I’m trying to understand inflation too. I’m not sure if anyone understands it completely. Have you read the book Debt The First 5000 years, by anthropologist David Graeber? That’s a place to start. It’s avaliable free online.
We tend to think about money and economics in terms of things, but I’ve started to see it’s much more about people. That’s why I find the anthropologist and social science perspective so valuable. Money is a cultural symbol, and yes, the “powers that be” manipulate it(to the extent which that phrase captures the idea of individuals, entities, and classes who have greater influence in society)
The most notable modern episode of inflation was the stagflation in the 70’s. I haven’t investigated it thoroughly to my satisfaction, but there is a lot to look at. You can go from Ron Paul on one side who will tell you it was to finance wars, to a mainstream economist on the other who will say something confusing about interest rates. Truth is, both are involved. I try not to completely dismiss anyone who has knowledge and perspective I could benefit from, but it’s easy to oversimplify.