Influence of Adam Smith

Is Professor Gavin Kennedy (Letters, 5 October) correct to throw cold water on what the student, Paul Muirhead, said about Adam Smith's influence on recent economic policies?

Although no-one is suggesting the specific economic policies of the Reagan and Thatcher governments can be found in a classical text of the late 18th century, can it be denied that the drive to restore free market, nationally and internationally, to deregulate capital, labour and financial markets, to roll back the state, to privatise, cut public expenditure and taxes, is not justified by reference to Adam Smith?

In criticising Adam Smith's views of political economy, Karl Marx said: "The only wheels it sets in motion are greed and the war amongst the greedy - competition."

ELLIS THORPE

Old Chapel Walk

Inverurie, Aberdeenshire