"Planning" assumes that there exist a set of imperfect human beings,
- whose knowledge exceeds that of their fellow citizens;
- whose wisdom and understanding cause them to be farsighted and able to foresee the future; and,
- and whose motivations are pure as to how their "plans" will likely be implemented in order to maximize the individual freedom of their fellow citizens.
The conclusions of the great moral philosopher, Adam Smith, more nearly described the economic dimension of liberty philosophy embraced by America's Founders.
"The difference between what is seen and what is not seen was often noticed by the old economists. What is not seen is the infinite variety of individual transactions and decisions which, in a civilized society, within the framework of just and well-known laws, insure the advantage not only of the individual concerned, but of the community, and provide that general body of well-being constituting the wealth of nations. All this is blotted out by an over-riding State control, however imposing some of its manifestations may be. It is the vital creative impulse that that I deeply fear the doctrines and policy of the socialist Government have destroyed, or are rapidly destroying, in our national life. Nothing that they can plan and order and rush around enforcing will take its place. They have broken the mainspring, and until we get a new one the watch will not go. - Winston Churchill, speech, House of Commons, October 28, 1947
And, here is another excerpt from Churchill, as quoted in William Simon's 1978 "A Time for Truth":
"I do not believe in the power of the state to plan and enforce. No matter how numerous the committees they set up or the ever-growing hordes of officials that they employ or the severity of the punishments that they inflict or threaten, they can't approach the high level of internal economic production achieved under free enterprise.
"Personal initiative, competitive selection, the profit motive, corrected by failure and the infinite processes of good housekeeping and personal ingenuity, these constitute the life of a free society. It is this vital creative impulse that I deeply fear the doctrines and policies of the socialist government have destroyed.
" Nothing that they can plan and order and rush around enforcing will take its place. They have broken the mainspring, and until we get a new one, the watch will not go. Set the people free - get out of the way and let them make the best of themselves.
" I am sure that this policy of equalizing misery and organizing scarcity instead of allowing diligence, self-interest and ingenuity to produce abundance has only to be prolonged to kill this British island stone dead."
Information, knowledge, wisdom and understanding is needed in order to combat the threat of totalitarianism presented by the current generation of "planners" and "changers." Armed with such knowledge of the history of the ideas of socialism as opposed to those of freedom, American citizens can make wise choices for themselves.
"We have to combat the wolf of socialism, and we shall be able to do it far more effectively as a pack of hounds than as a flock of sheep." - Winston Churchill, speech, 1937.
Enjoyed the essay. Thanks.
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Planning is just a symptom. The real problems are arrogance and greed and fear.
Tyranny is always better organized than freedom--Charles Peguy
The plans differ; the planners are all alike-- Fredric Bastiat
All central planning is tyrannical.
Just wait til you read Mitt Romney’s climate change plan implemented in 2004 by executive order. A textbook example of tyranny.
I don’t believe planning per se is a form of tyranny but “central planning” using flawed models to predict effects of fiscal and monetary causes and using state power to impose such plans is the very epitome of tyranny.