Paul Marlor Sweezy

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sweezy, Paul Marlor


Born Apr. 10, 1910, in New York City. American economist and journalist.

In 1931, Sweezy graduated from Harvard University, where he also received a Ph.D. in 1937. He taught economics and political economy at Harvard (1934–46), Cornell (1959–60), and Stanford (1961) universities and the New School for Social Research (1964). He is the founder and publisher of the magazine Monthly Review (since 1949), for which he regularly writes articles on current political-economic and historical-economic issues. In a number of works, Sweezy has set forth the principal propositions of the economic theory of K. Marx, so that in bourgeois circles he is regarded as a propagandist of Marxism. However, Sweezy is not a Marxist. For example, in Monopoly Capital (1966), coauthored with P. A. Baran, Sweezy, while stressing the parasitic, decaying character of present-day monopoly capitalism, at the same time propagandizes revisionist ideas of the transformation of bourgeois society, in which shifts of a socialist character supposedly occur.

As an adherent of the vulgar theory of “economic stagnation,” Sweezy has attributed the decline in the growth rate of the American economy to the achievement by the USA of economic “maturity,” which was inevitably followed by a period of “natural” stagnation. He defends the idea of active government intervention in the economy and the introduction of planning to overcome the economic contradictions of present-day capitalism.


Secular Stagnation: Postwar Economic Problems. New York, 1943.
Socialism. New York, 1949.
The Theory of Capitalist Development: Principles of Marxian Political Economy [2nd ed.]. New York, 1968.
The Present as History: Essays and Reviews on Capitalism and Socialism, 2nd ed. New York, 1970.
Modern Capitalism and Other Essays. New York, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
A Kashmiri to the core, an intellectual with Graham Greene, Paul Sweezy, and Baran as friends.
Here are texts from Amin's two recent books Three Essays on Marx's Value Theory and The Law of Worldwide Value, in which he applies Marx's theories to the oligopolistic capitalism of today, drawing as well on the work of radical economists such as Michael Kalecki, Josef Steindle, Paul Baran, and Paul Sweezy. He introduces the concept of imperialist rent, derived from the radically unequal wages paid for the same labor done by people in the Global North and South.
We also have the theoretical understanding, developed notably by Paul Sweezy and Monthly Review, of how mature capitalism depends on increasing financialisation as a means of staving off crisis due to lack of real growth.
He had a longstanding association with its founding editor Paul Sweezy who with Paul Baran wrote the pathbreaking Monopoly Capital (Baran and Sweezy, 1968).
The general analysis follows that pioneered by Paul Sweezy, in particular, drawing on Marx but incorporating insights from other traditions, notably from Keynes.
Section three reviews selected interpretations of Luxembourg's book: by Paul Sweezy in 1949, by Michal Kalecki in 1967 and by Joan Robinson in 1951, as well as by some more recent commentators.
Here one can see clear connections between the theories of Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy in Monopoly Capitalism with Harvey's views on the production and reproduction of urban life.
Paul Sweezy, a well-known Marxist economist and lecturer, was hauled before an investigative committee of the New Hampshire legislature and questioned about lectures he gave at that university.
Baran, Paul & Paul Sweezy (1967), Monopoly Capitalism, New York, Monthly Review Press.