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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BooksPaperbackeBooks Filed in: First, that capitalist class luxury consumption capigal not rise as fast as the available surplus and monopoly conditions limited outlets for productive investment.

They see the primary weaknesses of the system to be in the imperial realm, as countries in the periphery revolt against the domination of monopoly capital over their economies, a revolt that is increasingly mirrored in the resistance of peoples of color, making up a critical part of the working class, within the United States itself. The increasing rate of obsolescence indicates the quickening pace in which means of production lose their profit-producing capacity.

New products, catering to new wants, are not advertisements, even though they may be advertised. wseezy

Yet capitalism did live to capitxl that future. While the rate of surplus-value rises in one direction, the number of labourers falls in the opposite direction.

Monopoly Capital

To recall, while property-income was Obviously, a lot of people make their living by selling and advertising, while others lose part of their incomes by paying higher prices — prices which include the costs of advertising. Even then, they were forced to leave out any direct consideration of the labor process and exploitation. Value and surplus-value production would no longer be possible. 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.

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

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. All of this made it extremely influential with the Bara Left in the United States, particularly its more radical, socialist wing.


The only indication as to whether it is rising or falling is given by market events. It made a major contribution to Marxian theory by shifting attention from the assumption of a competitive economy to the monopolistic economy associated with the giant corporations that dominate the modern accumulation process.

The descriptive parts of Capital refer to capital competition and to the elimination of competition by way of competition, i. They laid the basis for viewing the entire electoral system as democratic in form, plutocratic in content. Without the accumulation of capital, however, the capitalist system can only contract, and it contracts the faster, the more its production becomes unprofitable.

This is in every way a stimulating and refreshing books, written lucidly and easily, without jargon or dogma, and representing a welcome attempt to look at the monopoly capitalism of today with fresh eyes. They also indicate that government requires and receives an ever greater share of the Gross National Product.

They can do so only, however, by accepting the current illusion that income-transfers and expenses can be counted as income so long as they are government transfers and expenses. 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. Financed in this manner, government-induced production does not increase the quantity of marketable commodities and can thus not be turned into exchange-value and, consequently, not into surplus-value.

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

Taxes are a part of realised income through market monnopoly if taken from capital they do reduce its profits, regardless of whether or not these profits would have been consumed or reinvested into additional capital. The arrival of this point in concrete reality is not predictable, but the tendency in this direction explains for Marx the recurrent crises and the increasing difficulty of overcoming periods of capital stagnation through changes in the conditions of production which raise the rate of surplus-value.

What appears as a profit-realisation problem in one part of the world, is a profit-producing problem in another.


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 monoply in their previous state of idleness. Joseph Phillips did a little bit of double counting in his wonderful appendix on the surplus.

Instead of a capitalistically-useless money hoard there is then a capitalistically-useless production of goods and services. Because productivity increases even in the absence of accumulation, it is quite independent of the production process as a capital-expansion process. The tendential fall of the rate of profit is just another expression for the accumulation of capital and the increasing productivity of labour.

They provided a nascent political economy of environmentalism via their searching critique of waste in the system.

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

Discussions of it were everywhere. The whole issue of the Old Left and the New Left is a complicated one.

Private accumulation therefore requires the support of government spending geared primarily towards imperialistic snd militaristic caputal tendencies, which is the easiest and surest way to utilize surplus productive capacity. This is to see society in the abstract, not as a specific society; at any rate, not as capitalist society. After wartime military service, he joined the staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, leaving to become a member of the Stanford economics swezy in While production, productivity and profits soar, the rate of investments declines.

Advertising can affect the distribution of the available surplus-value, but it cannot add to its size, for it is itself only a part of the available total surplus-value. 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.