Last modified on 14 February 2014, at 16:49

Paul A. Baran

To contribute to the emergence of a society in which development will supplant stagnation, in which growth will take the place of decay, and in which culture will put an end to barbarism is the noblest, and, indeed, the only true function of intellectual endeavor.

Paul Alexander Baran (25 August 1909, Mykolaiv,Russian Empire, today Ukraine26 March 1964, Palo Alto, USA) was an American economist known for his Marxist views. In 1951 Baran was promoted to full professor at Stanford University and Baran was the only tenured Marxian economist in the United States until his death in 1964.

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The Political Economy Of Growth (1957)Edit

  • The process of writing is a process of learning; and much has become clearer to me in the attempt to transform my original rough notes into what I hope is an intelligible presentation.
    • Preface To The first edition, p. ix
  • One would think that the record of already existing regulatory agencies is sufficiently eloquent in showing that it is Big Business that does the regulating rather than vice versa.
    • Foreword To the 1962 Printing, p. xiv
  • But when reason and the study of history began revealing the irrationality, the limitations, and the merely transitory nature of the capitalist order, bourgeois ideology as a whole and with it bourgeois economics began abandoning both reason and history.
    • Chapter One, A General View, p. 4
  • Much if not all we know about the complex mechanism responsible for the development (and stagnation) of productive forces, and for the rise and decay of social organizations, is the result of the analytical work undertaken by Marx and by those whom he inspired.
    • Chapter One, A General View, p. 5
  • If society has a technical need, that helps science forward more than ten universities.
    • Chapter One, A General View, p. 20
  • By elevating the dictum of the market to the role of the sole criterion of rationality and efficiency, economics denies even all "respectability" to the distinction between essential and non-essential consumption, between productive and unproductive labor, between actual and potential surplus.
    • Chapter Two, The Concept Of the Economic Surplus, p. 25
  • Indeed, I find it illuminating to consider to what extent our "classical conditions" for economic growth are satisfied in the current, monopolistic phase of capitalism.
    • Chapter Three, Standstill And Movement Under Monopoly Capitalism, I, p. 51
As Hegel well knew, the ascent of reason has never followed a straight line.
  • Schumpter's daring and dashing entrepreneur is now a legendary figure from the distant past - if not from the mythology of capitalism - or is to be found only in the demimonde of business, founding new ice cream parlors or "deep freeze subscription clubs".
    • Chapter Three, Standstill And Movement Under Monopoly Capitalism, I, p. 77
  • " many seemingly independent businessmen or craftsman are more or less well paid retainers of larger corporations, such as the cobbler, operating a United States shoe machine or an automobile dealer holding a license of the General Motors Corporation."
    • Chapter Four, Standstill and Movement Under Monopoly Capitalism, II, p. 84
  • It has been estimated that even in the absence of net investment, the mere substitution of modern machinery for worn-out equipment in the United States would cause an annual productivity increase of approximately 1.5 percent.
    • Chapter Four, Standstill and Movement Under Monopoly Capitalism, II, p. 88
  • Indeed, the "whole bourgeoisie" on whose behalf the government was acting as its "committee" was a composite of a vast multitude of businessmen appearing as a conglomeration of many different and divergent groups and interests.
    • Chapter Four, Standstill and Movement Under Monopoly Capitalism, II, p. 93
  • In a capitalist country foreign trade, like any other trade, is carried on by individual firms, and individual firms cannot be guided in their activities by "global"considerations, by concern with the impact of their operations on the economy as a whole.
    • Chapter Four, Standstill and Movement Under Monopoly Capitalism, II, p. 110
  • That the means of imperialist policy overshadow almost entirely its original ends has tremendous implications.
    • Chapter Four, Standstill and Movement Under Monopoly Capitalism, II, p. 119
  • They lived in abysmal misery, yet they had no prospect of a better tomorrow. They existed under capitalism, yet there was no accumulation of capital.
    • Chapter Five, On The Roots Of Backwardness, p. 144
  • Whatever market for manufactured goods emerged in colonial and dependent countries did not become the "eternal market" of these countries. Thrown wide open by colonization and by unequal treaties, it became an appendage of the "internal market" of Western capitalism.
    • Chapter Six, Towards A Morphology Of Backwardness, I, p. 174
  • For it is no railways, roads, and power stations that give rise to industrial capitalism: it is the emergence of industrial capitalism that leads to the building of railways, to the construction of roads, and to the establishment of power stations.
    • Chapter Six, Towards A Morphology Of Backwardness, I, p. 193
  • The principal impact of foreign enterprise on the development of the underdeveloped countries lies in hardening and strengthening the sway of merchant capitalism, in slowing down and indeed preventing its transformation into industrial capitalism.
    • Chapter Six, Towards A Morphology Of Backwardness, I, p. 194
  • The present Indian government, however, is neither able or willing to accept the challenge and to provide the leadership in breaking the resistance of urban and rural interests.
    • Chapter Seven, Towards A Morphology Of Backwardness, II, p. 226
  • The alarm must be sounded because it is the economic and social system of capitalism and imperialism that prevents the urgently needed full mobilization of the potential economic surplus and the attainment of rates of economic advancement that can be secured with its help.
    • Chapter Seven, Towards A Morphology Of Backwardness, II, p. 244
They lived in abysmal misery, yet they had no prospect of a better tomorrow. They existed under capitalism, yet there was no accumulation of capital.
  • It is in underdeveloped world that he central, overriding fact of our epoch becomes manifest to the naked eye: the capitalist system, once a mighty engine of economic development, has turned into a no less formidable hurdle to human advancement.
    • Chapter Eight, The Steep Ascent, p. 249
  • As Hegel well knew, the ascent of reason has never followed a straight line.
    • Chapter Eight, The Steep Ascent, p. 298
  • In fact, all the additional knowledge gained by an irrationally constituted society may but enlarge and enhance the powers of death and destruction.
    • Chapter Eight, The Steep Ascent, p. 299
  • To contribute to the emergence of a society in which development will supplant stagnation, in which growth will take the place of decay, and in which culture will put an end to barbarism is the noblest, and, indeed, the only true function of intellectual endeavor.
    • Chapter Eight, The Steep Ascent, p. 300

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