Lehrbuch Der NationalÖkonomie / Teaching Guide to Economics Volume III/ Book 1: The Active Causes in the Ongoing Economic Process

For Pesch, economics rests on the premise that enterprise and property, though primarily private, are to serve the interests of the common good. The factors of production: the labor force, suppliers, distribution and consumption, must work together to serve the common good. Pesch emphasizes the power of the individual in this process and how labor and vocational groups are established to offer solidarity. The Principle of Subsidarity applies in assistance to the individual moving the economic order forward.


This is the first English translation of the works of Heinrich Pesch, SJ (1854-1926). Pesch, a German Jesuit scholar and economist, wrote the longest, most exhaustive economics text ever written, one that deserves to be regarded as a kind of Summa Economica. The five-volume Lehrbuch der Nationalökonomie examines all serious economic thinking up until Pesch’s time, culling what was deficient, retaining what was worthwhile, and filling in what its author perceived to be lacking. The result was a design for an economic system that is opposed to both classically liberal capitalism and state socialism, based instead on Aristotelian-Thomistic philosophical premises. Pesch developed many of the basic principles which emerged in the social encyclicals of the Catholic Church.

Table of Contents

The Active Causes in the Ongoing Economic Process

I. The Power of the Individual

II. The Enterprise

III. Syndical and Cooperative Groupings of Economic Units