kelley kcwalker at
Thu Aug 26 15:28:05 PDT 1999

>1) Permanent hierarchy must be avoided. Ideally the process will be
>mechanical at the top, i.e., the planning process will follow a set of
>pre-defined rules which must be adhered to in order to take the human
>factor (and thus authority) out of the planning process.

yes, and this is where it all breaks down. technocratic administration, the naturalization of the rules which are pre-defined, unquestioned, depoliticized. it is right here where the fantasy erupts to obscure from us the fact that authority asserts itself in the pre=defined rules as much as it asserts itself elsewhere.

i don't know how to get around this either brett but everyone into planning ought to take a great big huge dose of weber if you can't stomach lacan. will getting rid of private property really rid us of the insidiousness of technocratic administration?

all of the below looks suspiciously like the market with inputs, outputs, checks and balances and even appeal to pre=defined rules which is none other than the pre-defined and naturalized rules of the market: everyone operates according to individualized, rational self interest. this was, i'm afraid, max's critique not too long ago.

i'm pushing it here because i want to press people, not because i'm an enemy, but because having had to try to explain this when i talk to students/family/friends, the questions i'm raising have come up in my own mind. so i'm pressing the issue in hopes of collaborating here, not trashing the entire project.

oh and interesting that planning is predictable but now some forms of planning and even the planning of planning are unpredictable. weeeeeooooo.

i have very much enjoyed the very retro parody of the Sonny and Cher Variety hour lately though.


That is, local
>groups provide inputs as to what they want and so forth, but the output
>(the plan itself) is generated based on pre-defined rules. There might be
>multiple iterations before a final plan is reached. The danger is having
>an elite group dominate the planning process with the attendant
>inequalities in income, prestige, and social position which will result.
>2) Planning should be as decentralized as possible. Small groups and
>communities should be given as much latitude as possible. Of course they
>will have to operate under some constraints, but within those constraints
>there should be wide freedom to choose how to tailor their economic
>activity. There should be little or no orders from the top of the "You
>will get X and like it" variety.
>3) everyone should have roughly equal input into the planning process
>Some of the things you address are impossible to answer without going
>through the planning process itself. For example, how many resources to
>devote to health care depends on the general level of health and the
>relative importance people place on health care vs. other possible uses of
>the same resources.

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