1920s >> 1923 >> no-225-may-1923

The “Plebs” Again

Our exposure of the ignorance of the Plebs” magazine editor on currency questions has driven that individual to various shuffles, as each attempted excuse has been shown up.


In the February issue of the “Plebs,” our article in the December issue of the Socialist Standard is referred to, but not a single attempt is made to deal with the facts of that article.


While carefully avoiding our proof that prices had risen before any alteration of the currency had taken place—which one fact completely disproves all the rubbish about “inflation raising prices”—he tries to misrepresent our case by, saying in reference to our figures :—”Therefore, it is argued there was no inflation of currency relative to prices.”


As the “Plebs” had stated that “inflation of currency had raised prices,” and as we proved that prices had risen first (thus knocking their whole case to pieces), it is easy to see how they are driven to misrepresentation in the attempt to hide the collapse of their case.


More ! Despite our repeated exposure of the falseness of their claim that “inflation had raised prices,” they repeat the same lie in their attempt at a definition of inflation. Their statement is that inflation “simply means an expansion in the volume of currency leading to a rise in prices,” and the editor adds, “And the figures in the Socialist Standard merely go to show this.”


As our figures proved exactly the opposite, the statement shows the contempt the editor of the “Plebs” has for his readers when he can write such a brazen lie.


Not only so, but his so-called definition smashes his own case. Our figures proved that the rise in prices preceded the expansion of the currency. Therefore, the expansion did not lead to a rise in prices; and, therefore, there was no “inflation,” according to the “Plebs’” own attempted definition . In other words, the “Plebs” has given up its whole case.


Once again, an endeavour is made to save a plank from the wreck by stating that the Socialist Standard is wrong about convertibility, as “There was only nominal convertibility.” We quoted the Act of Parliament. The “Plebs” dare not touch that point. The matter, however, is placed beyond all dispute and cavil by certain facts.
Thus, to take an illustration, in 1919 a couple of private individuals drew out 110,000 sovereigns, weighing more than 18 cwt., from the Bank of England, in exchange for Treasury Notes (see Daily News, 28/2/1920).


If the changing of Treasury Notes into sovereigns to the extent of nearly a ton is only “nominal” convertibility, it would be interesting to know what is “real” convertibility !


There the matter may rest. Not one of the facts, figures, or arguments of the Socialist Standard on this question has been met or touched by those who, either from ignorance or fraud, have supported the capitalist lie about “inflation raising prices.”


Jack Fitzgerald