Date of Award

Spring 1984

Document Type




First Advisor

William Thompson

Second Advisor

Barry Ferst

Third Advisor

Richard Lambert


According to Novak, a large number of religious thinkers favor a socialist approach to economics. Novak reveals that he too once shared this bias. He has undertaken the project of defending democratic capitalism with the aim of explaining why his opinions concerning political economy have changed. Novak may liken himself to Plato’s Good Philosopher, having ascended out of the cave of political naivete and seen the light that democratic capitalism has to offer. And, like the Good Philosopher, he has returned to the arena of his prior misconception to demonstrate the illusory nature of the ideals of socialism. Novak attributes the intellectual assent to socialism to two factors. First, socialism appears to be a system deeply infused with religious values. Secondly, capitalism lacks an ideology with which it can be easily defended on moral grounds.