[OPE-L:4083] Re: Causes of inflation (fwd)

aramos@aramos.b (aramos@aramos.bo)
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 08:02:36 -0800 (PST)

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A very, very belated comment on some points of Jerry's

> c) In addition to identifying the decreasing value of
> gold due to
> technical progress in the gold mining branch of production as a cause of
> inflation, Bauer also (rather vaguely) includes the development of the
> productive forces, the anarchy of capitalist production, the organization
> of producers (competition), and international trade and speculation as
> contributory causes of inflation. The 1910-1912 debate in German-Austrian
> Social democracy on the cause of inflation, which took place primarily in
> the pages of _Die Neue Zeit_, concentrated on the relation of gold
> production to inflation. The debate itself arose from a controversy about
> section 5, Part 1 ("Das Geld") of _Die Teuerung_ (which is surprising, in
> part, because this section is only 5 pages long and because Bauer did not
> place any greater emphasis on increasing technical change in gold-mining
> than on any of the other causes of inflation that he identified. It is
> also somewhat surprising that this was the stimulus for the debate because
> _Die Teuerung_ was intended as a popular exposition rather than a major
> theoretical contribution and because Bauer did not really attempt to
> develop a *theory* of inflation in the remaining two parts of the book).
> Anyway, the debate itself centered around Eugen Vargas claim that
> technological progress in the process of goldproduction has no affect on
> the level of prices since it only, he claimed, generates differential
> rents within the gold-mining branch of production. This debate, in which
> Bauer, Varga, J.v.G., Spectator, and Kautsky contributed (none of the
> articles from _Die Neue Zeit_ have been translated into English), is well
> worth examining as it represents the first real debate among Marxists
> about the causes of inflation (if there is interest, and if I I have the
> time, I might consider at some point summarizing and
> critiqueing the > positions in that debate).

Could you tell us more about the historical context of this
debate? Is there inflation in Germany or Autria in 1910?
Are there "followers" in the English speaking academic
world of these positions?

Alejandro (old post):
> > In general terms, this means that "inflation" in
> > Marxian
> > terms means that "money" (commodity-money, symbol-money or
> > credit-money) represents less labor-time that in some
> > precedent period.
> I think it is important to qualify the above statement with the expression
> SNLT instead of labor-time in general.



> Alejandro sees to think that "symbol money"
> should be introduced as an "intermediate" step between commodity-money and
> credit-money and I think there is some reason to believe that this should
> be the case.

Not exactly. I think that FROM THE BEGINNING, Marx
introduces, at the same "conceptual level" both "symbol
money" and "commodity money" ("gold"). The relation
between both kinds of money plays a central role, although
it is mainly implicit in Marx's presentation. Striclty
speaking, there is no such a "commodity money" monetary
system in Marx's text.

What does mean "archiotronics"?

Alejandro Ramos M.