The Crisis of American Capitalism


  • Paul M. Sweezy



Political Economy


The view that American capitalism is in a period of crisis is now all but universal, shared alike by observers of all political and ideological persuasions. The important question is therefore whether it is of a temporary cyclical nature—as, for example, the representatives of the administration in power maintain—or whether it is something deeper and more long-run, as an increasing number of unofficial analysts believe. If the former of these views were correct, we would not need to spend much time on the subject. After all, cyclical crises have characterized the history of capitalism for at least a hundred and fifty years, and most of them have not left any lasting effect. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that most of them have had a beneficial effect in that they have been the means whereby accumulated distortions and disequilibria have been corrected and the system has prepared itself for a new advance.

This article can also be found at the Monthly Review website, where most recent articles are published in full.

Click here to purchase a PDF version of this article at the Monthly Review website.





Review of the Month