Stalin, planning and the libertarian critique

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Sat Sep 30 16:27:35 MDT 1995


On Sat, 30 Sep 1995, Chris M. Sciabarra wrote:

> the black market.  Planning goals were constantly changed and modified,
> and nothing approaching central planning could work anyway!  What
> happened, is what Austrians fully expected... a statist imposition that was
> not quite what any good socialist would have hoped for.

Louis:

Well, Chris, I think we've gone as far as we can on this. You continue to
use the word "planning" in reference to what was happening in the USSR in
the 1930's against all evidence to the contrary. No, Chris, there was no
planning. I do strategic data planning for a living. I worked with a
number of Nicaraguan government agencies in the 1980's trying to plan out
some major computer projects. I know what planning is. I wonder if you
do?

All I would ask is that you understand that your use of the word
planning is so general as to be useless. You use the word to describe the
real planning efforts of countries like Nicaragua and Cuba trying to
overcome underdevelopment. You also use it to describe the Kafkaesque
nightmare of 1930's Russia when engineers, statisticians and economists
were being imprisoned and murdered for simply trying to speak the truth.
Arguing with you makes me feel like Alice in the presence of the
catepillar. You don't seem interested in terminological precision. I gave
it my best shot. Take care.


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