Paul Sweezy


Paul Sweezy

Paul Marlor Sweezy (April 10, 1910February 27 2004) was a Marxist economist and a founding editor of the magazine "Monthly Review".

Academic beginnings

Sweezy was born in New York City, the son of a bank executive. He attended Phillips Exeter and went on to Harvard and was editor of "The Harvard Crimson", graduating in 1931. He then spent a year at the London School of Economics, where he was first exposed to Marxian economic ideas. Returning to Harvard, he received his doctorate in 1937, after which he began teaching economics there. In 1942, he published "The Theory of Capitalist Development" (ISBN 0-85345-079-X), a book which summarized economic ideas of Marx and his followers. It was the first book in English that dealt with certain questions thoroughly such as the transformation problem. From 1942 to 1945, he worked for the research and analysis division of the Office of Strategic Services.

Founder of "Monthly Review"

In 1949, he founded "Monthly Review" with Leo Huberman, with money from Skull and Bones member F. O. Matthiessen. The first issue appeared in May of that year. It was a socialist magazine founded in the midst of the American Red Scare. In 1954, the New Hampshire Attorney General subpoenaed Sweezy and made inquiries into his political beliefs and associations, demanding to know the names of his political associates. Sweezy refused to comply, citing his First Amendment right of freedom of expression. He was cited for contempt of court, but the US Supreme Court overturned that citation in 1957.

"Monopoly Capital"

In 1966, Sweezy published "Monopoly Capital" (ISBN 0-85345-073-0) with Paul Baran. The book set forth the idea of stagnation theory, also called secular stagnation. The main dilemma modern capitalism would face, they argued, would be how to sell the economic surpluses created by capital accumulation. Increases in marketing, defense spending and various forms of debt would tend to alleviate the falling rate of profit foreseen by Marx. However, they believed that these remedies to capital's difficulties were inherently limited and that monopoly capital would tend toward economic stagnation. This book is the cornerstone of Sweezy's contribution to Marxian economics.

References

* Bellod Redondo, J. F. "Monopolio e Irracionalidad: Microfundamentos de la Teoría Baran - Sweezy" in "Principios - Estudios de Economía Política", pp 65 - 84, nº 10, Fundación Sistema, Madrid. (2008)
* Foster, John Bellamy. "Paul Sweezy & Monopoly Capital" (Pluto Press, Sterling, 2002).

Bibliography

* Sweezy, Paul M. "Monopoly and competition in the English coal trade, 1550-1850" (Greenwood Press, Westport, Conn., 1972, circa 1938).
* Sweezy, Paul M. "The theory of capitalist development" (D. Dobson, London, 1946.)
* Sweezy, Paul M. "Socialism" (McGraw-Hill Company, NY, 1949).
* Sweezy, Paul M. "The present as history: Reviews on capitalism & socialism." (1953, 1962).
* Sweezy, Paul M. "Modern capitalism and other essays" (Monthly Review Press, 1972).
* Sweezy, Paul M., et al. "The transition from feudalism to capitalism" (NLB, 1976).
* Sweezy, Paul M. "Post-revolutionary society: Essays" (Monthly Review Press, 1980).
* Sweezy, Paul M. "Four lectures on Marxism" (Monthly Review Press, 1981).
* Paul M. Sweezy, "The Limits of Imperialism." Printed in Chilcote, Ronald H. (ed.) "Imperialism: Theoretical directions" (Humanity Books, NY, 2000).

* Baran, Paul A. & Sweezy, Paul M. "Monopoly Capital: An essay on the American economic and social order" (Monthly Review Press, 1966).
* Sweezy, Paul M. & Bettelheim, Charles. "On the transition to socialism" (MRP, 1971).
* Braverman, Harry (fwd. by Paul Sweezy). "Labor and Monopoly Capital: The degradation of work in the Twentieth Century." (Monthly Review Press, 1974).

* Sweezy, Paul & Huberman, L. (ed.) "F.O. Matthiessen, 1902-1950" (S.N., NY, 1950).
* Huberman, Leo & Sweezy, Paul M. "Cuba: Anatomy of a Revolution" (MRP, 1960).
* Huberman, L. & Sweezy, Paul (ed.) "Regis Debray & Latin Am. Revolu." (MRP, 1968).
* Huberman, Leo, Sweezy, Paul M. "Socialism in Cuba" (Monthly Review Press, 1969).
* Sweezy, Paul M. and Huberman, Leo. "The Communist manifesto after 100 years" — new translation by Paul M. Sweezy of Karl Marx's "The Communist Manifesto" and Friedrich Engels' "Principles of Communism" (Modern Reader, NY, 1964).
* Sweezy, Paul M. and Huberman, Leo. "Vietnam: the endless war: from Monthly Review, 1954-1970" (Monthly Review Press, 1970).

* Sweezy, Paul M. & Magdoff, Harry. "The dynamics of U.S. capitalism: Corporate structure, inflation, credit, gold, and the dollar" (Monthly Review Press, 1972).
* Sweezy, Paul M. & Magdoff, H. (ed.) "Revolu. & counter-revolu. in Chile." (MRP, 1974)
* Magdoff, H. & Sweezy, Paul M. "The end of prosperity" (Monhtly Review Press, 1977).
* Magdoff, H. & Sweezy, Paul M. "Deepening crisis of U.S. Capitalism" (MRP, 1981.)
* Magdoff, H. & Sweezy, Paul M. "Stagnation and the financial explosion" (MRP, 1987).
* Magdoff, H. & Sweezy, Paul M. "The irreversible crisis: Five essays" (MRP, 1988).

External links

* [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1132/is_1_51/ai_54682833 Interview of Paul M. Sweezy by Christopher Phelps and Andor Skotnes]
* [http://www.monthlyreview.org/paulsweezy.htm Obituary] ("Monthly Review")
* [http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/02/business/02SWEE.html?ex=1079225155&ei=1 Obituary] ("The New York Times")
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0%2C12271%2C1161736%2C00.html Obituary] ("The Guardian")
* [http://www.cpiml.org/liberation/year_2004/april/obituary.htm Obituary]
* [http://www.boston.com/news/globe/obituaries/articles/2004/03/03/paul_sweezy_93_marxist_economist_harvard_teacher/ Paul Sweezy, 93; Marxist, economist, Harvard teacher] ("The Boston Globe")
* [http://www.thecrimson.com/printerfriendly.aspx?ref=357985 Marxist Thinker, Former Prof. Dies] ("The Harvard Crimson", 2004)
* [http://www.counterpunch.org/pollin03062004.html "Remembering Paul Sweezy"] (by Robert Pollin, "Counterpunch")
* [http://www.ernestmandel.org/en/works/txt/soviet_bureaucracy.htm Why The Soviet Bureaucracy is not a New Ruling Class] (Ernest Mandel comments on Sweezy's view of the USSR 1979)


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