Inflation

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Sat Feb 4 05:57:03 MST 1995


To Mr Boddhisatva


Inflation

I find I am increasingly able to focus on your contributions. I am
not sure how much that is a change in you and how much that is in me.
I like playful non-antagonistic argument but I also like when you clarify
your position, and are clear to what extent your ideas relate to marxist
ones.

You raised the politically important question of inflation which I am sure
is covered in the Marxist canon. If you are satisfied with an exchange value
theory of money then it does not matter theoretically whether the notional
units in which it is measured, change.

An implication of the Marxist theory that capitalist crises are overcome
by the destruction of a portion of old capital, is to support a mild
continuous inflation as a reformist policy to manage capitalism in a
somewhat more democratic way, rather than to hope for the contradictions
to intensify to the point when a revolution really does happen. The
reasoning being that mild inflation ensures a steady depreciation of the
stock of old capital, reduces the tyranny of "dead labour over living
labour", reduces the violence of the dislocations associated with periodic
crises, and allows some redistribution of exchange to appropriate depart-
ments as decided by political policy.

In the last 10 years though a mild inflation has been seen as problematic
within individual countries. There is no reason why the same concern
should apply on a global scale. There should be an international policy to
inflate the global currency by printing a proportion of IMF special
drawing rights, say by 5% and use this as a fund administered by a more
democratic, less neo-classical World Bank to equilibrate technology
between north and south. For example it could be used to rehabilitate the
economy of southern Africa following the wars of apartheid.




Contradiction, but non-antagonistic contradiction.


>From Mr Chris



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