Paul Marlor Sweezy

Paul Marlor Sweezy

American Marxist economist, activist and publisher
Date of Birth: 10.04.1910
Country: USA

  1. Paul Marlor Sweezy
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Career and Contributions
  4. Later Life and Legacy

Paul Marlor Sweezy

Paul Marlor Sweezy was an American Marxist economist, activist, and publisher. He was the founder and editor of the independent journal "Monthly Review" and is considered one of the leading Marxist economists of the second half of the 20th century. Sweezy is best remembered for his contributions to economic theory.

Early Life and Education

Paul Marlor Sweezy was born on April 10, 1910, in New York City. He was the youngest of three sons of Everett B. Sweezy, the vice president of the First National Bank of New York, and Caroline Wilson Sweezy, a graduate of Goucher College in Baltimore. Sweezy attended Phillips Exeter Academy and later enrolled in Harvard University. He was the editor of the university newspaper, "Harvard Crimson," and graduated with honors in 1932. During the 1931-1932 academic year, he studied at the London School of Economics and traveled to Vienna during the autumn break. It was during this time that Sweezy first became acquainted with Marxist economic thought, which led him to shift his focus from journalism to economics. He became acquainted with Joan Robinson and other young British left-wing economists of the time.

Career and Contributions

Upon returning to the United States, Sweezy re-enrolled at Harvard and obtained his doctorate degree in 1937. He was deeply influenced by economist Joseph Schumpeter during a graduate seminar and remained a close friend of this conservative thinker throughout his life. While teaching at Harvard, Sweezy founded the scholarly journal "The Review of Economic Studies" and published essays on imperfect competition, the role of expectations in determining supply and demand, and the problem of economic stagnation.

In 1942, Sweezy wrote one of his most important works on economics, "The Theory of Capitalist Development." This was the first English-language book dedicated entirely to the "transformation problem." Between 1942 and 1945, Sweezy worked at the Research and Analysis Branch of the Office of Strategic Services. He was sent to London, where he became an analyst of British economic policy for the U.S. government.

Sweezy's book "Socialism" was published in 1949, as well as other smaller works that were later compiled into a single volume titled "The Present as History" in 1953. With financial support from historian and literary critic F.O. Matthiessen, Sweezy founded the independent socialist journal "Monthly Review" in 1949, at the height of the McCarthy era. The first issue was released in May of the same year. For many years, the journal delighted its readers with a wide range of articles, including contributions from Albert Einstein, Jean-Paul Sartre, Che Guevara, Joan Robinson, and others.

In 1954, New Hampshire Attorney General Louis C. Wyman summoned Sweezy to court to disclose his political views and reveal the names of his political associates. Sweezy, utilizing the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, refused to cooperate and was charged with contempt of court. However, in 1957, he was acquitted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1966, Paul Sweezy and Paul Baran co-authored the book "Monopoly Capital: An Essay on the American Economic and Social Order," which made a significant contribution to Marxist theory.

Later Life and Legacy

Paul Marlor Sweezy passed away on February 27, 2004, at the age of 93 in New York City. His contributions to Marxist economics and his founding of the "Monthly Review" have left a lasting impact on the field. Sweezy's work continues to be studied and his ideas have influenced generations of economists and activists.