social planning (was 'revolution and proletariat')

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Mon Aug 2 09:34:57 PDT 1999

Chris Burford wrote:

>So I am arguing that greater conscious social control can be brought into
>the system by a number of technical reforms.

I agree that it's not very productive to talk about planning in the Hayekian style; that kind of comprehensive planning - which is the only kind Hayek wants to talk about in The Road to Serfdom, for him it's maximal planning or almost none at all - just isn't relevant for an OECD economy today. So I guess that makes me some kind of wimpy reformist. But Chris, what are these technical reforms? Are they reforms that leave ownership, the organization of labor, the generosity of public benefits, the structure of politics all untouched? Those would be techical. But if they screw around with ownership and the rest, then they're not technical at all, and not possible without intense struggle. So what do you have in mind? Two, three, many Tobin taxes?


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