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Russia-fueled instability puts Lenin's lesson on inflation to the test

Conquering rising prices key to survival of existing political and economic systems

Vladimir Lenin, the first leader of Soviet Russia, saw inflation as a force that can undermine capitalism.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The mounting tensions surrounding Ukraine call to mind a quote attributed to Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Russian Revolution that gave rise to the Soviet Union in 1922: "The best way to destroy the capitalist system [is] to debauch the currency."

The quote was popularized in an essay on inflation by influential British economist John Maynard Keynes. "Lenin was certainly right," Keynes argued. "There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency."

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