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Academic Muddles

(October 1977)

From International Socialism (1st series), No.102, October 1977, p.31.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Inflation: A Guide to the Crisis in Economics
J.A. Trevithick
Pelican 70p

As the subtitle suggests, and as one would expect from a Fellow of Fitzwilliam College Cambridge, this book does not analyse the phenomenon of inflation. Instead, it deals with how that phenomenon is reflected within bourgeois economics.

However, many people will have been puzzled by references in the newspapers to Keynesians and monetarists, and the often obscure disputes that divide them. Trevithick explains in fairly clear and simple terms why inflation represents a crisis for bourgeois economics and how different academic schools have sought to deal with this crisis. In this process, he comes up with an excellent refutation, from a monetarist point of view, of the claim, accepted even by many Communist Party members, that inflation is caused by wage rises.

Unfortunately, the definitive Marxist analysis of inflation has yet to be written, let alone popularised. In its absence, this book is a useful guide for the perplexed.

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