Natural selection

It’s ironic that you should quote Cherie Blair’s nonsensical demand for “positive action” on women’s “rights to equal representation in parliament and boardrooms” on the same day (6 December) as you publish Professor Hugh McLachlan’s incisive essay on the anti- capitalist Occupy movement.

He rightly derides the vagueness of its objections to inequality, capitalism and perceived bankers’ excessive incomes.

Assuming legality, inequality is a natural, indeed vital element in life; people are unequal in all aspects of life and society is the richer for that.

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Capitalism, based on privately owned business and free competition, is much preferable to its direct opposite, communism.

I personally favour selective nationalised provision in principle but its history is of constant failure through inefficiency.

The greatest growth in business in recent years has been in the highly capitalistic self-employment.

The attack on bankers’ bonuses is completely misplaced: action should be directed at the system of which they rightly take advantage.

Government allows bankers to make massive amounts by lending money they don’t have, and here there is another failure of nationalisation, the Bank of England.

This properly named Bank of UK should compete with others by offering interest-free loans for capital projects such as road and bridge building.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road


Aren’t the “ethics” of Adam Smith and Karl Marx preferable to the philosophy of Hugh McLachlan?

As Smith puts it: “All for ourselves and nothing for other people seems in every age of the world to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.”

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Or, as Marx says: “From each according to their means and to each according to their needs.”

Perhaps the roots of both are in an older ethical system which tells us “Go sell what you possess and give to the poor.”

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk

Inverurie, Aberdeenshire