History Lesson: Money-Lending: Its History and Philosophy
From ancient Greece to the Middle Ages, the practice of charging interest on loans was branded unproductive and immoral. It was condemned as "usury", a word that connotes wickedness; and money-lenders throughout history have been viewed as parasites and villains. Although the ancient prohibitions on money-lending have been relaxed since the Middle Ages, they continue to affect public policy, and people's view of finance, even today. Dr. Brook discusses the historical and philosophical context for the condemnations of money-lending, and reveals the substantial consequences of those condemnations. He demonstrates both the economic importance and the moral desirability of money-lending.
This lecture was recorded at the 2001 Objectivist Summer Conference
in Anaheim, CA.
Jul 07, 2001
Objectivist Conference Presentations
Historical views on money lenders via: literature, religion, and politics
Usury, Christianity and the Dark Ages and the Middle Ages
Aquinas, Usury, Reason, and Economics
Usury and Interest and the Catholic church
Punishing Usury under Catholic & Reformationist dogma
Great Britain, Interest, colonization, and Bacon
Adam Smith, Regulation, Interest, and Free Markets
Capitalism in the 18th century; Kant & Hegel’s altruistic philosophy
Marx, Keynes and modern ‘capitalism’
Objectivism and a philosophical revolution for usury
Q: What role does Justice have in the vilification of money-lenders?
Q: Why was the demand for money-lending so high?
Q: Anti-Semitism and money-lending
Q: Why are some Libertarians against usury?
Q: Where did the Jews get the money to lend?
Q: What is the moral and legal legitimacy of giving and collecting loans?
Q: Is there a correlation between usury and bankruptcy laws?
Q: What about lenders who lend while anticipating a default?
Q: Why have the attacks on money lenders not gone away?