This landmark text by Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy is a classic of Monopoly Capital and millions of other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more. The authors of Monopoly Capital,[1] Paul A. Baran and Paul M. Sweezy, attempt to overcome “the stagnation of Marxian social science” by shifting the focus of. Paul A. Baran and Paul M. Sweezy, Monopoly Capital. New York and. London: Monthly Review Press, Pp. ix + Harry Magdoff. New School for Social .

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Even then, they were forced to leave out any direct consideration of the labor process and exploitation.

Whatever the mass of labour-power in the real capitalist world, in relation to the progressively faster growing constant capital it must become a diminishing quantity.

Marx predicted that capitalism, while once rapidly developing the social powers of production, would come to fetter them, and that its further existence would then necessitate not only periods of crises and stagnation but the outright destruction of capital. If this concept is at all valid, it is so regardless of whether the actual capital structure is competitive, monopolistic or both. The idle resources — even in their idleness — remain capitalist property.

Why should he understand the capitalist economy any better than Baran and Sweezy, who, even by considering the economy as a whole and not merely a particular business within it, come to the conclusion that government spending would solve the economic problems of capitalism and of all monopooy classes?

Monopoly Capital: An Essay on the American Economic and Social Order

They were simply extending the value analysis to take on new questions related to the monopoly stage. Sweezy also later criticized Monopoly Capital for not referring directly to Marxian value theory categories, i.

The size of the surplus is an index of productivity and wealth, of how much freedom a society has to accomplish whatever goals it may set for itself. Moreover, insatiable as it is in its quest for profits, capital goes out of its way to extract surplus-value from all the corners of the world in order to augment the profits made at home. Their work played a leading role in the intellectual development of the New Left in the s and s.

Baran and Sweezy highlighted five aspects of the surplus absorption problem. In fact, the capacity to produce increases particularly in crisis situations in order to effect a resumption of the accumulation process. And so it seems; but it does not capjtal up in the rate of capital expansion, only in the size of the Gross National Product, of which a growing part is no longer profitable. Kolko introduced me to the crucial empirical basis of the theory in excess capacity monoooly and I carried out a detailed study of the various measures in this area, which had the effect of convincing me of the concrete basis of the analysis.


In aweezy, the maintenance of the private-enterprise system sets definite limits to the expansion of government-induced production. Considering the system as a whole, however, it is a general lack of surplus-value which accounts for its slow rate of expansion.

Views Read Edit Sweezu history. In his work, monopoly appears only occasionally, as a remnant of a mercantilist past or as a shadow cast by a future he did not expect capitalism to live to see.

Monopoly Capital by Paul Mattick

To increase their shares of a given market, or to maintain their profitability in a shrinking market, the different capitals will try to cheapen their production in order to maintain or increase their competitive ability. Marx distinguished between the value composition and the material technical composition of capital.

Mono;oly resources remain idle it is not because they are too productive but because they are not productive enough. When used for government purchases, taxes taken from capital flow back to the capitalists in form of government contracts.

The authors of Monopoly Capital[1] Paul A. Economic TheoryMarxismPolitical Monoopoly. Baran and Paul M. It is by counting an expense as an income that the illusion arises that a growing national debt is neutralised by a rising national income. Capital will not only be more productive but also more concentrated and centralised.

Monopoly Capital

This claim rests, however, on a curious way of accounting, for, actually, the growing national debt cannot be related to total national income, but only to that part of the total which has not been injected by government into the economy. But government can borrow additional funds. The authors of this book reconsider this traditional approach to economic theory. History of the American Left.

This page was last edited on 24 Augustat Like so many others I had been in the streets protesting against the war machine. The purpose of Monopoly Capital is to effect this shift in the focus of attention from competition to monopoly. Cover of the edition.

Monopoly Capital – Wikipedia

Appearances to the mnoopoly notwithstanding, when, instead of being a form of competition, monopoly eliminates competition, capitalism finds itself on the way out.

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monopolg But all these items are cost-of-production items which are not recoverable in sales-prices on the market, for, with insignificant exceptions, the products produced for government fall out of the market system. There would be no point in increasing production if the rate of accumulation were to diminish. And this means under-utilisation of available human and material resources.


While part of the expense of government-induced production piles up capotal the national debt, another part is continuously distributed over the whole of the economy and being paid for in higher prices by means of inflation.

Assuming, for the moment, that Baran and Sweezy are right, they would still only repeat what Marx himself pointed out, namely, that a sufficient rate of exploitation temporarily bars the fall of the rate of profit. It made a major contribution to Marxian theory by shifting attention from the assumption of a competitive economy to the monopolistic economy associated with capitl giant corporations that dominate the modern accumulation process.

To speak in extremes: Without the accumulation of capital, however, the capitalist system can only contract, and it contracts the faster, the more its production becomes unprofitable. I concluded that the hegemony monopolt economic orthodoxy was such that radical thinkers tended to adopt views that paralleled those of the mainstream. To the individual it also makes no difference whether he is employed in the production of waste or in that of marketable ca;ital.

This landmark text by Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy is a classic of twentieth-century radical thought, a hugely influential book that continues to shape our understanding of modern capitalism. The coup in Chile occurred with U. Harry Magdoff did a review of Monopoly Capital when it came out that said it could have developed zweezy analysis of debt and finance more and Sweezy himself was later to criticize Monopoly Capital for not doing that properly. After these events, we do not see how the feelings of any socialist toward the Soviet Union can remain unchanged.

And this increase may momopoly progressive. For comprehensive sweep, topicality, and quality of thought we have not had its equal in Marxian economic literature for a very long time. Second, spending on the sales effort was an important outlet for surplus as large firms engaged in monoopoly forms of competition and sought to enlarge demand.

It is only through the growing capacity to produce that total exchange-value is enlarged and capital accumulated.