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The theoretical status of monopoly-capital

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Chapter Summary

In 1966, Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy published Monopoly Capital, a book which was extremely influential in introducing a Marxian perspective to a new generation of critics of aspects of capitalism. The very concept of a monopoly stage of capitalism, it has been argued, is incompatible with Marxs theory. Rather than Marxism, according to the critics, the Baran- Sweezy theory of monopoly-capital is idealist, bourgeois and leads logically to reformism. The proposition that the competitive form of capital has a tendency to give way to a monopoly form had a long lineage for Marx. For capital to become One i.e., for the entire social capital of a given society to be united in the hands of a single capitalist or a single capitalist company, three separate (though related) processes are required: horizontal integration, vertical integration and conglomerate integration.

Keywords: competitive economy; conglomerate integration; Marxian analysis of capitalism; monopoly-capital; Paul Baran; Paul Sweezy; theory of capitalist development



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