Dear sir,

It is reasonable to believe that the main problems facing humanity now and for the foreseeable future have been and are caused by our behaviour both individually and collectively. There is a lot we disagree on, sometimes violently. Yet we are aware of the causes but prefer not to tackle them for fear, greed, ambition, and conceit. It has been said that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

People with ambitions to be "in charge" may play lip service to the concept, but don't think it could apply to them. There are many reasons for this, but without deliberately instituted mechanisms to make power linked indissolubly to responsibility, people will strive to get around such restrictions. Reward and money are at the heart of this.

Profit is taken as the measure of business success, yet these same profits can be manipulated to the advantage of powerful interests and often the disadvantage of the whole population. For much of the industrial revolution, most of the profits went to the few who owned the capital, paid less of their net worth as taxes, relatively speaking, than the rest of society, and even only allowed half the population a vote after a world war.

In more recent times industrialists refrained from improving their products because they identified with money profit rather than the excellence, or otherwise, of the goods they were manufacturing. Syncromesh gears, constant velocity joints (needed for front wheel drive ) windscreen heaters, were all known technologies, but the main British car manufacturers were all loath to fit them as standard until nearly twenty years after WW2.

How many extra road deaths did that allow? At the back of it are the financial systems that shift finance about on the basis of profits and capital growth. Maybe this is the reason that the discount supermarkets can out compete the "big four" on price. They all will get their goods at or near the same price from wholesalers, but the discount chains don't have to fund the gamblers in the world's stock exchanges. Sort out the money, or nothing will change as much as is needed.

Sandy Henderson, Faulds Farm, Braco