Planning, socialism and the executed engineer

tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu tgs at cunyvms1.gc.cuny.edu
Fri Nov 11 06:17:44 MST 1994


Louis,
Your post is wonderfully informative about history.  But I find its
political conclusions disturbing; its contribution to planning theory,
not as valuable.  With all due respect, the idea that your engineer
could have made a difference is sort of a coulda' woulda'.  We need to figure
out what institutional safeguards there must be toward bureaucratic degeneration.
Study groups don't cut it, I'm afraid.  I wish they would have. Your hero's
life (and nothing wrong with heros in my book, even if they're not "fresh"), andd
the lives of God knows how many millions of others, might have been spared.

I do think however, that we need to examine the critical role that engineers
must play in the planning process.  The problem is that, with the thinkers
that try to deal with this problem seriously (rather than wishing or repressing
it away, a la the Bolsheviks), like Veblem, Mumford, etc., they fall into
the trap that you have in this posting of yours: they substitute engineering
know-how for institutional safeguards.


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