The theory of monopoly capitalism : an elaboration of Marxian political economy /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Foster, John Bellamy.
Edition:New Edition.
Imprint:New York, New York : Monthly Review Press, [2014]
Description:xlviii, 280 pages ; 22 cm
Marxian economics.
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / National.
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Government / Legislative Branch.
Marxian economics.
Format: E-Resource Print Book
URL for this record:
Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:9781583674413 (paperback)
1583674411 (paperback)
9781583674420 (cloth)
158367442X (cloth)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary:"In 1966, Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy published Monopoly Capital, a monumental work of economic theory and social criticism that sought to reveal the basic nature of the capitalism of their time. Their theory, and its continuing elaboration by Sweezy, Harry Magdoff, and others in Monthly Review magazine, infl uenced generations of radical and heterodox economists. They recognized that Marx's work was unfi nished and itself historically conditioned, and that any attempt to understand capitalism as an evolving phenomenon needed to take changing conditions into account. Having observed the rise of giant monopolistic (or oligopolistic) fi rms in the twentieth century, they put monopoly capital at the center of their analysis, arguing that the rising surplus such fi rms accumulated--as a result of their pricing power, massive sales efforts, and other factors--could not be profi tably invested back into the economy. Absent any "epoch making innovations" like the automobile or vast new increases in military spending, the result was a general trend toward economic stagnation--a condition that persists, and is increasingly apparent, to this day. Their analysis was also extended to issues of imperialism, or "accumulation on a world scale," overlapping with the path-breaking work of Samir Amin in particular. John Bellamy Foster is a leading exponent of this theoretical perspective today, continuing in the tradition of Baran and Sweezy's Monopoly Capital. This new edition of his essential work, The Theory of Monopoly Capitalism, is a clear and accessible explication of this outlook, brought up to the present, and incorporating an analysis of recently discovered "lost" chapters from Monopoly Capital and correspondence between Baran and Sweezy. It also discusses Magdoff and Sweezy's analysis of the fi nancialization of the economy in the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, leading up to the Great Financial Crisis of the opening decade of this century. Foster presents and develops the main arguments of monopoly capital theory, examining its key exponents, and addressing its critics in a way that is thoughtful but rigorous, suspicious of dogma but adamant that the deep-seated problems of today's monopoly-fi nance capitalism can only truly be solved in the process of overcoming the system itself. "--
Review by Choice Review

Foster (Univ. of Oregon) is editor of Monthly Review and one of the leading experts in Marxian political economy. In this new edition, Foster explains that the increasing tendency of monopolistic companies to control a large share of the financial industry since the 1980s has created a "financialization-stagnation trap" that is negatively affecting economies of all countries around the world. The author believes that the global financial crisis and the resulting great recession of 2007-08 in the US--with their negative impact on the rest of the global economy--constituted a turning point in world history. Marxist economists, including the author, have been arguing for some time now that the global capitalist economy is showing symptoms of long-term economic stagnation; they believe that this stagnation, even more so than the financial crisis or the recession itself, has recently emerged as the biggest challenge facing the global economy. A clear and powerful explanation of the Marxian political economy, this book is a welcome addition for those who are interested in, or have serious concerns about, monopoly capital as well as economic stagnation, financial instability, and the futures of both capitalism and socialism. --Reza M. Ramazani, Saint Michael's College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review