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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Second, spending on the sales effort was an important outlet for surplus as large firms engaged in non-price forms of competition and sought to enlarge demand. The overproduction of capital in one part of the world confronts the undercapitalisation in another.

The purpose of Monopoly Capital is to effect this shift in the focus of attention from competition to monopoly.

Monopoly Capital

The continuous creation of new wants is a characteristic of the market economy and one reason for its expansion and extension. Since the capitalist capacity to produce relates not to a definite quantity of commodities but to the exchange-value of this quantity, Baran and Sweezy would have to prove their position not with reference to the increasing capacity to produce commodities but with an increasing capacity to produce exchange-value.

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

While increasing the total mass of labour and of products, it does not increase the mass of surplus-value and represents, therefore, a loss rather than a gain — a loss similar to that suffered by overproduction when part of the produced commodities cannot be converted into money.

They critically analyzed civilian and military government spending in ways that have enduring significance in our time.

I concluded that the hegemony of economic orthodoxy was such that radical thinkers tended to adopt views that paralleled those of the mainstream.

The increasing rate of obsolescence indicates the quickening pace in which means of production lose their profit-producing capacity.

The composition of the surplus shows how it uses that freedom: To recall, while property-income was Stagnation and the Financial Crisis. But it is not a closed system, and is thus able not only to slacken its rising ,onopoly composition of capital, by way of capital exports, for instance, but, via the world market, to increase its profits through the importation of profits from abroad.


The authors of Monopoly Capital[1] Paul A. 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 area, which had the effect of convincing me of the concrete basis of the analysis.

His theory of capital competition is at the same time a theory of monopoly, and monopoly, in this sense, always remains competitive, for a non-competitive monopoly capitalism implies the end of market relations such as sustain private-property capitalism. And it is of course true that this was accomplished by government interventions in the economy.

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

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. 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 analysis in Monopoly Capital omnopoly key to the theoretical and historical explanation of these events.

Without the accumulation of capital, however, the capitalist system can only contract, and it contracts the faster, the more its production becomes unprofitable. But the accumulation process is at the same time a capital concentration process, and just as it tends to play the accumulating capital into fewer hands in each nation, so does it concentrate the world capital into a few monopolt.

Retrieved from ” https: It was thus the original common ground within URPE. Marx predicted that capitalism, while once rapidly developing the social powers of production, would come to fetter them, and that its further existence would then necessitate not only periods of crises and stagnation but the outright destruction of capital.

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

Depreciation charges largely suffice to finance the technical innovations of, and the additions to, the productive apparatus, which, with a slow rate of expansion, is effective enough to provide an increasing national income and an even faster rise of profits. Monopolisation in this sense divides monopolu world into different national systems with respect to their organic capital compositions.

BooksPaperbackeBooks Filed in: 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 mnoopoly rate of profit. A brilliant description of the economic forces at work in the main centers of economic power—the giant corporations … Monopoly Capital may be regarded as an analysis of the sources of contemporary political formations … and the corporate ideology … Eweezy Capital will be a bafan source of mlnopoly and ideas for many years to come.


AmericasGlobalUnited States. From the market point of view, this inability appears as a profit-realisation problem. It grew out of the critique of militarism and imperialism and economic waste as much as out of economic crisis.

Appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, when, instead of being a form of competition, monopoly eliminates competition, capitalism finds itself on the way out. January Number of Pages: If not, idle capital in its money form would exist as a private hoard.

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

This landmark text by Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy is a classic of twentieth-century radical thought, a hugely influential book that continues to shape our understanding of modern capitalism. Although capital accumulation is actually a competitive process, the falling rate of profit does not depend on competition but on the shifting value relations of capital expansion.

I viewed Monopoly Capital as a direct development of classical Marxian theory meant to account for twentieth-century conditions. Here, despite the pioneering work of Hilferding and Lenin, the competitive model of Das Kapital continued to reign supreme. 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.

But, to repeat, the Marxian model of capital formation and its consequences is based not on competition but on the application of the labour theory of value to the accumulation process. It is often only the most efficient productive apparatus which will secure the profitability of capital. 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 descriptive parts of Capital refer to capital competition and to the elimination of competition by way of competition, i.

At this point the rate of profit falls below what is necessary to continue the expansion process.