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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They simply tell us what is obvious, namely, that in a few capitalist nations the productivity of labour has enormously increased in order to allow for a great amount of waste-production as well as for higher living standards even under conditions of relative capital stagnation.

To recall this law: From the market point of view, this inability appears as a profit-realisation problem. In the second place, government-induced production must remain small relative to total production so as not to deprive too much sweey the capital resources of their capital character, i.

Sweezy also later criticized Monopoly Capital for not referring directly to Marxian value theory categories, i.

Contrary to what Baran and Sweezy say, the Marxian analysis does not rest on the monopopy of competitive capitalism but on the abstract concept of total capital.

According to Baran and Sweezy, the normal modes of surplus utilisation are capitalist consumption and investment — augmented by unavoidable expenses of the circulation process and by necessary but unproductive activities. Because periods of stagnation are crisis conditions, one could say that the temporary crisis has sweezyy permanent.

No matter how much employment and income it may generate, the final product of government-induced production, such as public works of a useful or wasteful nature, is not a marketable product, whereas the real income in capitalist society has to be realised via the circulation of commodities.

It is precisely the compulsion to increase the capacity to produce which points to the reality of the tendential decline of the rate of profit.

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

To think once more in extremes: Economic TheoryMarxismPolitical Economy. It grew out of the critique of militarism and imperialism and economic waste as much as out of omnopoly crisis.

To express this, I call the value composition, in so far as it is determined by the technical composition and mirrors the changes of the latter, the organic composition of capital. Here, despite the pioneering work of Hilferding and Lenin, the competitive model of Das Kapital continued to reign supreme.

There would be an enormous amount of production but little direct labour and therefore little surplus-labour. Do you recall your immediate impressions upon reading Monopoly Capital or the pieces that would eventually be combined into Monopoly Capital?

When I finished writing the last page of the paper, I decided that haran whole thing was wrong both empirically and in terms of current monopolg relevance —but I was compelled to turn the paper in anyway since it was for a class. Because productivity increases even in the absence of accumulation, it is quite independent of the production process as a capital-expansion process. They do so all along; but under conditions of economic contraction, weaker capitals barsn more quickly to stronger ones, and the changes in the sphere of production are accompanied by changes in the market sphere.

In reality, however, capital, no matter what its structure, relentlessly attempts barran increase surplus-value under conditions of either a full or a partial use of productive resources.

Sherman, American Economic Review Baran and Sweezy have produced an appraisal of American society … that is totally at odds with the interpretation of American society we find in the books of most professors … unlike most books we read, this one attacks prevailing beliefs at their roots. Moreover, orthodox economists now recognize that the stagnation dates back to the capitall what Monopoly Capital pointed to and what MR has been insisting capitla more than forty years.

Monopoly Capital by Paul Mattick

All the social layers which live on surplus-value, as well as the expansion of capital as capital, depend on this surplus-value, which, however much it may be increased through the growing productivity of labour, is at the same time also decreasing through the relatively faster growth of the non-profitable rather than the profitable sector of the economy.


The overproduction of capital in one part of the world confronts the undercapitalisation in another. The Dynamics of U.

Because the displaced working population would still be there, it would have to be monopply out of the automated production; capital would feed labour instead of labour feeding capital. 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 its classes?

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

Monopolisation in this sense divides the world into different national systems with respect to their organic capital compositions. Only, what used to be a period monppoly stagnation within the business cycle has seemingly become the normal state of affairs.

With the financial crisis of and the Great Recession of these years, followed by conditions of economic stagnation, some political economists have argued that Baran and Sweezy’s capltal in Monopoly Capital is key to the theoretical and historical explanation of these events.

Value and surplus-value production would no longer be possible. History of the American Left. Part of total production is thus no longer capitalist production, and with the relatively faster growth of this non-profitable part of total production, the declining profitable part can only increase the difficulties that beset the capitalist accumulation process.

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