FROM THE ANTHOLOGY: The Clash of Ideas

Limits of Economic Planning

Courtesy Reuters

IN recent years, the battle between the planners and the anti-planners has become fairly engaged. In the decade before the recent war, the planners tended -- in Britain at least -- to hold the field of popular theoretical writing and of polemical literature. But since the appearance during the war of Professor Hayek's book, "The Road to Serfdom," a vigorous counterattack has been launched and a number of recent British books on economics have taken the anti-planning side. The debate is being conducted on the whole in terms of forceful dogmatism, and this is not surprising when one remembers how easy it is to be dogmatic about the theoretical basis of a case.

In theory, the planners can claim that they are in the full stream of human progress. What has created the tremendous physical advances of the last century if not man's increasing scientific control over his environment? The

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