Concern with market structure is taking an increasing place of priority in discourse concerning the South African political economy, primarily in relation to two issues: inequality and economic stagnation. This is seen across an array of interventions, ranging from intellectually shallow and conspiratorial analysis concerning "white monopoly capital", to recent indications of the Department of Economic Development’s strengthened mandate to use competition policy. In the case of the former, the lineage of this intervention might be said to lie, in name if not in substance, in a longer tradition of radical political economy known as the "monopoly capital school", which has its origins in the writing of Lenin and Hilferding, but was developed more extensively in the mid-20th century by economists including Cambridge economist Michal Kalecki, Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy — who popularised the monopoly capital school in the US. In a simplified form, these authors centrally contended that t...

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