An Alternative to Marxism?


  • Paul A. Baran



Marxism, Political Economy


This is a commentary on papers delivered by W.J. Fellner and W.W. Rostow at the 1959 annual meetings of the American Economic Association. Its only previous publication was under the heading "Discussion," in the American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, May 1960. The rapidly spreading discussion of American economic growth suffers seriously from its unfortunate "take-off"—to use Professor Rostow's favorite expression. Inspired by the notion of the so-called "Soviet challenge," it has been shunted into a blind alley by a particular interpretation of that ambiguous term which has been given wide currency in newspaper editorials and in the pronouncements of certain experts. There it has become customary to treat the expression "challenge" as a synonym of "threat," and thus to turn it into a new refrain in the dirge of the Cold War.

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