International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

An Essay on Capitalism, the State of Nature, Laissez-Faire and the Classical Origins of the Welfare State: A Critical Reappraisal and Challenge
Richard J. Hunter, Hector R. Lozada

This study explores the works of St. Thomas Aquinas relating to natural and human law, the theories of the “social contractarians” relating to the “State of Nature,” the contributions of Adam Smith concerning the theory of “laissez-faire” in the realm of social economics, and the writings of the Belgian philosopher Jean Dabin and the American philosopher John Rawls who provide a bridge from classical philosophy to modern economic realities. The context of the study is the Progressive Era in the United States, the Great Depression, and the New Deal which brought about the “welfare state.”

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