Introduction to the Second Edition of "The Theory of Monopoly Capitalism"
John Bellamy Foster:
The Theory of Monopoly Capitalism: An Elaboration of Marxian Political Economy was initially written thirty years ago this coming year as my doctoral dissertation at York University in Toronto. It was expanded into a larger book form with three additional chapters (on the state, imperialism, and socialist construction) and published by Monthly Review Press two years later.2 The analysis of both the dissertation and the book focused primarily on the work of Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy, and particularly on the debate that had grown up around their book, Monopoly Capital: An Essay on the American Economic and Social Order (1966).3 In this respect The Theory of Monopoly Capitalism was specifically designed, as its subtitle indicated, as an “elaboration” of their underlying theoretical perspective and its wider implications.
My original motives for the analysis were twofold: (1) to provide a more thoroughgoing explanation of the economic surplus concept and the theory of accumulation to which it was related, and (2) to correct certain misconceptions of Baran and Sweezy’s analysis that had arisen as a result of the “back to Marx” intellectual movement of the 1970s—and that had led to various traditionalist or “fundamentalist” Marxian criticisms of their work.See rest here.