Common-law economics is all about harnessing the nation’s resources to maximize the potential for answering to wants and needs. The legal system is what enables this. Recognized ownership enables the conversion from possession to property. Hence, property is not theft but the first step to honest wealth. Property enables capitalization through the mechanism of contract. This is done by encumbering property through credit contracts. These contracts create the money supply. In this manner, the common-law regime produces capital, and the mystery of capital is solved.

Hence, the primary engagement is not purchase and sale but credit and debt.

Classical economics did not recognize this. It only recognized purchase and sale, and erected the economic edifice not on the basis of property but on possession. This was corollary to the physiocratic basis of Enlightenment philosophy, wherein nature is normative.

The normativity of nature was a gambit to free society from the fetters of divine right. Nature provided neutral territory where different faiths could meet on common ground. Here also arose the institution of a monotheistic cum deistic civil religion. Trinitarian Christianity was shunted to the background.

But this tenuous, tentative agreement received a body blow from Charles Darwin, who turned the normativity of nature into a monstrosity. “Red in tooth and claw” — and socialists and communists were not slow to take advantage of the new philosophy to champion the movement away from “laissez faire,” stamped as it was with ruthless competition.

These metaphors and images provided an endless supply of epithets and derisive commentary to the opponents of the common-law regime.

The need to supersede ruthless nature was behind the opposition to civil society and the faith in government. Hegel started this particular ball rolling.

So the focus with common-law economics is on the robustness of the legal system, the security of possession, the sanctity of contract, and the like. Redistribution is basically theft. The common good must be distinguished from particular goods, and not equated with the provision thereof in some distributionist scheme. So the common-law order bears resemblance to traditional, classical economics, but with the further understanding of the role of debt and credit, banking, and also the recognition that sovereignty underwrites currency, and that this also relates to international economic relations: fixing exchange rates undermines currency, undermines sovereignty.

See also Common Law Economics and Investing

  • Rethinking the Foundations
  • Christianity and Development
  • Malthus, Human Nature, and the Social Question
  • The Gold Standard and the Social Question
  • The Mystery of Capital
  • The Social Question Brought to Christ
  • The Roots of the Credit Crisis (in Dutch)