[OPE-L:4089] Re: Causes of inflation (fwd)

Gerald Lev (glevy@pratt.edu)
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 09:20:10 -0800 (PST)

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Alejandro R wrote in [OPE-L:4083]:

> Could you tell us more about the historical context of this
> debate? Is there inflation in Germany or Autria in 1910?

Well, as you can imagine, this debate was sparked by the presence of
inflation in Central Europe and the challenge that it represented to the
Social Democrats in terms of developing a theoretical explanation for this
development. For statistics on inflation by a participant in this debate,
see Karl Kautsky's _The High Cost of Living: Changes in Gold-Production
and the Rise in Prices_ (Chicago, Charles H. Kerr, 1915, 114 p., o.p.).
Kautsky's book was the only work related to this debate published in
English. As usual, Kautsky tried to get in the last word. However, he
doesn't really confront the positions advanced by the other participants
in this debate (e.g. Bauer, Varga) in this book, which was mostly intended
(like Bauer's book) to be a popular exposition.

> Are there "followers" in the English speaking academic
> world of these positions?

Not that I know of. This debate went largely unnoticed in the
English-speaking world. It seems that it was discussed to some extent,
though, by Japanese Marxists -- who often are more multi-lingual than
English-speaking academic Marxists.

> 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.

I don't understand the above. Could you explain your understanding of
Marx's "implicit" position more?

If gold is (or was) the money-commodity, why shouldn't we refer to a
commodity-money system?

> What does mean "archiotronics"?

The architecture or logical design structure of _Capital_.

In solidarity, Jerry