Monthly review artices

James Farmelant farmelantj at
Thu Sep 16 15:38:58 MDT 1999

On Thu, 16 Sep 1999 16:43:31 -0400 Michael Yates <mikey+ at>
>Ellen Wood has a very insightful article in the Sept. 1999 "Monthly
>Review" titled "The Politics of Capitalism." Also John Bellamy Foster
>has written a moving tribute to Paul Sweezy, written on the occassion
>Sweezy's receipt of the Veblen-Commons Award last January.
>michael yates

I would suggest that there is now a days a lack of appreciation of
Sweezy's stature as an economist even among Marxists.
People might want to follow up their reading of Foster's
tribute to Sweezy in the September issue of Monthly Review
by reading Foster's article on Sweezy in *The New Palgrave:
Marxian Economics* eds. John Eatwell, Murray Milgate,
and Peter Newman.  As a young economist Sweezy made
important technical contributions to the field of a sort
whose importance were recognized by mainstream as well
as Marxist economists.  Much of his earlier research was
concerned with the theory of imperfect competition and the
issue of secular stagnation.    Sweezy made a major contribution
to the theory of imperfect competition with his 1939 paper,
"Demand Under Conditions of Oligopoly" in which he presented
the kinked demand curve analysis of oligopolistic pricing, and
which stands as one of the classic essays in price theory.
Sweezy was one of the early backers of Keynesian economics
(alongside Paul Samuelson and JK Galbraith) and he was
one of the authors of *An Economic Program for American
Democracy* which provided a Keynesian rationale for
increased public expenditures during the New Deal era.
Sweezy like Harry Magdoff worked in a variety of New Deal
agencies including the NRC (National Resources Committee)
where he did research on the concentration of economic power.
>From this research, he wrote a study "Interest Groups in the
American Economy," which was published as an appendix
to the NRC's 1939  report, *The Structure of the American Economy*.
Sweezy established his credentials as a leading Marxist
economist with his 1942 book, *The Theory of Capitalist Development*.

                        Jim Farmelant

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