1st Edition

Money and Justice A critique of modern money and banking systems from the perspective of Aristotelian and Scholastic thoughts

By Leszek Niewdana Copyright 2015
    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    230 Pages
    by Routledge

    Money has always represented power. For Aristotle, this power was inseparable from the exercise of justice within a community. This is why issuance of money was the prerogative of the lawful authority (government). Such a view of monetary power was widespread, and includes societies as distant as China. Over the past several centuries, however, private interests increasingly tapped into the exercise of the money power. Through gradual shifts, commercial banks have gained a legally protected right to create money through issuance of debts. The aim of this book is to unravel various layers hiding the real workings of modern money and banking systems and injustices ingrained in them.

    By asking what money really is, who controls it and for what purpose (why), the book provides insight into understanding of modern money and banking systems, as well as the causes of growing financialization of economies throughout the world, money manias and economic instability. The book also increases the awareness of injustices hidden in the workings of modern money and banking systems and the need for moral underpinnings of such systems. Finally, it suggests a money system which could immensely improve human, economic, and ecological conditions.

    1. Introduction  2. Crisis of Fantasy Prosperity based on Debt  3. Usury Prohibition – an Ancient Principle of Financial Dealings  4. The Scholastic Theory of Usury and its Ultimate Marginalization  5. Abuse of Money Power  6. Debt Money and Institutionalization of Usury  7. The Myth of Money as Government Creation  8. Moral Confusion over Debt  9. Injustice in the Debt Money System  10. In Search of Solutions


    Leszek Niewdana, a Catholic priest from Poland, teaches mainly business ethics in the College of Management at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan. He holds an MBA degree from the University of Southampton and a PhD in Christian Ethics from Heythrop College, University of London, England. Following the 2007-2009 financial tsunami, his interests have increasingly focused on ethical issues in financial and monetary systems.


    Money and Justice is an excellent exposition of the key flaws in the modern money and banking system and is an important contribution to the literature on how that system might be optimized to serve the common good. Niewdana’s analysis reveals an impressively broad scope of research, providing citations to Austrian economists (Rothbard, Mises, Menger, Skousen), Catholic thinkers (Aquinas, Dempsey, Noonan, McCall, and various official Church teachings), historical figures (Aristotle, Locke, Calvin), liberal Nobel Prize winners (Krugman, Stiglitz), behavioral economists (Kahneman and Tversky), anthropologists (Graeber), and extensive citations to avant-garde out-of-the-academy thinkers such as Thomas Greco (The End of Money) and Stephen Zarlenga (The Lost Science of Money) among many others.

    —Anthony Santelli II, AES Capital, USA