I’ve been reading several articles and books about the Scholastic and Thomistic position on usury and economics. An interesting pattern especially among libertarian account is that Aquinas, one of the greatest thinkers in history, is a endless fountain of fallacies, contradictions and utter falsity in matters economic, save where he agrees with modern economists.
The first I read was the “collectivist fallacy” wherein people do not really work for some common good. Another has been Aquinas using risk as a standard for ownership in partnerships but not elsewhere. Others includes the problems Woods mention on double charging and exchanges of money mentioned in an earlier post. Most recently has been Aquinas claiming money is fundamentally sterile and then using seeds as an analogy with money when considering restitution. However he does get the subjective theory of value right according to some.
It might be worthwhile to work on a restoration of Scholastic economics. There are some considerable problems. Libertarians use the “isolated man” thought experiment to establish an anthropology and develop a praexology. Money is considered productive in itself. Usury is taken as charging excessive interest on a loan.
One major difference is that modern economics is descriptive while Scholastic economics is normative and ethical. Though I still think they are explicative. As such modern economics would not be able to determine the nature of money or usury in so far as it is merely descriptive. Rather causal and explanatory accounts will be presumed and unexamined rather than considering economics in the fullest sense.