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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 7. 1962.

Polemic Chiefs Disagree

Polemic Chiefs Disagree

Sir. — On reading John K. Murphy's brief survey of capitalism, the first thought that struck me was why he had bothered to write it. It says nothing new, nothing provoking—it just confirms facts that most of us know already. He falls into the same trap that do many critics today— he criticises without replacing it with something better.

One does not expect any earth-shaking remedies, but at least he could have offered a few small remedies to faults to which he draws attention. As he has not, why bother to spend half a page telling us facts we know?

Perhaps I read too much into Murphy's survey. He may only have decided it was time he had his name in print. It was not a very good way to go about it. Admittedly, there were a few stranded sentences that were of fleeting interest, but they were few.

There are some faults within his survey. Attempting to argue that the Welfare State entrenches capitalism, he gives Unilever as an example. But, it is based in the U.S., where there is certainly no welfare state. Examples should apply to the case in hand.

Further, when he decries that modern capitalism "contains within it the seed of its own destruction" he may be talking nonsense himself. He defines modern capitalism as a system dominated by great corporations. In countries where this has been taken to extremes (e.g., Texaco, Shell, United Fruit Co. in Cuba) and from the definition could be thought a purer form than New Zealand's modern capitalism, this system has led to popular revolt.

However, I hope this minor criticism of Murphy does not deter him from writing many more articles to Salient. Perhaps he might write one on Communism in which he can uncover such startling facts as state-ownership exists in the U.S.S.R.—Yours, etc.,

R. J. Bromby.