty in particular. According to these critics (and to some self-described Thomists), Thomas is supposed to have devised an abstract and systematic theory of an ideal state, which would have the power to regulate the marketplace by establishing a quasi-Marxian “just price” for all goods and by prohibiting all interest on investments. This opinion of Thomas’s economic views is substantially wrong, both in the details and in its overall point of view. Although Thomas was far from being a classical liberal, his moral and political philosophy, once properly understood, gives no support to statism in any form.