Date of Award

Spring 1957

Document Type





Two contrary schools of economic thought have dominated the modern scene, each of which, in its own way, has occasioned the need for a program of social reform. One considers the ownership of private property as an absolute right, founded ultimately in prescriptions in positive law, to be exercised on behalf of the individual self-interest.

The other condemns any ownership of private property as injurious to the inevitable advance toward the property-less, classless utopia. Its metaphysics is the basis for the official policy of a large part of the world. The object of this work is to briefly sketch the development of these extremes, with their underlying principles, and to criticize them by an exposition of Scholastic economic theory.

As can be more graphically seen by a glance at the Table of Contents, the plan of this thesis is threefold. The first part deals with a history of the development of organized labor in America, showing the influences of British labor movements. The second part, broader in scope, is concerned with economic thought and theory leading up to the present day. Thirdly, there is an exposition of traditional Scholastic economic principles, as stated by St. Thomas Aquinas and the Popes of social reform, Leo XIII and Pius XI.