State welfare, the root of all evil

TONY Henderson's espousal of humanism (South China Morning Post, April 20) is merely wishful thinking unless he adopts effective methods to achieve humanist goals.

Capitalism itself does not benefit a minority.

Free capitalism is the great equaliser - always looking for cheap labour, resources, and capital, it restricts economic differentials between men.

Only the coercive state, with its national tariffs, export quotas, labour laws, prohibited occupations, foreign exchange controls, huge corruption, state industries, military expenditure, etc, stands in the way of greater equity.

Capitalism does not wreck the family - else how could it be that the exemplars of capitalism, Jews, Asians and Chinese, are all renowned for their family and tribal ties? The family is wrecked by welfarism.

When politicians, to gain power, tax us (steal our money), the recipients of their bribery are delighted - old people can afford their own homes, single women can have offspring without husbands, the homeless can afford alcohol without begging, the lazy can live without working, and opera-lovers can be subsidised by the toiling masses.

Nature made us interdependent and when the state controls our lives, the much more subtle controls of family and tribe fail, leaving us with insecurity, delinquency, racism and militarism.

Of course, our helplessness and apparent need suit greedy politicians down to the ground.

Mr Henderson recommends ''creating an ethos'', to ''look inside ourselves and examine our prejudices,'' perhaps looking for original sin.

Does he believe that we individual humans are at fault when the planet is governed by 200 military nation-states which have absolute authority over their subjects and few effective international laws to restrict their adversarial greed? The historical cause of our problems lies in adoption of technology at a rate faster than that to which we can adapt, providing the power of gods to a tiny handful of rulers, in complete contrast to our previous social organisation.

Reverting to a family and tribal order natural to our species is more important even than the fight against pollution or destruction of the ecology.

What is the dream of those who watch their children starve, who are too old to work, those who languish undeservedly in jails? Perhaps, to storm the United Nations and cry out with tears streaming down their faces, ''Give us unfettered capitalism in the name of God! Remove the tariffs which restrict the growth of third-world industries! Abolish the minimum wages which prevent the poor from working! ''Give us free market law which can be afforded by all! Abolish progressive taxation which discriminates pointlessly against the wealth generators! Give us legal equality, so that our greater energy and need may alleviate our suffering, under the great equalising market forces of capitalism!'' ROSS MILBURN Chai Wan