The Political Economy of the United States Left

The Political Economy of The United States Left,” Monthly Review, vol. 38, no. 4 (September 1986), pp. 42-50. DOI: 10.14452/MR-038-04-1986-08_5

Twenty years ago, when Monopoly Capital by Baran and Sweezy first appeared, there were only a handful of Marxian political economists in the U.S. But the escalating invasion of Vietnam, the popular resistance movement that grew up in response, and the worsening conditions of economic crisis that came with the winding down of the war changed all of that. By the mid-1970s radical political economy had grown into a vast and sprawling multi-disciplinary effort, cutting across the boundaries of economics, political science, sociology and history. Yet such rapid growth was not without its contradictions. Indeed, in the 1980s it seems clear that the “new political economy” of the U.S. left is torn by contradictory developments, while showing comparatively few signs at present of further development through contradiction.


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