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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Marx distinguished between the value composition and the material technical composition of capital. Thank you very much. But this does not alter the fact that the utilisation of productive resources by government is the utilisation of privately-owned productive resources. In monopoly capitalism, however, these normal modes of surplus utilisation no longer suffice because production outruns the effective demand.

And it may not only be so. Whatever these statistics may be worth, and they are admittedly not worth much, they do not relate to the Marxian problem of the determination of the rate of profit, but to the capitalist problem of the division of recorded income — other than wages — among the various interest groups living on the surplus-product.

And this increase may be progressive. To increase their shares of a given market, or to maintain their profitability in a shrinking market, the different capitals will try to cheapen their production in order to maintain or increase their competitive ability. According to Baran and Sweezy, the normal modes of surplus utilisation are capitalist consumption and investment — augmented by unavoidable expenses of the circulation process and by necessary but unproductive activities.

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

For so long as exchange-value is the goal of production, labour-time quantities remain the source and measure of capitalist wealth. And it would be able to sell a larger product if capital would accumulate and thus increase the effective demand. The only indication as to whether it is rising or falling is given by market events. 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 swewzy few countries.


Monopoly Capital was commonly viewed as the fundamental critique of the system in the historical caital we were living through. Nothing so clearly explained the current stage of capitalism, though to understand capitalism fully it was clear one had to go back to Marx and the whole socialist tradition.

The continuous creation of new wants is a characteristic of the market batan and one reason for its expansion and extension. 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. But it is not a closed system, and is thus able not only to slacken its rising organic 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.

Monopoly Capital – Wikipedia

The idle resources — even in their idleness — remain capitalist property. As capitak it cannot function capitalistic ally; but neither can it function capitalistic ally when capial by government to finance the non-profitable production of public works and government waste. Views Read Edit View history. Monopoly Capital was the principal Marxian, and indeed radical, political-economic work to be published in the s, written by the two most prestigious Marxian economists in the United States and perhaps globally.


Monopoly Capital

One of the key contributions of Monopoly Capital is its application of the concept of caiptal surplus. It made a major contribution to Marxian theory by cqpital attention from the assumption of a competitive economy to the monopolistic economy associated with the giant corporations that dominate the modern accumulation process.

Monopoly Capital cannot be seen in isolation, however. Other forms of absorbing the surplus include expansion of the sales effort and the growth of finance, insurance, and real estate.

As soon as capital feels itself strong, however, the crutches are thrown away and capitalism moves in accordance with its own laws of motion. 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.

Today, forty years later, their analysis there seems more powerful than ever. Private accumulation therefore requires the support of government spending geared primarily towards imperialistic and militaristic government tendencies, which is the easiest and surest way calital utilize surplus productive capacity. When used for government purchases, taxes taken from capital flow back to the capitalists in form of government contracts.

Monthly Review MR was part on this side of the Atlantic of the same constellation of views as what is now known as the First New Left in Britain, from which the term arose. Not only is this type of production non-profitable, it is made monnopoly only through that part of total production which is still sufficiently profitable to yield taxes large enough to extend government production by way of taxation.

To recall this law: