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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Cpaital 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.

For comprehensive sweep, topicality, and quality of thought we have not had its equal in Marxian economic literature for a very long time. It was thus the original common ground within URPE.

The authors are under no illusion that they have succeeded in exhausting the subject. While production, productivity and profits soar, the rate of investments declines.

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

capltal The overall result is a tendency toward economic stagnation and increased unproductive expenditures as a response. There was the energy crisis and the economic crisis. Instead of a capitalistically-useless money hoard there is then a capitalistically-useless production of goods and services. Only, what used to be a period of stagnation within the business cycle has seemingly become the normal state of affairs.

Merely as exposition, rendering what are often quite difficult problems accessible to the layman, it is something of a tour de force. This is to see society in the abstract, not as a specific society; at any rate, not as capitalist ccapital. There is a difference, however: In money terms, production of waste is just as, or even more, lucrative, than the production of commodities, and — until finally repudiated — the accumulation of the national debt appears as the accumulation of capital.


When resources remain idle it is not because they are too productive but because they are not productive enough. The latter is capitzl unknown quantity. Joseph Phillips did a little bit of double counting in his wonderful appendix on the surplus.

Unless the whole of capital should be nationalised to be utilised for other than private-enterprise ends, government interventions jonopoly the economy are necessarily limited by the need to secure the profitability of the dominating private capital.

Monopoly profits reduce the competitively established average rate of profit and therewith lead to the progressive decline of the quantity of profits transferable to capitsl capital.

Second, I had a negative response to the profit-squeeze theory that had grown up on the left parallel to the demise of Keynesian theory and the rise of bourgeois supply-side economics in its place in the Thatcher and Reagan years. And as the government has nothing to give in exchange but the money it extracts out of the economy, the utilisation of private productive resources by government equates — as far as private capital is concerned — with their non-utilisation in their previous state of idleness.

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.

Monopoly Capital

Baran and Paul M. There was a seeming confusion in their book about the definition of economic surplus to do with the fact that they were gauging it by somewhat different yardsticks at different points using what is known as comparative statics. What Baran and Sweezy might possibly mean by their assertion that Marx neglected monopoly — i.


Baran published in by Monthly Review Press.

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

Still, the power of their capitwl lies in the synthesis that they were able to present. From the market point of view, this inability appears as a profit-realisation problem.

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 fapital most professors … unlike most books we read, this one attacks prevailing beliefs at their roots. Appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, when, instead of being a form of competition, monopoly eliminates competition, capitalism finds itself on the way out.

For it is the value-expansion of the existing capital that matters, not its extension in o space, and the latter takes place only to the extent that it enhances the value-expansion of the concentrated and dominating capitals. From Incarceration to Decarceration. A lack of effective demand relative to the production potential leads to unused resources.

Monopoly Capital – Wikipedia

At this point the rate of profit falls below what is necessary to continue the expansion process. Marx distinguished between the value composition and the material technical composition of 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?