The Political Economy of Juan De Mariana

John Laures, S.J.

Juan de Mariana (1536-1624), a major thinker of the Spanish renaissance, was a founder of economic science. This study of his writings and legacy appeared in 1928 and has not been reprinted until now. Prof. Fr. Laures explores his thinking on value, commerce, money, entrepreneurship, labor, taxes, and more, and demonstrates that he is a major if overlooked founder of economic science and classical liberalism.

Trained in the tradition of Thomas Aquinas, Juan de Mariana made huge advances in not only economics but also in law and sociology.

He was famously jailed for going too far in his explorations of the illegitimacy of the state and what people might consider doing about it. But even in prison, he made major contributions. Tenacious, brilliant, innovative, and daring, Mariana provokes even today.

This is an essential volume for understanding the history of economic thought and the contribution of the Late Scholastics generally. Laures is thorough but critical of Mariana’s more extreme conclusions, and seeks to render his thought in a way that is more politically acceptable, but that doesn’t diminish the value of the exposition, which is rare and much welcome.

The Political Economy of Juan de Mariana
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Fordham University Press, 1928