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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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The normal state of monopoly capital is thus stagnation. The Great Financial Crisis.

Monthly Review | Baran and Sweezy’s Monopoly Capital, Then and Now

Unless confiscated, they can be utilised by government only through its purchases, and the money used in these transactions must first be extracted from private capital either by taxation or through borrowings.

Joseph Phillips did a little bit of double counting in his wonderful appendix on the surplus. Kolko introduced me to the crucial empirical basis of the theory in excess capacity statistics and I carried out a detailed study of the various measures in this swsezy, which had capitak effect of convincing me of the concrete basis of the analysis.

This was of course true throughout capitalist development and explains this development. 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 swweezy amount of waste-production as well as for higher living standards even under conditions of relative capital stagnation. They laid the basis for viewing the entire electoral system as democratic in form, plutocratic in content.

It is haran of great importance to consider whether or not these interventions have actually set aside the laws of capitalist development as set forth by Marx. The increasing disuse of productive resources resulting from a lack of profitability can only increase the dearth of profits relative to the capitalist accumulation needs.

Monopoly Capital – Wikipedia

Because periods of stagnation are crisis conditions, one could say that the temporary crisis has become permanent. Paul SweezyPaul A. Marx lived in a highly competitive capitalism, to be sure, and he knew that prices, not values, determine market events — bara though market events are themselves circumscribed by the social relations as value relations.


For Baran and Sweezy, however, capitalist problems are exclusively market problems. It is clear, in that case, that sweezt production were less effective the demand would be relatively greater.

For Marx, price relations derive from value relations and the study of capitalism must therefore begin with value relations. I did think for years that Baran and Sweezy were wrong when they said that civilian government spending as a share of GDP had reached its outer limits by the late s.

Harry Magdoff did a review of Monopoly Capital when it came out that said it could have developed the analysis of debt and finance more and Sweezy himself was later to criticize Monopoly Capital for not doing that properly. The overproduction of capital in one part of the world confronts the undercapitalisation in another.

With the decline of profitability it becomes increasingly more difficult to expand production in this particular way.

Dear Reader, we make this and other articles available for free online to serve those unable to afford or access the print edition of Monthly Review. The only indication as to whether it is rising or falling is given by market events. In practice, no distinction is made between the public and the private sector of the economy, and in both all transactions are money transactions. However, as long as capital accumulates it does so because it is still able to increase the mass of surplus-value.

This book … deals with a vital area of economics, has a unique approach, is stimulating and well written. Both situations indicate that the rate of profit on capital is such as to discourage, or even exclude, additional capital investments on a scale large enough to bring forth an effective demand which would assure the realisation of surplus-value on a larger production.

The coup in Chile occurred with U.

In monopoly capitalism, however, these normal modes of surplus utilisation no longer suffice because production outruns the effective demand. Considering society as a whole, however, it is only the private sector which brings forth surplus-value and profit. From the market point of view, this inability appears as a profit-realisation problem. monopolj

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

They had no such ambitious goal. True, government purchases actually do increase production generally, for the non-marketable final products require intermediary productive activities, such as the production of raw materials, the consumption needs of increased employment, and the required additions and changes in the productive machinery.


Capital will not only be more productive but also more concentrated and centralised. To recall, while property-income was Financed in this manner, government-induced production does not barna the quantity of marketable commodities and can thus not be turned into exchange-value and, consequently, not into surplus-value.

Like so many others I had been in the streets protesting against the war machine. According barzn Baran and Sweezy, the sewezy modes of surplus utilisation are capitalist consumption and investment — augmented by unavoidable expenses of the circulation process and baraan necessary but unproductive activities. This is most probably so, because government-induced production is enlarged to compensate for the declining private production, in order to ameliorate the social consequences of prolonged crisis conditions.

The value analysis of capitalism disregards competition, for in the social aggregate all prices equate with total value. Since the mass of exchange-value declines with the growing productivity of labour, capital accumulation requires a faster growing mass of use-values. As regards monopoly profits monoply by price manipulations, it should be clear that they can be gained only through corresponding profit-losses on the part of the non-monopolistic capital — No matter what the structure of capitalism, there is, at any given time, a definite amount of national and international income derived from surplus-value.

Big business can maintain setting prices at high levels while still mono;oly to cut costs, advertise, and market their products. It was thus the original common ground within URPE. The authors of this book reconsider this traditional approach to economic theory. Because consumption is increased through exhortations, the enlarged consumption leads to increased production and investments.

The book was written in a popular style with an attempt to get at a large audience. If this is so, it will of course not only increase the production of waste, but slowly and sweezh destroy the private-enterprise system. Economic TheoryMarxismPolitical Economy. With accumulation a going concern, however, the increasing productivity of labour goes hand in hand with the value-expansion of capital.

Considering the system as a whole, however, it is a general lack of surplus-value which accounts for its slow rate of expansion.