Paul A. Baran and Paul M. Sweezy, Monopoly Capital. New York and. London: Monthly Review Press, Pp. ix + Harry Magdoff. New School for Social . 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. Monopoly Capital [Paul And Sweezy, Paul M. Baran] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

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And so it seems; but it does not show up in the rate of capita expansion, only in the size of the Gross National Product, of which a growing part is no longer profitable. The government has not succeeded, however, in convincing the capitalists that this is actually so, for, now as before, capital does object to the increase in taxes and the growth of the national debt as being detrimental to its own profitability and accumulation requirements.

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

Because the displaced working population would still be there, it would have to be supported out of the automated production; capital would feed labour instead of labour feeding capital. The growing national debt is then usually compared with the growing national income, which substantiates the claim that deficit-financing will be accompanied by a rising national income. To recall, while property-income was Therefore, military spending is able to expand to a degree civilian spending is not, providing an important outlet for surplus absorption.

Other forms of absorbing the surplus include expansion of the sales effort and the growth of finance, insurance, and real estate. If a highly industrially-advanced country such as the United States — which underlies the whole reasoning of Baran and Sweezy — could be considered a closed system, then, in the Marxian view, its rate of profit should fall with its increasing organic composition of capital, unless offset by an increased rate of surplus-value expressed in an accelerated capital expansion.

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

The vast extent of this increasing actual and potential surplus is visible in the underutilization of productive capacity, the level of unemployment, the waste embodied in the sales effort, and military spending.


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.

Monopoly Capital by Paul Mattick

In fact, the capacity to produce increases particularly in crisis situations in order to effect a resumption of the accumulation process. The rate of accumulation is the determining, not the determined factor with regard to production.

Wars Past and Wars to Come. I got caught up in that. If this concept is at all valid, it is so regardless of whether the actual capital structure is competitive, monopolistic or both. There was simply no question that Monopoly Capital represented reality the way we that is, radicals—mostly students—with whom I was connected then saw it.

Contrary to what Baran and Sweezy say, the Marxian analysis does not rest on the assumption of competitive capitalism but on the abstract concept of total capital. But this was equally true for competitive capitalism. This was hardly surprising given the marginal and dependent position of radical economists in the academy. I viewed Monopoly Capital as a direct development of classical Marxian theory sseezy to account for twentieth-century conditions.

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

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. The descriptive parts of Capital refer to capital competition and to the elimination of competition by way of competition, i. In the main, it is the increasing productivity of labour which accounts for her increased production. Its wider influence was associated with the great works that it inspired and that belonged to the same constellation of Marxian theory, filling out the overall analysis.

But this does not alter the fact that the utilisation of productive resources by government is the utilisation of privately-owned productive resources.

Monopoly Capital

Without the accumulation of capital, however, the capitalist system can only contract, and it contracts the faster, the more its production becomes unprofitable. Sherman, American Economic Review Baran and Sweezy have produced an appraisal of Nonopoly 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. Unless confiscated, they can be utilised by government only through its purchases, and the money used bagan these transactions must first be extracted from private capital either by taxation or through borrowings.


Marx distinguished between the value composition and the material technical composition of capital. 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. Capital will not only be more productive but also more concentrated and centralised.

There is a difference, however: Not only is this type of production non-profitable, it is made possible only through that part of total production which is still sufficiently profitable to yield taxes large enough to extend swrezy production by way of taxation. Instead, there are unused human and material resources. This, then, was mainly a reply to fundamentalist arguments. If you read the magazine online and can afford a print subscription, we hope you will consider purchasing one.

With accumulation a going concern, however, the increasing productivity of labour goes hand in hand with the value-expansion of capital.

Even then, they were forced to leave out any direct consideration of the labor process and exploitation. In principle, it is not different in any particular capitalist country. For capitalism as a whole, of course, the organic composition is not high enough to account for a rate of profit too low to induce further rapid capital expansion.

With the resultant growth of idle resources, capital accumulation, that is, the capitalist mode of production, would come to an end.

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