Sunday, January 29, 2017

They dream of a high central tower directing and simplifying

Do you want someone to direct your life? God how I wish someone would come and direct my life. I just don't know what the heck I'm doing! For those who want to be directed, there are others, who call themselves progressives, who dream of directing your life. They dream of a day when you'll stop using the ballot box to vote for leadership, and start using the ballot box to start voting for dictatorship. It's true, they've written it. In his 1922 pamphlet "The Challenge of Waste", Stuart Chase (who would later serve as an adviser for President FDR) wrote the following: (Page 25)
If it can be shown that the various elements of waste outlined herein aggregate more than 50 per cent of the total labor power of America (with corresponding waste in raw materials) it follows relentlessly that the elimination of that waste would double the capacity of the country to make sound goods and services — goods which really mean the satisfaction of human wants. And this would operate to banish poverty, to raise the last family above the line of the minimum budget, and at the same time to provide for moderate luxuries and comforts, and a reasonably wide range of income levels.

That is the challenge which the problem of waste presents to those of us who dream of a high central tower directing and simplifying the economic destinies of men.

"The more the planning fails, the more the planners plan." - Ronald Reagan

Yes but Chase doesn't want an actual dictatorship! He just wants to control things. Not people!

Yeah, well, governments don't control things. A government can't control the economy without controlling people. And when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Who is the founding father of fake news?

There's a lot of talk about "fake news" these days, but lost in the 'here we are' is the 'how did we get here'. Some websites have proclaimed Dan Rather the founder of fake news, others have crowned Brian Williams as such. Understanding fake news is impossible without a full-scale structural analysis of "objective journalism" itself, because "objective journalism" was designed to facilitate fake news. The name to know is Walter Lippmann.

Walter Lippmann is generally regarded as the father of modern journalism, and as most of us know, modern journalism is what it is today because of the concept of objectivity. It is because of Lippmann and the work he did that journalists decided to go the "objective" route in the first place, instead of their prior mode which was openly partisan and in some cases, yellow.

The problem is Lippmann's writings. On the one hand, Lippmann perched himself up on a lofty elite tower and scolded other journalists of his day for their mis-reporting deeds in some of his writings - most notably, "A Test of the News". But then on the other hand, Lippmann is the inventor of the phrase "Manufacture of Consent" in his book "Public Opinion". As a journalist, Lippmann really only had one way to "manufacture" said consent, and that was through journals, magazines, editorials, and news reports. This alone should be enough to pique the curiosity of people interested in fake news, to take a look into this "manufacture of consent" and see what it is all about. What is "the manufacture of consent" about anyways?

Being published prior to 1923, his book "Public Opinion" is 100% free and in the public domain. It also has its due as a challenging read. And its not like Lippmann outright states in the simplest terms "I want to use news reporting to manipulate people".

Instead, Lippmann will use two or three pages (358 and 359) to enunciate his point that 1) News and truth are not the same thing, 2) there is only a small body of actual truth in the large body of information, and 3) the rest is in the journalist's own discretion.

In other words, a journalist has a gold card to lie all they want.

Lippmann spends nearly 20% of his book on the concept of "stereotypes". He was obsessed with stereotypes because he believed that was where his greatest moment of opportunity was at for effectively leveraging these stereotypes against the reader. Page 355 is quite possibly the most important page in the book, from the standpoint of understanding manipulative journalism and fake news:

It is a problem of provoking feeling in the reader, of inducing him to feel a sense of personal identification with the stories he is reading. News which does not offer this opportunity to introduce oneself into the struggle which it depicts cannot appeal to a wide audience. The audience must participate in the news, much as it participates in the drama, by personal identification. Just as everyone holds his breath when the heroine is in danger, as he helps Babe Ruth swing his bat, so in subtler form the reader enters into the news. In order that he shall enter he must find a familiar foothold in the story, and this is supplied to him by the use of stereotypes. They tell him that if an association of plumbers is called a "combine" it is appropriate to develop his hostility; if it is called a "group of leading business men" the cue is for a favorable reaction.

It is in a combination of these elements that the power to create opinion resides. Editorials reinforce.

The key to Lippmann's book though is the culture, not one or two or a handful pull quotes. The culture of the book is the indictment. The culture of the book is 400+ pages of media manipulation, in one way or another, especially that 20% that is devoted to stereotypes. That's what the stereotypes are for. It's all about manipulation.

For those who prefer audiobooks over printed text, Public Opinion is also downloadable in MP3 format. That will give you preference options in learning more about the roots of fake news.

Being able to discuss in detail the history of fake news in its entirety, not just starting in the year 2004 - now that's a powerful thing indeed.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Fourth Power, by Rexford Guy Tugwell




Chairman, New York City Planning Commission

A Paper Delivered in Washington, D. C.

on January 27, 1959

At a Dinner Sponsored Jointly by the





WHEN historians look back, after several decades, they may be able to see how a directive power offered to range itself alongside the executive, the legislative and the judicial(1). If, by then, it has developed into a fourth division within our governmental system, there need not have been at any time the theatrical recognition which came to the executive out of the administrative futility inherent in parliamentary government during the eighteenth century. The process can be evolutionary and adaptive; it can be, that is, unless it is deliberately so delayed that opposing physical and social forces reduce the American state to relative ineffectiveness. If this last should happen it would be sufficiently dramatic and obvious; but it would not result in the development of a fourth power. For the whole system would either be subjected to a foreign executive or submerged in a chaos out of which anything might emerge anything, that is, except institutions with fundamental provision for the participation of every citizen after his sort, which is, after all, the democratic sine qua non.

Even if the present trend continues, the process will be one of those which are difficult to see going on; and the constitutional changes which recognize it may lag well behind the fact of its existence. Sensitivity to the incidents of its development has not been acute up to now perhaps because of ideological obstructions : preconception has often clothed dying institutions with illusive appurtenances of vigor: the same preconception has also prevented the prejudiced from seeing unwanted sequences of events. Americans have been well enough aware of a new precision-created industry in their midst and of a world changed in material and tempo; they have even been aware that planning offered new possibilities of foresight and control. But they have not wanted to learn that all these, from beginning to end, were part of a process which was forcing concomitant changes in government looking toward the modification of conflict and the emphasizing of cooperation(2). The present picture is one of a democratic republic torn by internal struggles yet hoping to find a competence which can survive the coming challenge.

In other nations no great distinction is made between what is governmental and what is, for instance, industrial. Some American difficulties doubtless arise from separation: it ensures a struggle for power between business (which controls most of industry) and government (which must at least regulate it) a struggle which is in addition to the various competitions within the subsidiary groups of business and government. The dictatorships, at their extreme, doubtless have their own internal conflicts; but not this one. They have recognized that only one sovereignty can function at any one time and place. Not so in the United States. Intensification of the struggle here to possess this authority has created a situation which remains wholly unresolved. Modern techniques have exacerbated the difficulty. Planning, for instance, is available to both sides, just as it is available to national competitors. Only a planning which, being transformed, becomes direction, can resolve such a conflict, and cause it to disappear. But such an instrument is of the nature of government whether or not it is known by that name(3); and whether or not it is managed in the public interest. By definition it stretches over the important conflicts to be quieted among them those existing between government and industry. But all this is as yet beyond the awareness of policy makers here.

Idealists will be likely to oppose the dignifying of compromise involved in this. There are those who will not join in any program which contemplates less than immediate and complete communism. There are also those others who regard government interference of any sort as sinful. This is a taking of sides which planners of the newer school are required to dismiss as obsolete, unrealistic and narrowly moralistic. Extremists of both sorts, they say, proceed from the same basic principles; either, if allowed to determine policy, is equally destructive. Neither relates policy to actual working conditions. What almost amounts to civil war has resulted from these differing opinions, they say; and a little more intensification is likely to make any kind of mediation impossible. Such objections have at least the justification that a Marxian type of crisis may well follow further deepening of this cleavage, a result which seems especially tragic in the presence of an entirely feasible resolution.

The materials and forces of the nation can be arranged to make a pattern; they can produce incredible benefits; but only if they are managed with that objective. It will not happen accidentally. There exists an insistent demand for higher standards which, as things are, makes an almost intolerable drain on upper and middleclass incomes. Between these pressures public officials are made desperate. Politicians divide nicely on issues which involve a little more or less, some favoring more benefits, some striving to reduce expenditures. What pressure is yielded to at the moment is of less importance than the fact of increasing pressure and increasing resistance. The only relief in the long run (aside from explosion) must come from such an increase in benefits and such a diffusion of them as will satisfy those who are presently below standard without reducing everyone to misery. It can only be done by greatly increasing production. And this in turn can only be done by outlawing conflict and enforcing cooperation just the reverse of the traditional scheme of rewards and punishments. The gradual apprehension of the possibilities in modern technique together with the recurrent sinking spells which disgust people with present forms, customs, morals and leadership, may result in some forcible resolution of the paradox. But assuming that it does not, evolution must necessarily be toward cooperative forms, collective customs, pragmatic morality and technically buttressed leadership; because this is what will give us the greatest product; and also because this is the only door to the future which is available to those who regard the avoidance of force as a necessity.


The duties to be undertaken and the problems to be solved, even with the restricted American view of what is properly governmental, are more weighty and difficult than ever before. The necessities imposed by this circumstance, it must be insisted, make simple planning, at least, inevitable. Regard, for instance, the growth of the federal budget or of municipal budgets in recent years. This is some sort of index to responsibility. And if the percentage of those budgets which is devoted to duties thrust on government (directly or indirectly) by technical change is measured, it is apparent that the whole growth and perhaps more is of this sort. And government has hardly begun its extension into industry. It is not that government has "gone into business," as we say, extensively. On the contrary, one reason for the recurrent fiscal troubles of government is the prevalent unwillingness to have anything done publicly for which an adequate charge can thinkably be made. There are wanted, even by most tax payers, only such extensions of public service as are unprofitable(4).

Revenue has, therefore, to be got by taxation, a kind of price which is universally disliked; it is so unpopular, indeed, and the demand for expansion of non-paying activities is often so great, that administrators are forever tempted to unbalance their budgets far beyond the amounts put aside for capital-investment(5).

The tormented public executive nowadays has a new outfit of tools at his command. But that seldom makes his situation easier. The same forces which furnish the new tools furnish tasks which seem beyond the possibility of successful handling. The same technology which is responsible for teletypes, mechanical snowplows, electric calculators and the like is also responsible for an increased accident rate, for concentrated dangers in irresponsible stoppages of work and for the growing burden of home relief attributable, among other causes, to unemployment. The administrative head of any government is apt to feel, therefore, after the first few crises he has to face, that he is required to perform an impossible task one which expands inevitably at a rate faster than the growth of his power to cope with it.

It is perhaps illogical to suppose, as has often been pointed out, that a world created by men cannot be managed by men with tolerable efficiency(6). But it is necessary that the logic of creation and of management should run within the same limits. If one set of men is always making problems and another set always having to face their consequences, and if they are responsible to antagonistic principals, the situation may well get out of hand. Indeed it has. The harassed executive is right who finds that his problems increase more rapidly than the instruments for their solution. His solutions are really only to be found in a diminution of his problems particularly those deliberately created for him as an incident to irrelevant private conflicts or in the evangelical disciplining of dissenters from either one-hundred-percent socialism or perfected individualism.


Democracy is more than the empty word which is used by thoughtless extollers of our present system. Democracy, as the ordinary citizen feels it, is less a system, indeed, than a commitment to understood liberties and duties. It corresponds with any government as religion does with the various churches which have sought to institutionalize a theology. At its elemental level it lies deep in men's natures, a latent, ever-ready revolt against oppression. A formidable attempt has been made to furnish new content for it to identify it, indeed, with competitive capitalism by those who have thought this an easy way to secure their capitalistic privileges. This could be successful in a nation where nearly everyone owned property; or, perhaps, even in one where workers were secure in their jobs; it has no chance in one where neither property nor jobs can be held with any certainty of permanence. But there would be no one to foster such a campaign in the first instance; only in the second. It is bound, therefore, to fail. And revolt in various guises is certain to rise from latency to actuality wherever there is oppression.

Planning is quite susceptible of use by autarchies, but it ought not to be identified with them(7). For, provided it is subject to the right direction, it may be capable of rescuing democratic government from many of its present difficulties. What must be realized, first, of course, is that in the midst of confused shouting for democracy, much of its substance has departed(8). This was the result of identifying it with certain more or less successful instruments intended for its preservation. Unless there develops some willingness to sacrifice the symbols for the substance penalty must follow. Many peoples have worshipped the brazen calf in mistaken identification of it with divinity; there is less excuse for Americans than there has been for some others; but, whatever the excuse, outrage will be the result and destruction the penalty. Planning can preserve a useful kind of democracy; it cannot save all the symbols we like to confuse it with. In certain respects it has to be recognized that the constitution-makers failed in foresight. They could not foresee the abject dependence of men on unified social organization and the consequent dangers of conflict. When they theorized about government, their interest was in protecting men from it, not, as later generations' was, in protecting men with it. What was an excellent instrument for the one purpose was not so good for the other. And now that the need is to function through it rather than merely being protected by it, it is found to be even less suited to the purpose. It needs reorganization in many ways but no other can compare with the necessity for repairing the lack of an agency whose duty is to the whole and whose interest is in the creation of the future.


Planning is not direction when it is at the service of special interests in society; it becomes direction only when it can affect economic divisiveness; becoming a unifying, cohesive, constructive, and truly general force(9). Its importance in our affairs was certainly gained through sheer effectiveness. The fact that this pervasive smoothness and efficiency accentuates conflicts by making both sides more effective, implies, however, that a point in its growth and extension is reached at which it must be subordinated to general rather than special purposes on penalty of its results becoming destructive to society and incidentally to itself.

Production, assisted by special planning, has increased until it has caused successively unemployment, mal-apportionment of income, and stoppage of production a cycle which has been amazingly shortened in the last four decades. Planning of this sort helped to create surpluses without doing anything to add proportionate income-receivers (or increasing the incomes of existing workers) who might use the product. Presumably direction would avoid this, assuming that its power reached so far, by a calculated distribution of energy and of benefits as well as by vastly increasing both in the very process of eliminating conflicts. Special interests such as the steel industry or all farmers taken together or all workers as a class can "plan" for themselves. Unless their plans evolve into "direction" they will benefit only that one interest and will benefit it by sacrificing other interests, and, eventually, though they may not realize it, at a sacrifice to themselves. Planning can be made fruitful only by being allowed to evolve into a system of foresights, placements, allocations and agreed uses. It can destroy or it can make whole 10 . Until the discovery is made that, although it is possible, through planning, for any interest to gain proportionately over other interests, it can gain more if joined in a general directive movement, the industrial advance, which promised so much a short time ago, cannot be resumed. It may already have been succeeded by decline. For as special interests grow more coherent and better furnished with planning tools, competition among them becomes more effective and therefore more ruinous. It seems not unlikely that the time may already have been reached when social groups must advance together or regress separately.

Failure of traditional industrial and agricultural policies was made inevitable because it seemed in keeping with laissez faire (which was the moral imperative) that both industry and agriculture should be allowed to plan for themselves, if they liked. This was done in the service of a faith that by so doing a general interest was served(11). Of course the reverse is true and in the nature of things. The planning of agriculture, of industry, of labor, and so on must be done within a directive system or it will be worse than none at all. The frictions will be greater than the force generated. And the movement will be backward rather than forward(12). Laissez faire, no matter where it seems to lead, has true relationships only with the past. There is no general institution except government. There is no present power within government capable of thus generalizing certainly none with which recalcitrant industrialists will consent to cooperate. Each has tried and failed.

Planning, in the scientific management sense, put at the disposal of laissez faire institutions, will be destructive if the evolution of those institutions into a system with conjunctural controls is halted. The flaw in the relationship between industry and government has been the official effort to maintain laissez faire in industry. The effort was to do it simply too, without troubling to discover or to control the sources of integration(13). The result was similar to the enforcement of prohibition; laws were passed but they never came to anything in execution. Even the court assisted in the evasion. Industry has consequently evolved to the point of readiness for direction. It has even passed that point and started on the downward curve. Its evolution was halted only at a late moment in its progress by its inevitable relations with a government which had retained its devotion to laissez faire and had itself ceased evolving at a more primitive stage. There came a time when something more was required than official negligence. But except for those executive departments which represented special interests agriculture, commerce, labor and therefore had exactly the same effect as so many industries, government had stopped short about fifty years ago. NRA and AAA, as originally conceived, were attempts to bring government evolution to the final stage before direction. There might have evolved out of those institutions the first clumsy efforts at genuine directional progress. It is still all to do.


There was and still is a chance that the directive power might grow up in another place than government(14). Representative democracy always runs the risk that its legislatures will be filled with those who represent local and private intentions rather than general ones. This risk has grown greater as special interests have consolidated and grown stronger. The formation of blocs is one frank admission of this the least harmful because open. But there are many hidden blocs of which the public is never made aware. A farm and a labor group are fairly well distinguished. Its members are not ashamed to acknowledge it. But there are evident, also, defenses for each of the unified industries which center there. This does not stop with the legislature, of course. The lobbyists who are maintained at the seats of government by every special interest have an influence in the administration of law second only to their influence in the making of it. Industry, having appropriated to itself the gains of the new industrial revolution, what could be more natural than that these should be used in perpetuating the arrangements which had proved so favorable. Venality among law-makers and timidity among administrators were not unnatural phenomena. They were results to be expected from the existing situation.

Regulation, in a representative system, could not wholly succeed. It was at best a negative harassment, always dependent upon the discovery of archangels to recruit its personnel, and upon laws which special interests persistently and successfully sought to weaken. During the time it has been practiced as the governmental concomitant of laissez faire, industry has almost been able to appropriate the directional power. Success in this was prevented only by the conflicting nature of business aims. Just when the stage had been reached at which the remaining controls over all society were being reached for, business itself began to tremble and finally ground to a frictional stop. This gave government what seemed to be its last peaceful opportunity to recapture its natural powers from progeny grown stronger than itself.

It was in this extremity that the governmental executive made the most formidable of recent attempts to modernize itself and to withdraw from the legislature wholly inappropriate duties. But here the judicial power entered as the last champion of business, and the determined enemy of effectual government. Thus it was made plain that the judicial, too, would need to give up something if the directive were to succeed in being established. It is clear indeed that none of the traditional powers would be exempt. To the extent to which each subjects the general good to the exploitation of private interests its powers would require to be transferred.

The competitive system, as a system an automatic regulator has failed. The years since the Great War have seen the intensification of strain, the perfection of instruments for communication, for transport, for measurement, the final victory of scientific management, the making available of marvellous new materials in profusion. And the national income is less at the end than at the beginning. It may be that it cannot be sustained even at that level except by a system of deficit financing which will contribute continually to class antagonism(15). The truth is that the system of individualistic and uncoordinated businesses is one which cannot operate successfully in an advanced technical system. It is suited only to an age of horse locomotion, of communication by post, of heavy materials, clumsy design and an ignorant personnel(16).

Business men who are not only educated but in instant touch with the most remote places, and who, moreover, regiment themselves through a well-circulated press, will raise their percentage of like actions to the point of unbalancing everything. And there is no power to stop them, nor any way to redress the balance. Laissez faire has an inherent dependence upon average deviation. Such a system, undirected, must destroy itself. But there is a reinforcing danger to which indirect reference has already been made. As the forces of the system are ranged against one another, each feels compelled to arm itself with the latest devices. This involves a heavier and heavier burden of costs. Forests are destroyed daily to provide the paper for this warfare. Universities are subsidized to provide experts of various sorts to officer it. And the more efficient it becomes the more destructive it is. The quicker such a society's progress, the more highly trained its individuals, the more effectively it subdues natural forces, the more materials it makes use of the faster it advances toward suicide. Scientific management, interchangeable parts and series operations were, in other words, exactly such inventions in other fields as the airplane which now drops bombs on its inventors. Without direction such a system will run wild and destroy its authors, or else will creak slowly to a grinding halt.

The articulation of the whole is the emergent need of society. Further progress cannot be had without it; and regress will set in at once if it has not already begun unless objections to it are overcome. There is, however it cannot be denied the alternative of autarchy. This might come about here by some industrial tour-de-force. It even at times seems more likely to come about that way, so great is the moral objection to the enlargement or the revision of governmental powers. Many expedients already adopted seem to have a sinister concurrence. For example the successive crises, appearing in different parts of our system, are met by subsidy, instead of by the extension of government investment. Farmers' prices are augmented; workers* housing, medical care and old age are paid for, the merchant marine is built by grant, railroads and airways are assisted the catalogue of outright grants-in-aid is lengthy even if hidden subsidies are altogether ignored. What this amounts to is a narrowing of the base on which the load is carried. The unsubsidized who grow fewer and fewer are expected to support all the rest by paying taxes. The ruthless law of survival has been superseded. A railroad which does not produce a profit cannot always quit; those who do not use it may be asked to keep it running for those who do. Industries which will not pay a living wage are not inevitably killed off. Their workers are supported for them. As more and more industries run into difficulties, and are admitted to the business-relief roll, and as, moreover, workers demand higher standards, the burden falls more and more heavily on what is sometimes loosely called the middleclass meaning people who contribute to, rather than subtract from public income. There may come a time when it will revolt. Society is too squeamishly modern to accept the survival of only the fittest yet it clings to the competitive system which cannot work without the free operation of the survival principle. Out of just such economic and moral difficulties Italy was forced into Fascism and Germany into Naziism. Will our creditor classes also revolt at some point short of losing all their privileges to others whom they regard as inferior to themselves?

All this is of the nature of capitalism developing with the nominal notions of undirected individualism but having really advanced into the beginning of a new system, as yet unnamed but vigorously rejected by moral leaders of all sorts. It suggests that reality will need to be accepted; and that when that is done the other powers of government will need to give up that exhaustive struggle for advantage among themselves which has been going on since the adoption of the Constitution. The transition period has been too long delayed in its early stages. Such events as began in 1929 and still continue are only the precursors of worse ones to come unless some way out is discovered and vigorously pursued.


It is by no means novel to suggest that the machine process particularly, and modern technique generally, determine the nature of any institutions which may exist successfully in the same world with them. Veblen, for instance, approached the matter from an anthropological point of view in the trilogy which began with The Theory of the Leisure Class and ended with The Theory of Business Enterprise(17). The traits which characterize industrial society are, according to him, subversive ones. They have developed in response to pecuniary rewards imposed on an earlier production-for-use. Money profits with their accompanying thrift, savings and credit-capital survived grotesquely into the era of the machine process which requires for its efficient operation workmanlike attitudes the reverse of pecuniary. Conspicuous waste, emulation in consuming, the dignification of leisure, the perfection of an elaborate ceremonial of sportsmanship and exemption from labor such traits oppose themselves in our present economy to what he called "the instinct of workmanship." The pecuniary employments are worse than useless; they threaten our progress. Their relation to technique is a stifling one; and it is only through technique, as exemplified by the machine process that we can even survive. The Theory of Business Enterprise thus sought to show the folly of trying to dominate the machine process with pecuniary direction.

Veblen completed the structure of his devastating theory before the beginning of the century. Since then the inner conflicts of our system have been enormously intensified by scientific management. What was visible then only to a few, seems plain now to millions. The economics which dignified the competitive system of enterprise, and which regarded the speculative business employments as a sufficient directional system now have a burden of proof to bear which then was borne by dissenters. It is not far from orthodox today, among serious students, to regard the planning arts as the only available resource in the crisis which was first depicted in the Veblenian theory(18).

It is possible to use planning for public purposes, just as it is possible to use it for private ones, without involving its arts in the paradox which lies at the heart of our system. But, especially in public planning, the difficulty of stopping short of that paradox is like that of stopping a river as it seeks the sea. This particular river flows down the valleys of depression. Only a Canute would attempt to hold back the gathering of these waters on the slopes of history.


The contemporary adherents of that reformist strain in American life which came out so clearly in the Progressive political program are normally opposed to planning and especially to direction. The reformers do not want a more efficient industry with all its implications nearly so much as they want free scope for individualism. Having this aim they fear governmental repression even more much more, it sometimes seems than compulsions from private sources. This is doubtless more a matter of emphasis than of outright preference of one system for another; and it is easily accounted for on historical grounds; but the conflict involved in the contrasting attitudes has prevented the New Deal, for instance, from formulating and carrying out a program. It is fundamentally a fear of regimentation which alienates progressives from a program of planning. There is another, an inner, conflict which is destroying the old progressivism. This is the increasing incredibility with which its program is viewed by realists among the rising generation. Retreat to an atomized industry in order to gain a theoretical freedom seems to them more and more unlikely as technical changes cumulate.

Scientific management, of course, had been the rock on which Veblen had founded his theory. It had seemed to him as early as the beginning of the century that the advance of technique would determine the character of society, and that it involved a dilemma which was inescapable. This was so, not so much because of a mechanistic law in the material universe, as because human nature made it inevitable. Men were a product of evolutionary forces. Their responses to the stimuli of the world were what they were because these responses had enabled them to survive in the bitter struggles of primitive society. They would narrowly follow their immediate interests. But this slavishness would lead them to contradictory, indeed suicidal, actions in a changed, a more complex, world. They would, for instance (following a deep instinct) invent machines to escape from work, to give them greater power over nature, to provide a richer store of goods; but their jealous exclusiveness with these machines, and with the resulting goods, together with their adherence to standards of ostentation, waste, sportsmanship and idleness (which had become firmly fixed in primitive life) would determine that the increasing effectiveness of a machine industry would only hasten the approach to such a percentage of exclusion from work - and the income which had become attached to it that society would be submerged.

Others, for instance Patten, who had a brilliance of thought which equalled Veblen's and who had at least as wide an intellectual following during the Wilsonian era, took a fundamentally different view of human nature and consequently of the future of society. When Patten wrote the famous essay about the beginning of the century in which he divided history into what he called "pleasure" and "pain" economies that is deficit and surplus ages he illustrated a more typically American approach. The problem once was, he said, that of finding enough to eat and wear; it had now become that of discovering how to dispose of overflowing bounties. In contrast with Veblen, however, he took an optimistic view of the likely end of man. The distinguishing characteristic of human nature, he felt, was its richness and flexibility. True it was capable of beastly manifestations, of jealousy, selfishness, hatred, fear and sadism. It was also capable of generosity, kindness, sympathy, loyalty, cooperation, and most significant of all of creativeness. All these traits good and bad existed in men. One environment would call out one set; another environment would require the other. Nor was it usually a clear-cut matter. They became mixed. Nevertheless he believed that reformed institutions, that is institutions which asked of people that they should be kind, intelligent and cooperative, would result in a kind, intelligent and cooperative race. At present, he said, the difficulty was that modern technique required men to love and help one another, and to work peacefully together, at the same time that morals exhibited a lag. Preachers and teachers insisted on exclusive and jealous ownership, rigorous saving, and tricky dealing. Late in life Patten even went a step further. Society, he said, was emerging or could emerge from the surplus or pleasure economy into a characteristically "creative" one. In the coming years the emphasis would gradually shift from having to doing, from gaining to sharing, from being to giving. Standards would be revised. Man had created the technique which made this possible; he would discover the utility of advancing into the promised land he had labored to make fruitful.

Because of his optimistic conclusions concerning human nature Patten did not share Veblen's pessimistic view of the future; nor did he regard planning, for instance, as merely another technical device which would hasten the inevitable collision between the immovable object (man's nature) and the irresistible force (the machine process). He looked on it as a necessary implement of advance. He did much to further it. He encouraged many of Taylor's associates and students; indeed the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, in which he was the moving spirit during its early years, was almost a school of scientific management(19).

Contemporary with Patten and Veblen there was another philosopher whose influence in the matters under discussion was very great. Mr. John Dewey is as much American as was Patten; but he presents the planners of the future with a methodological problem which they will be unable to escape. His view of human nature has been expressed in terms of adaptation. Men learn by doing; they think when they are presented with problems. They experiment, in other words, and habits and institutions are shaped by the results of practice. Social arrangements, like machines, materials or processes in industry, are good if they work; the only way of judging an instrument is by its utility.

It will be seen that the relation of these attitudes to a system of individualism and free enterprise is immediate and easy. Businesses are begun; they prosper or fail because they are useful or not useful. So it is also with the changes and reforms appropriate to such a system; they can be tried without great damage even if they should prove unacceptable. And something else can be substituted. Success and failure, enterpriser and reformer, sinner and moralist, move within agreed limits. They do not disagree fundamentally. The sinner knows his wickedness; the business failure accepts the inevitable, reformer and reformed agree on what is desirable.

But the technical system has brought us to a scale of affairs in which all these operations, convictions and motives break down and become confused. A plan for an industry, a city, a nation, is not something which can be experimented with in the old sense. Much more is involved more people, more property in a wider space and over a longer time. Damage is done by mistakes which may be irreparable. But there is another consideration. The plan or policy cannot be built up from constituent units. It has to grow out of a concept of a functioning whole. An industry cannot place its plants, warehouses, outlets, sources of materials without relation to each other, and it cannot place them without relation to all other related activities: finance, insurance, communication, substitute goods, tariffs and the like. A city cannot provide for schools, fire protection, police, sewers, water and light, and ail its other services except through what has come to be called a "Master Plan" implemented by control of the capital budget.

The planner faced with problems of this sort in industry or in government is forced to think from the center out, to use a concept of the whole which will comprehend the parts, to have in mind a vast complex of meshing arrangements each of which has relation to all others. None, of course, can undergo experimentation without affecting all. Change becomes a serious matter, one for reference to a Board of Directors or to a Planning Commission, and safeguards are thrown about the process to insure deliberation and the exercise of a judgment which includes the whole.

All this reverses many accepted ideas. It is a process unfamiliar, even uncongenial to the American habit. And Mr. Dewey's canons of thought become difficult to understand in relation to this new reality. The individual can no longer exercise his initiative in a matter which affects a large industry or a planned city. The processes of change are reduced to an order in which the individual, except as a member of the cooperating whole, cannot be allowed to function freely, if at all. Others think out problems which affect the individual. Since it is contrary to our habit and since it involves restraints and limitations not envisaged in a view of life shaped in the old individualism, there are many who dissent from it, others who are not clear in their own minds about its processes, and still others who, while using the new devices, appeal to the old ideas, thus seeking to restrain others in matters where they do not themselves accept restraint.

It is the planner's task to find ways to plan which shall bring the experimental method, with all its safeguards against long-run error and its dedication to reality, into the processes of wholeness. At present he is apt to fall short of complete thinking, being terrorized by the rampant individualists who make as much stir in the contemporary orderly world as would a pre-historic monster at a Chicago cattle show; he forgets often that these belong to the past and not to the future; and that they are likely to die out, moreover, through lack of adaptation. Or he is apt to respect his plan too much, to admire its physical symmetries, its concordances and correlations, forgetting that it too, however majestic and elaborated, is only an instrument by which man hopes to get on in the world, that it is man-made and should be regarded as mutable, even if important.

It is perhaps unnecessary to point out the contrasting stages in the evolution of thoughtful planning at which various social organizations may be found. It is, however, interesting to speculate on the reasons for the differences. Everyone knows that efficiency in industry has progressed infinitely further than it has in government in spite of strenuous attempts to prevent or to break up integration. And everyone knows that city government has progressed much further, in spite of frequent corruption, than has the federal government. Indeed our central government, faced with the most gigantic of planning tasks and with the immediate necessity of preventing the disintegration of society, possesses only the most rudimentary mechanisms for the purpose. Is it because of a written Constitution which has often been too literally interpreted; is it because the natural divisiveness of a legislature allowed wholly inappropriate powers has prevented change; or because industrial interests, intent on their own profitable evolution, have deliberately kept government weak in their own interest; or, again, because the Federal Government has been kept more closely under the scrutiny of moralists, educators, and others who were insulated from the evolution of institutions and who lingered in a half-imaginary past from which they sought to prevent departure? Whatever the reason, it is the supreme political tragedy of our time that the central government should have suffered an arrested development. The instruments of wholeness are not ones which can be invented and perfected over night. They require long preparation and maturation in a period when time is the one thing lacking.


During the years just after the Great War it seemed impossible to develop a new internal policy. This was true alike of cities, of rural regions and of the nation as a whole. There was a time when such an agreed policy existed concerning a wide range of objectives. This was before scientific management became central to civilization. The old Progressives, the most powerful of the minority groups, differed very mildly from the extreme conservatives. They intended to reform existing institutions so that they might be perpetuated. And this same wish for perpetuation permeated both city reform and agricultural revolt. There was no desire for change. On the contrary resentment was concentrated on unwanted changes, such as those involved in the new big-business, the growing power of financiers, the concentration of control and the loss of individual independence; or, in politics, such practices as expanding business found necessary in getting politicians out of its way.

Big business often became big by the corruption of government. Never before the Great War was there any desire to meet the challenge by making government big. The whole purpose was to make business little again so that the feeblest controls could handle it, a purpose made abortive by forces too strong to be combated by the puny powers of an emasculated government. But the persistent fear of government itself, which led them to keep it weak, haunted Americans of many sorts. They tended to regard it as alien to the common life, a threat to liberty and the enemy of the common man. The tidal rise of concentrated economic power thrust forward by the surge of basic technical advance formed a terrifying contrast which the old philosophy did not explain; but moral revulsion against bigness, courage, expansiveness, spending, even while these characteristics were developing, induced a national split between wish and fact which was extremely dangerous for no one could forecast on what or on whom the resulting bitterness might be poured.

This schisophrenia and the dangers of violence associated with it were well enough understood by many statesmen. None of them, however, had the courage to explain that the world had been revolutionized and that living in it could not continue on the old terms. No one said to the people "You cannot have a collectivized society if you expect to preserve individualism in economics and politics." The result was that instead of preparing for and averting the crisis which the arts of exactitude and the techniques of management were precipitating, emotions were wasted on exhortations and repressions. The policy was still the old agreed "no-policy" of the nineteenth century(20).

The loudest shouters for this "American way of life" were the very corrupters of it. Even after the bankruptcy of 1929, they formed the fantastic "liberty league" which appealed again to the false sentiments of a miseducated middleclass. But the liberty leaguers were deliberately fostering traditionalism in government so that its opposite could develop outside government. Others, the old Progressives, had a more serious and single-minded purpose. They were eager to attack once more their old enemies "the interests," though little would come of it. The New Deal of the reformers, if it did little else, at least succeeded in exposing the short-comings of mere honesty. Many of the reforms, as they progressed, precipitated new crises. A bad system honestly run, the reformers learned, might be worse than one which was corrupt. The slow rise out of the slough of 1929 and the relapse of 1937, brought into being a terrifying sense of inadequacy. Diminution of stress on this dangerous moral regulation can make visible the alternative; nothing less than that will be effective(21).


Those who are familiar, in a general way, with the forces which were focused at Philadelphia in 1787, will recognize that the struggle there was to create an executive which should yet not be able to become a despot. Even those who, like Hamilton, felt that Congressional committee management had brought ruin on the country, and that an executive as strong as Britain's was perhaps more needed here than there, contemplated no alliance with infallible Deity. The believers in states' rights, like Henry, and those who feared the loss of personal liberty more than governmental inefficiency, like Luther Wilson, allied themselves with an even more powerful group led by Roger Sherman. They had little difficulty, really, in preventing the executive from becoming what even Washington believed would soon be needed. Hamilton had so little hope of prevailing that he stayed away during most of the meeting and let the deliberations conclude themselves without much help from him. It was a curious alliance of literary folk and speculative merchants who prevented British ideas from prevailing. Madison had read too many French books and Roger Sherman had read too few of any kind. The balance of powers within government which was finally worked out was deliberately intended. By one group it was thought of as an excellent device for ensuring deliberation, dignity and a circumscribed sphere of action; by the other it was known to insure a minimum of interference with business. (Roger Sherman was a Supreme Court Judge in Connecticut; but he was also a merchant with headquarters in three different cities).

Deliberation of the regulator seems to the regulated a valuable virtue. American speculative classes have never regretted the weakness of the executive or the invention of an upper legislature whose feud with the executive is endless. The compromise which resulted in the Senate is responsible for the curious discrepancy between what is expected of the Presidency and what any incumbent of that office is able to deliver; for weakness of government is identical in most minds with weakness of the executive. It is almost true to say that our system is lacking an executive. The President has had, by reason of his party leadership, by his more direct relationship with the people, and because only he represents all the people, far more responsibility than power. Everything is expected of him; he can accomplish only as much as he can persuade a normally recalcitrant Senate to approve.

If as the result of some national crisis war, say, or frightening depression the United States should undertake, in another constitutional convention, to admit to our system the directive which has been spoken of here, it would be merely an extension of the requirements our fore-fathers knew of but failed to meet in 1787. The necessity for compromise seemed to them, as it often has to others, controlling. What was needed then was some remedy for the divisiveness of a legislature which was a welter of unresolved conflicts, and which tried to govern through a system of committees themselves composed of representatives with essentially local interests. This condition made national administration impossible and was bringing the nation into serious foreign disrepute. The growth of conflict in those areas which are outside formal government, but which affect government in its most vital relationships, together with that un-resolved conflict within government between the President and the Senate, are again emasculating the national administration at a time when technique has made industrial functions irrecoverably national; and they threaten, for all our present prestige, to bring us again into disrepute abroad. So do unsolved questions return for answers until workable solutions are found.


During the years in which the profession of planning has had its growth, members of the profession have no doubt had difficulty in confining it within areas which could be exploited profitably, resisting suggestions of its conjunctural usefulness, for instance, and seeking to keep it closely under the domination of executive or legislative. That, at least, is often said of them. It has become clearer as time has gone on that public planning must be limited to physical layputs, and to a mild kind of zoning, if only the profitable areas are to be occupied. And even these, when subjected to the immediate interests of real estate or financial speculators have often ended their existence on paper or have been perverted to anti-social uses. On the whole the tendency toward the subjection of these private interests to social necessity has perhaps been resisted by the planners as much as by others who cannot be said to have been professionally informed. Much has been said and written to show how modest the profession is, how no more than "advice" is intended, and how the "democratic process" is respected; some of this may have been for practical purposes, but there must have been a residue of genuine misunderstanding.

This withdrawing attitude has tended not only to placate rapacious speculators but, as well, to reinforce ebullience, whimsicality, and favoritism among elected officials at a time when those could ill be afforded. The habit of providing public works with generous gestures regardless of the per capita service they may give has accompanied the speculator-induced migration of populations to those places where cheap undeveloped land could be had. There has followed the inevitable demand for services already provided in older sections and impossible to diminish. One result of this has been large increases in city expense budgets at a time when population was growing at a reduced rate, a situation greatly dreaded by city officials. In the Federal Government it has resulted in enormous contributions to state-aid systems (roads, welfare, social security, housing, etc., etc.) with only minimum control over the standards to be maintained or the pattern being created. In great measure this same unguided speculative impulse accounts for the unforgivable exploitation of the public domain and latterly for the development of the "Dust Bowl" and other similar problem regions.

For the state of public budgets everywhere - as well as wasted resources - the planners have to share responsibility. It is of course true - and this was the motivation of many - that if they had claimed more authority they might have been deprived of any. Still, even in this event, the situation could hardly have been worse.

A change seems to be impending. The capital budget in the City of New York has been confided to the Planning Commissions and the indications are that a Federal capital budget will soon evolve. There has been no suggestion as yet that it may be entrusted to the planners, but it seems not impossible that it may be at some future time. This last would be a significant change in our governmental structure, especially if the Congress, as is true of the legislative in the City of New York, should retain only the power to reject by a three-quarters vote. A city has very restricted power to affect economic life it is much more limited, for instance, than is the federal government in creating credit, though it can do so, with state permission, for certain purposes. The federal government could hardly effect a transition to a successful public management, for instance, if that should seem necessary in some cases, so long as legislative committees continue to interfere after their peculiar habit. It will be even more difficult to effect the transition to conjunctural control unless some long term body under the discipline of fact rather than local electorates with divided interests can be entrusted with the task.

These are matters which have to do with institutional change. The question whether such a change may be brought about within the time still allowable is one which is as yet unsettled. It illustrates what is perhaps the worst defect of democracy. For the democratic process depends on what we call education, meaning persuasion, and this in turn depends, to an extent which is appalling, on the engaging of an interest which has been able to accumulate wealth and so can carry on an expensive propaganda. The fact to be faced here is that no interest which has been so favored will desire to institutionalize directive activities. A directive would be bound to suppress the favoritism. It is utterly unrealistic to assume that any individual, group, foundation, university, association, or party will seek to further a limitation of its activities or prerogatives. It is likely, therefore, that many private interests will be engaged from now on in efforts to prevent the establishment of social management rather than to further it, and that not many will be found to be even neutral. The only interest which can be expected to be engaged in its favor will be government, and, of government, only the executive; and even the executive can be looked to for only a limited approval. The interest of the lower income groups, comprising some eighty-five percent of the population can, in the nature of our existing arrangements, similarly find response to a rising demand for security and well-being only in the executive. As things are, Congress tends on the whole to represent the well-to-do among its constituents, or, if not the more prosperous, at least the more vociferous, who have come to be called pressure-groups. Nor is a Congressman usually selected for his national, but rather for his local views. Under the circumstances the hope of greater national income, and of well-being for the masses, centers in the executive; he may possibly learn that these objectives can best be gained by the fostering of long-run and general as opposed to immediate and private interests. And so may be led to foster an agency which undoubtedly will come to limit the executive himself if it is allowed to grow.


Why, it may be asked, would not simple strengthening, now, of the executive furnish the required solution? The answer is that this is precisely what may be expected to happen at first, but that certain elements of unsuitability will become more significant as time passes. The executive had difficulty in finding a constitutional place. Reaction from divine right had carried all the way over to government by legislative committee; even this was a reluctant modification of "tovn meeting" rule; it was less devised, indeed, than reached inch by inch as necessity demanded; its sponsors hoped that it might turn out to be a sufficient step toward executive management and yet not too far from pure direct representation. This ineffectual committee administration in the Continental Congress opened the way to the tri-partite government which was adopted in the convention. And it is out of just such another failure that a fourth power may arise. The long duel between the executive and the upper legislative, which resulted from one of the worst defects of the Constitution, has refused to resolve itself. The executive cannot give way and the Senate will not. Markets, as transport and communication have improved, have become nationwide; industry, as new management devices have been invented, has adopted central control over decentralized operations; the workers' goods and the farmers', as well as the funds to buy them with, emerge from a system of which their knowledge is limited and in which they have little influence the arts of self-sufficiency for which Americans once were noted vanished when direct contacts between producer and consumer were broken.

The common man has had to find a friend in his new helplessness. Self-reliance was once a useful virtue; it leads straight to the park bench and the flop-house in an advanced industrial system unless, that is, some powerful intervention occurs. And even if self-reliance ceases to be individualistic and becomes collective, it results, as costs rise, in the elimination of every task possible and in unemployment as a consequence(22). Such emergencies as sudden widespread increases in unemployment cannot be met after they have arisen; and the adequacy of institutions ought not to be judged by the way crises are met, but rather by the number there are. This is only another way of phrasing the old aphorism that nations without a history are happiest(23). The idea of a directive power is growing, really, because Americans have had too much history. They are sick of dangers and of insecurities perhaps a little tired, too, of that showy third power with which our forefathers supplemented their everlasting ineffective committees. They realize that the executive has befriended them against an industrial tyranny which the legislative and the judicial condoned even sometimes aided. But they have a racial memory which runs back to times when the fatherly friend grew tired in his struggle with the nobles, or when he lacked ability at any rate when he too became the instrument of their masters. And if memory fails they have contemporary demonstrations abroad of the losses as well as the gains from executive domination.

The directive is beyond doubt related most closely to the executive. Necessarily, however, to assume its effective place it would need something from the legislative and the judicial. The extent of this taking is not yet clear. Direction is by nature pragmatic and its growth may well be measured by necessity, though it has to be understood that so long as it stops short of conjunctural management it is not truly directive and is wholly incapable of gaining the results hoped for from it. Some indication of the executive loss can be had by contemplating the uses of the capital budget(24) in an increasingly collective state. For that inevitably would be under directive control; it must, if enlarged services are to flow from government to its citizens. They cannot be produced without managed investment. And this is the less insistent, perhaps, of the two great reasons for this change, the other being the need for distributing the benefits of productivity in such a way as to ensure continuity. The recurrence of paralytic strokes in our productive mechanism cannot indefinitely be survived. What is required to avoid them is such an apportionment of claims as will allow people to use all the product. A basic task of a full directive would be to ensure continuous maximum output of goods(25). Currently there is being used the crude device of throwing government payments into the balance whenever purchasing power declines(26). The difficulty with this is that although some declines resemble sinking spells, the secular trend itself may be downward. The power to unbalance the expense budget is not a resource which can be used to correct permanent unbalance(27). That it should be suggested betrays continued adherence, against all reason, to the notion of a meliorative principle guiding affairs a principle which is assumed to operate, apparently, no matter what follies are committed.

It had been expected, no doubt, that the executive would command this field. There was reason to think so. Its representative was the people's champion against an irresponsible upper house and reactionary courts. As such, more and more power was flowing to him. The whole development of administrative law was not only a delegation of legislative functions but an important exclusion of the judiciary. Yet institutions were little changed. In all save a few municipalities the fatal flaws of log-rolling, geographic compromise, demagogic clinging to empty moralisms, and sheer ignorance of complex arrangements still persisted. These defects plainly destined the legislative to a place in our system where its good qualities might come uppermost and its defects be minimized. The judiciary also, it seemed clear, was to find itself confined to law and excluded from social management. And in all this the executive seemed exalted. Yet the federal government, at least, fell into the bad habit of regarding most executive departments as representatives of special interests. This was perhaps inevitable but certainly wrong. In itself, it would disqualify the American executive for the function of direction. That power, in such case, merely represents, in microcosm, the conflicts of all society. It can assert no leadership because it cannot finally resolve the central paradox.

Yet, so far as the federal government is concerned, this is more seeming than real. The American President is called the "Chief Executive." That is more a courtesy title than anything else, for the paralysis of double responsibility among the President's helpers has seriously undermined even the modest intention of the 1787 compromise. It began with the Treasury whose Secretary was made to report direct to Congress and yet was part of the executive establishment. In adding new departments in late years the aggressions of the Congress have become bolder. The prescriptive enabling acts have placed congressional committees in a position with respect to interference in executive functions, and especially as concerns minute budgetary items, which practically abstracts the cabinet officers from the President (he cannot even choose them without ratification) and makes them responsible to committees. This limitation on the President is a more severe one than is generally recognized. He is forced to gain his power, not as a free executive officer but as a party and legislative leader. He must pay with jobs for his legislative support if his program is even to be begun ; and he almost inevitably loses this faithless adherence before the third year of his administration. He can hold things together from then on only through a popular support which recalcitrant Senators dare not flout openly.

A reform of the Federal Government which restored to the executive the powers without which he cannot execute anything would be a tremendous gain. A revitalizing impulse would flow through bureaucracies filled with Congressional appointees who often feel little or no responsibility to their superiors. No serious function can be carried on with a raddled and disloyal personnel; in our system it is a perpetuation (unlocked for in the constitutional make-up) of the committee management of the Continental Congress; it failed then and it would always fail through lack of loyalty and discipline. For this reason it seems likely to be corrected.

Perhaps, with these considerations in mind, the suggestion that a strengthened executive would be sufficient can be looked at more clearly. If he had the full powers which belong to his office and are necessary to its satisfactory operation, other defects would appear. They can be seen now in some cities and states. There is no denying the fact that democracy frequently turns up irresponsible demagogues with regularity as elected executives; and even that corrupt and venal candidates sometimes have a temporary success. Not all American Presidents would have seemed as adequate as they did seem if their duties had been more exacting. A power is needed which is longer-run, wider-minded, differently allied, than a reformed executive would be. This new agency would need to be severely hedged about with limitations on qualification, the persons chosen would need to be given longer-term appointments than any other except judicial officials, but with the canons of selection carefully worked out, a body useful to democracy and not farther removed from its rewards and penalties than would serve to resolve its worst paradoxes and to protect it from itself, ought to be feasible. But it would have to be beyond and independent of the executive almost as certainly as the legislative.


It was intimated earlier here that the establishing of the directive might take place in evolutionary fashion and that the incidents of its history might very well be undramatic. This is perhaps more to be hoped for than expected. It should be understood that the enmity of the presently existing powers is likely to be lively and vigilant. The executive, especially, will be in a position to prevent planning from rising toward direction. For the executive, planning will be useful, but only so long as it can be carefully subordinated. The planning functions will, for this reason, be divided: they will be fostered only sporadically, and frequently, perhaps, abandoned.

For these reasons it may be over-optimistic to anticipate an evolutionary development. There is also another reason. Looking back at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the relation to the events there of the rise of the executive, it can be seen that before the convention there existed only demoralization of government together with widespread demand for a new national effectiveness. The executive itself had no existence and could not begin its evolution toward the present status until it had been brought into being. The present situation seems disturbingly similar. This is sometimes not understood, because it is felt that the arts of planning have more significance than really belongs to them. It is no more accurate to confuse planning with direction than it would be to confuse measurement, for instance, with experiment, or steam with power. Direction depends on the planning arts; it grows directly out of them; but it is rather a social than an engineering or a statistical device. It can have no existence apart from government nor any uses which are not general.

Whether direction, as distinct from planning, can find any sort of place at all in our system without such previous chaos as brought about the Constitutional Convention, and whether its evolution can actually begin until its governmental institution has come into being, it is difficult to say(28). The analogy is something less than perfect because partly within and partly without the old divisions, institutions for partial direction have already come into being. A beginning might be made by recognition of these agencies wherever they are and drawing them together in such a concordance as would recognizably be that thing which now exists only in men's minds, perhaps in amorphous and undetermined form, just as the executive did in the trying years before 1787.

Government was made necessary by the previous growth of society. The kinds of government, the changes in its composition and operation, were determined by the kinds of society in which it was expected to serve. Ours by now is a society of an intricate sort, dependent upon the smooth functioning of complex arrangements which by default have been left largely to the control of those who use them not for the purposes they serve but for extraneous private ones. It is the failure of private aims to coincide with the provisions of goods and services on acceptable terms which has caused the serious deviation of the system from the expectations held out to us by the economists who identified the pursuit of private advantage with the public good. The illogic of this has been pointed out repeatedly; its consequences have been suffered repeatedly, too, and with increasing intensity. But neither illogic nor suffering has resolved the conflict in men's minds(29). Simple reasoning betrays the false basis of present arrangements. But it has become encysted in a moral and aesthetic system which seems precious, even to those who may have no stake in its favors, because of its familiarity. It contains aphorisms learned in youth; it has guided conduct for generations. Can it be thrown away for a doubtful new philosophy which offends many allegiances?(30). The penalties of keeping the old system are, like the erosion of our soil, too slow to be fully experienced in any one generation. Even in crises when there is terrible suffering, the worst is never undergone by those who might become the prophets of a new philosophy, or who might be expected to become responsible for new arrangements. Those who prosper as things are become more and more powerful: questionings are smothered, when they are not suppressed; the avenues to the public mind are choked with praises of the present arrangements and of the apologists it breeds so profusely. It often seems hopeless to expect that the needed change will be allowed to occur. There is only the hard fact of regression, and the unwillingness, in spite of soothing argument, among the disadvantaged, to accept any lowering in their standard of life. The present system probably cannot be reasoned out of existence. If it disappears it will be because its favorites will have conceded so much to rising revolt that its advantages will be emptied of privileged content. The new system may substitute itself for the old without clear recognition.

Assuming that the executive first, perhaps, and then the directive, may be allowed in time to occupy fully its logical ground, it must, in order to carry out its generalizing purpose, assume preferential control of improvement projects additions to the capital structure of governments; it must also be able to ensure the subordination of private interests to social ones. This is true both of city and nation. Where necessary to effectuate this, it must, if it is to become really social, be able to suggest the substitution of public for private ownership or operation; and it should do this freely wherever regulation fails to subordinate private to public interest. It could be trusted, in all this, with less than complete authority. But the legislative should have to refer projects to it, as should also whatever regulatory agencies may exist; and then be unable to override its recommendations by less than say a two-thirds, or, at any rate a preponderant vote(31). The executive should be confined to preparation of the expense budget and to strictly defined execution; the judiciary should have no power of definition or of review of its findings(32).

One of the features of the laissez-faire system is that it seems to permit escape from penalties nature imposes for violation of her laws. Or, if this seems like an old-fashioned way of putting it in a generation which has escaped the rule of what once were regarded as natural laws, the thought can be put in another way: Laissez faire is so disconnected, and causes and effects throughout the system are so apparently unrelated, that management of affairs without reference to "the state of the industrial arts" is possible(33). Of course it is not. And the penalties are always paid, although they may not be paid by the people who are responsible for incurring them, nor within any short period of time. To all this a putative directional system stands in complete contrast. It makes of industrial society a continuum in which causes and effects are clearly related(34) and in which penalties are traced directly to violations. In this sense the directive system can be said to be a regimented one(35). The regimentation is, however, imposed by nature and by the state of the industrial arts, not by any individual or any group. The part of the planner in it is merely one of recognizing and submitting to nature and existing technology(36).

The directive indeed is subject to much more rigorous limitations than might be gathered from what is said about planning by representatives of the other powers of government who recognize so few limitations that they find difficulty in appreciating the situation of a power which by its nature is subject to the control of existent fact and circumstance. If the directive is examined in a detached way, it is seen at once that it cannot become an arbitrary regimenting power, but must always be ruled by the necessity for deliberately gathering up wisdom from wherever it may come, and for applying it under the most strictly given conditions. This gathering-up process can only be accomplished by a rigorously fixed procedure of expert preparation, public hearings, agreed findings, and careful translation into law which are in turn subject to legislative ratification. The directive has an advantage over the executive from not having to operate any organization, over the legislative from not representing any faction or region, and over the judicial from dealing with a volume of fact rather than a volume of precedent(37).

The margin of safety which the community possesses in entrusting power to the directive is widened by its persistent orientation to the future, a future discovered by charting the trends of the past through the present. And this projection is not subject to opinion or to change as a result of pressure from special interests. In this forecasting of the shape of things to come, it can succeed, aside from maintaining the most honorable relation with facts, only by possessing and using the most modern techniques for discovering them. It thus has an interest in progress and in modernization which is quite different from the traditional interests of the other powers. The discipline of fact is a more impressive one than the discipline of legal ethics or even of a watchful constituency(38).

All this is of the nature of theory at present, since there are few instances in which governments of any sort have admitted the directive to effective status. It seems clear, however, that if the directive is permitted to evolve, these will be features of its operation. It may thus establish a genuinely social policy, as contrasted with private policies, dictated by contemporary resources, techniques and circumstances rather than by political expediency; tuned to the universe, the continent, the region, and the times, rather than to an imaginary environment in some past Utopia for speculators in private advantage. It will not be pursued because it suits a whim, a prejudice, an economic interest or a political gain. It will be distilled with modern devices from the then controlling conditions for the success of society. It will take account of all there is to work with and allow itself to be guided only by the interests of all there are to work for. It appears to be the best way, in a modern society, of carrying out the brave commitment made in the preamble to the American Constitution.


(1) It seemed impossible for the purposes of this article to avoid changing a familiar loosely used word into a more precise and technical term. There is some reason for believing that other writers have been approaching this definition in attempting to introduce agreed meaning where before there had been confusion. Perhaps the word "direction" with its two rather subtly different connotations comes as near transferring concepts along with familiar sound as it would ever be possible to do. Others may have burdened the word with less weight than it is made to carry here, and have been less precise, but they have felt the same need. For instance, in this sentence from Mr. Joseph Hudnut's introduction to Werner Hegemann's City Planning: Housing, there is one use: "Neither a collection of buildings nor an aggregation of people makes a city, but rather the form and content of society and the direction of its march." But this, obviously, is limited. It is one thing to point out a direction which is being taken. It is another thing to give direction. Mr. Charles W. Eliot 2nd, has used it in a closer sense "the development of order and direction out of a chaos of rugged individualism"; Mr. George H. Gray (The Planners' Journal, Nov.-Dec., 1938, p. 144) has a sentence which illustrates an equivocal meaning: "While our economic direction has always been planned in a fashion (gold standard, tariff schedules, etc.), this planning has for the most part been done in isolation from a general national plan." But Mr. Arthur G. Coons understands the double entendre: "Whatever planning is, it is to be seen as a conscious directive aspect of the political, social, or economic life of some definite geographical region..." ("The Nature of Economic Planning in Democracy," Plan Age, Feb., 1939, p. 43). Even Sir Henry Bunbury, cautious Britisher that he is, uses the word: "Social direction and control, by organs representing the community, of the economic life of a nation of the conservation, development and utilisation of its varied resources have become necessary by reason of the immense advances which have taken place in technology, communications, corporate organization, and financial techniques." ("Government Planning Machinery," Public Administration Service publications No. 63, p. 5). Mr. Soule, perhaps, comes nearer than anyone else to using the word in the full sense intended here: "But how, it is asked, could we retain democracy if authority to direct all these economic processes were given to the State?" And in another passage: "It must be remembered, too, that in a free collectivist system government would not own or direct every activity." The Future of Liberty, 173, 177. Many others have used the word, sometimes as a kind of synonym for planning, sometimes with a closer approach to the double meaning intended here. Its appropriation may be forgiven, being thus excused as not altogether original.

(2) It is difficult to contemplate seriously the planning idea without arriving at some such conclusion. Mr. Charles W. Eliot 2nd, for instance, in 1933 (Planning and National Recovery, National Conference on City Planning, Richmond, p. 32) distinguished several types "charting" or "economic planning," "budgeting," which describes itself, "purposing" or "projecting," which comprehends physical planning, and so on. "They mean," he said, "quite different things, although they all have a common interest in forethought and organization * *." These last words show that at that time Mr. Eliot was expecting more than resulted from the New Deal. By 1935 he was fearing, along with others, that planners might be called "regimenters," a term which was satisfactorily opprobrious until attention was recalled to the fact that most of the herding and pushing in our economy is after all done by business for its own purposes, rather than by government in the public interest. (Cf. R. G. Tugwell, The Battle for Democracy, p. 193). "Regimenting" had lost its value as an epithet by 1936. There is a comment, in a recent study by Mr. Rene De Visme Williamson, which places accurately the source of this fear: "Much is heard, from the opponents of planning, about the dictatorial power that must regiment every detail if our economy is to be planned. They loudly attack the centralized authority that would jam arbitrary production schedules down the throats of a liberty-loving people, and even interfere with their freedom of consumption. It is contentions such as these which have given planning a bad name in many quarters originally friendly to it. They rest on a very unsound basis and have their source in ignorance. There can be no doubt, of course, that power is necessary for every kind of cooperative action, and planning is no exception. But there lie in the minds of the people who fear planning a number of misconceptions. One of these is that all power must be dictatorial and oppressive. They forget that the ability to convince people by reasonable argument, and to appeal successfully to their emotions, are just as good methods if not actually much better of obtaining intelligent and enthusiastic support, as to threaten them with the concentration camp and the firing squad. There are forms of power which a free people would not do away with were it possible to do so, because they need that kind of power." Plan Age, Feb. 1939, p. 36. This point is of compelling interest at the contemporary stage of discussion. It is recurred to later in this paper.

(3)It may be said that the distinction between free and controlled enterprise is of the essence of "capitalistic democracy." It may still be that this is an indefensible distinction. Perhaps it is another of the sort that Mr. Nicholas Murray Butler is fond of making between "the sphere of government and the sphere of liberty." To accept such distinctions may be to deny more than appears on the surface. No one, perhaps, or, at any rate, very few by now, would deny that there is a public interest in business. The New Deal must have wiped out the last indefilable area. It becomes then a matter of degree rather than of kind: public enough to be regulated negatively but not enough to be directed positively, perhaps. But what a far remove even this is from 1928! The "essence" has been considerably diluted. There is even a tendency now to be a little shocked ac the joining of capitalism and democracy in a phrase describing present arrangements.

(4)Mr. W. J. Vinton makes a biting comment on this. Speaking of the field of price and of the activities which have been abstracted from it, he says: 'The sphere of public initiative where social control is predominant is the only field in which planned activities can go forward ... to tangible results. This is a continually expanding area. Roads, bridges, harbors, parks, sewers, and water systems are publicly operated. National defense has been socialized for some centuries and education for a century; while government has more recently moved into the fields of public health and social insurance. All these functions have been abstracted from the price system of private initiative because their provision by the community as a whole is more efficient and better meets our social needs.

"Other activities now within the sphere of public initiative have been relinquished by private initiative because their operation no longer yields a profit. It is surprising to note how quickly unprofitable enterprises are discovered to be an appropriate field for government ownership...."

Sweden has had more success with half-way measures than most other countries. It is interesting to see that many public enterprises there are made to "pay." And sufficient profit is taken to relieve the national budget in a substantial way. This may be only another form of sales tax. It is, however, better than private sales taxes which is what controlled "prices" here amount to, even though these seem, for some reason, to be more acceptable.

(5)Public investment begins to seem the favorite way {to transfer ownership. A crusade of some sort is required to justify expropriation; and even condemnation is re-sorted to with reluctance. The difficulty with the investment method is, of course, that it usually results in the acquisition of deficit-producing properties; this makes financing harder and induces popular scepticism. Public investment in the "intangibles" of health, old-age insurance and the like, create even greater difficulties. Trouble in these cases arises only when budgets are unbalanced for these purposes and the debt expanded. The expansion of public debt for investment is exactly what is done in private corporation finance. And it is to be justified by similar results in a transition period. If all industry were owned by the state a different series of tests would be appropriate.

(6)"Planning, like any other idea, involves an assumption; and in this case the assumption is that the American public or publics, national and local, will by and large and in the course of time be capable of intelligence in the development of their territories and be capable of the moral willingness to use that intelligence. Planlessness is either or both a lack of intelligence or lack of the moral willingness to be intelligent. The use of planning approach, planning techniques, the development of planning principles and planning knowledge are consequently a test of the capacity of our people to be a social organism capable of converting its strength and activities into works of social utility and social welfare." Mr. Alfred Bettman, Planning and National Recovery, 1933, p. 18.

(7)"As for the compatibility of central planning and democracy, planning like any technique is politically neutral. It may be used by any form of politico-economic organization. When employed by totalitarian states, it is dictatorial, militarist, authoritarian. Under a democratically planned collectivism toward which we in America are moving, scientific planning * * * will seek social objectives set by bodies representative of the majority and will pursue democratic procedures." Mr. George B. Galloway, Plan Age, Jan. 1939, p. 29.

(8)It ought not to be implied, of course, that we have more democracy than we actually possess. Authentic American history dictates considerable caution as to the founders' intentions and as to various shapers' purposes. It is doubtless true that we have much more political democracy than was ever intended. It has increased with the years; technology at least had this effect. Yet vast areas of social life have been withdrawn from the democratic process on the plea of efficiency (which our forefathers did not stress). These areas are more largely economic than governmental. Perhaps the future will show a need for less democracy in government and for more in industry. That would appear to be a reasonable objective if we are to gain efficiency and keep liberty. Number ten of The Federalist represented a point of view which is less characteristic of influential theorists than it once was; but those same fears and cautions concerning popular decision now infect the leaders of industry. There is a whole field of delegation and selection which still remains to be explored in both industry and government; but the dangers in the one are not those which prevail in the other. The dictatorial danger at the moment is industrial and is unlikely to become governmental unless industry succeeds in appropriating its machinery. The danger in government is that of ineffectiveness.

(9)Cf. "A Proposal for National Planning" by Ernest S. Griffith, Plan Age, April 1939. Mr. Griffith recognizes clearly the difference insisted on here between "planning" and "direction." The latter (to which he gives no name) "operates in the area of overall economic adjustment and coordination." He is also aware of difficulties both technical and fortuitous. "So difficult is it and so rare is agreement among authorities as to the proper procedure in certain major adjustments, that many persons would shun it altogether.... On the other hand, one cannot but feel that a sifting or planning agency, whose purpose it is to represent the over-all view, would be as likely to be sound in its recommendations as would a hundred pluralistic government bureaus, each with a partial view, and each pulling in its own direction." And later: "The various special groups, whose wings would inevitably but to them unjustly be clipped, are the very groups whose influence is at the center of our present political behavior. They would Fight as they have never fought before. Such is the prevalence of ... pluralistic utilitarianism that they might even make common cause and wreck the ... agency and its plan...."

Nevertheless he believes that "Leadership (that is, the President under our system) should have at its disposal a staff agency whose sole function would be to represent the type of over-all planning, adjustment and coordination under discussion." He appears to regard direction as a part of the executive function. He gives it certain advisory responsibilities which could perhaps not be ignored but which could be disregarded.

(10)Apprehension of this seems to be spreading slowly. A passage from the report of Mr. J. L. Lewis to the Congress of Industrial Organizations in Convention at Pittsburgh in 1938 is an interesting evidence that this may be so. (Note the use here, again, of the word "direction" in the double sense):

"Intelligent economic direction: It is becoming obvious that full production in a stable economy can be created only by intelligent direction which has the power and the will to coordinate all economic controls toward that single end. Such central direction must necessarily come from the government. Intelligent direction also of necessity means planning toward the future. One of the serious defects of the present Administration has been the failure to coordinate and plan its economic program over an adequate period. The goal of full production and full employment is one to which it would be difficult to find open opposition. It is clear, however, that there are many who oppose that goal through seeking special interests. Only labor, representing the majority of the people, can guarantee a continuous movement toward full production. Labor must have a strong voice in the government and in the agencies of the government ..." Some doubt of this last can be expressed without questioning the wisdom which went before.

(11)The inconsistency of the anti-trust acts is merely noted. There will again be occasion to refer to the problem posed by the fixed belief so prevalent in the social sciences that whatever advances any interest advances society because society is merely the sum of many interests.

(12)When Veblen was writing his Theory of Business Enterprise at the beginning of the century (It was published in 1904) he felt that the wastefulness of conflict might be compensated for by the enormous margin provided for "waste and parasitic income." Yet "A disproportionate growth," he said, "of parasitic industries, such as most advertising and much of the other efforts that go into competitive selling, as well as war-like expenditure and other industries directed to turning out goods for conspicuously wasteful consumption, would lower the effective vitality of the community to such a degree as to jeopardize its chances of advance or even its life.... While it is in the nature of things unavoidable that the management of industry by modern business methods should involve a large misdirection of effort and a very large waste of goods and services it is also true that ... pecuniary aims and ideals have a very great effect, for instance, in making men work hard and unremittingly, so that on this ground alone the business system ... makes up for its wastefulness by the added strain it throws upon those engaged in the productive work." (pp. 64-5).

This was, of course, before business conflict had developed such formidable frictions and before the application of scientific management had intensified the effect of so many machine processes. What was merely waste in 1900 had by 1939 become an exhausting disease.

(13)Here again the inconsistency of a Department of Commerce "to foster industry" on industry's own terms which are "business" terms, of course, is merely noted.

(14)Cf. Discussion of identity of business interests with the general good in Veblen: Theory of Business Enterprise, 293 et seq.

As a general commentary on business and its relations with government, attention is called to the functions of that power in business which is in charge of officials called "directors." This suggests that business has been at least more logical than government; and even though directors may sometimes not direct, it is generally thought that they ought to.

(15)Here, again, it must be insisted that the only objection is to the incurring of deficits for other than capital improvements.

(16)Sir Henry Bunbury says, in this connection, that 'The negative principles and methods of laissez faire or 'liberal' economy are simply not compatible with the concentrations of productive and distributive power which physicists, chemists, biologists, engineers, financiers, lawyers and accountants have shown us how to create. That is why most of us are now, in some sense or other and in some degree or other, planners. We may differ in circumstances, in method, in immediate purpose, in ultimate objective: but we are all being compelled, some willingly, some with extreme reluctance, to bring these forces under conscious community control if only to save them from themselves." op. cit.

(17)CJ. Joseph Dorfman: Thorstein Veblen and His America (Ch. XIII); also R. G. Tugwell: Veblen and "Business Enterprise," The New Republic, Vol. LXXXXVIII, p. 215, March 29, 1939.

(18)It has often been noted that planning exists on several levels. Mr. Charles W. Eliot 2nd, has, like others, been afraid, evidently, that someone would say what must be said regarding its movement to the higher ones. He, of course, was fearful that the institution he felt called on to protect might be involved in the implications suggested here. That cannot be avoided, even though Mr. Warren Jay Vinton, too, is willing to join the conspiracy. Mr. Eliot's address was called "The Growing Scope of Planning" and was made at the May 1936 meeting of the City Planning Institute. Mr. Vinton's remarks may be found in the Proceedings of the American Society of Planning Officials, 1937, p. 95.

(19)It later joined in educating for the competitive business game, but that was when h had escaped from Patten's leadership. Patten himself not only sought to have taught more efficient management methods, he also exemplified in his life the belief that men would become better as their material conditions improved. He fostered social work, lectured in the School of Philanthropy, and rewrote a whole book of Baptist hymns to illustrate the new appeals and motives. Peace, freedom from old restraints, joyous creativeness, the discipline of cooperative work, the satisfaction of helping others these were the ways by which he sought to usher in a new age. One of his better known books was called The New Basis of Civilization. It never repaid reading better than it does today.

20 Cf. R. G. Tugwell "Notes on the Uses of Exactitude in Politics," Political Science Quarterly, Vol. LIV, March 1939.

(21)In speaking here of "a directive" and in other places of the three traditional powers, the author seems to be consenting to a kind of conceptualism in political theory which, in fact, he believes to be responsible for many of our institutional maladjustments. This hard and fast division may be useful for purposes of analysis but when, by the literal-minded, it is applied to government structure it may have devastating consequences. Judges, administrators and other policy-makers sometimes come to have such fixed ideas that nothing new is possible unless it fits the old classification. Suggested arrangements are not condemned because they are undesirable as mechanisms but because they are undesirable as ideas. Some of the older city planners suffered from this compulsion. It is probably dangerous for a modernist to use such devices at all even in the interest of easier approach to problems. The writer expects that the divisions he has set up here will return to haunt him. He gives warning that they may not be used legitimately to defend the prerogatives of planners beyond the useful limits of contemporary necessity.

(22)The separation of income from its traditional source in private work which is thus precipitated is proving difficult; as the machine process has mastered industry it has become more and more necessary that the separation should take place in our thinking as well as in fact. But it seems to require a tour-de-Jorce for which the way is opened only by near-disaster. The Federal Executive, operating with incredible handicaps, has lately succeeded in creating some institutions for this adjustment. Some municipal executives have had even more success. But in the very process the executive has invariably demonstrated the lack which the directive needs to supply. This is not a matter of inefficient administration. It is a matter of whimsical (or political) distribution, of mistaken timing, of over-and-under adequacy, of mistaken objectives or of deliberate misinterpretation on the part of others.

(23)A passage from a recent address of Mr. Lindsay Rogers has a double appositeness: "Ten years before the Thirteen American Colonies declared their independence, Beccaria published his famous treatise on Crimes and Punishments. I do not cite the book because of its title because municipalities have committed economic or administrative crimes in respect of their rapid transit policies, and have inflicted punishments on riders who must descend into the bowels of the earth in order to travel rapidly. I refer to Beccaria because he used a phrase which has since been repeated in various forms. 'Happy,' he said, 'is the nation without a history.' Montesquieu, Jefferson, and Carlyle all expressed similar opinions which derived from or paralleled Beccaria's epigram. In one of her novels, George Eliot suggested that, like nations, women are happiest if they have no history. Who will deny that the happiest cities are those which have no subways those which have been so planned that rapid transit is not a continuous insoluble problem? By this standard few cities are happy." (Havana, October 1938.) Mr. Rogers thus not only confirms a historical reference but also agrees that one good way to solve problems is by planning not to have them.

(24)Sometimes called an "improvement" or "investment" budget.

(25)The production of claims and the production of goods must be made to run concurrently and to achieve a rough balance; what "freedom of enterprise" there can be in the future (as we now understand the phrase) must survive within this formula.

(26)These issue as grants or as loans with equal effect on a current situation. Of course the maturities of loans in a given period enter into a calculation of net purchasing power.

(27)It becomes, in such case, a capital tax, but one which destroys resources rather than transfers their ownership to the public.

(28)"It is a faith ... even though perhaps blind, that experiment within a democracy, if as intelligently guided as our institutions and processes can allow, will help to resolve the confusion of our times, will clear the fog that envelopes our habits of thought, and will reduce conflict, that causes many to maintain an interest in planning ... our task is to clarify the methods, reveal the choices, foster the attitudes, and implement the procedures of planning as an approach to economic life in a group-conscience sense, seeking at the same time the development of a philosophy and rationale of economic effort which is cooperative in its central drive." Mr. Arthur G. Coons, "Economic Planning in Democracy," Plan Age, Feb. 1939, p. 57.

(29)This is again the Veblenian conflict between "workmanship" and "pecuniary advantage."

(30)Veblen once said in a review of Oscar Loyell Triggs' Chapters in the History of the Arts and Crafts Movement (Journal oj Political Economy, referred to in Dorfman, op. cit . p. 204): "The machine process has come, not so much to stay merely, but to go forward and root out of the workmen's scheme of thought whatever elements are alien to its own technological requirements and discipline. It ubiquitously and unremittingly disciplines the workman into its way of doing and therefore in its way of apprehending and appreciating." But a different discipline entirely habituates the business class, of course, to the discipline of wasteful consumption. The worker is torn between the desire to emulate his superiors in status and the requirements of his trade.

(31)This was the suggestion in the so-called Hoover Model City Planning Bill, of 1928, which has been adopted in several cities. Nothing is to be gained, of course, from being unrealistic about the present situation. In the Federal Government the National Resources Planning Board, as it now is, has gradually evolved out of the old Equalization Board which was set up during Mr. Hoover's administration to do forward planning for public works. It is obviously becoming the central planning agency for the whole government. Much planning is separately done in Agriculture, Commerce, and other agencies. Often this is of high quality; but it needs the coordination which the Planning Board will doubtless supply.

The states, many of them, have Planning Boards subsidized through the Resources Board but none amounts to anything from the directive point of view.

It is in the cities that most progress has been made. Indeed the profession of planning is largely understood to mean city planning. But, although there are several hundred cities which pretend to maintain an agency for this purpose, they are (i) unpaid citizen boards which have been captured by realtors or lawyers; or (2) ex-officio boards which are treated with contempt by the department heads which comprise them; or (3) they have only "advisory" powers, after the pattern recommended by Mr. E. M. Bassett, et al. (In Model Laws for Planning Cities, Counties, and States, Harvard University Press, 1935).

In the new charter of the City of New York there has been provided a full-time commission which has been given, in addition to zoning powers, the duty of creating a master plan and the task of preparing a capital budget with which to implement it. This latter is subject to a three-quarters modification vote in the Board of Estimate but otherwise is difficult to influence or modify. This is the longest step yet taken. Such a federal agency still seems far off. There is even a difference in theory. The President's Committee on Administrative Management (which reported in 1937) seems to regard planning as a staff function of the executive, along with a budget bureau and a personnel agency. A President's Committee might be expected to take this view. It has so far prevailed: under Reorganization Plan No. 1, submitted on April 25, 1939, the National Resources Planning Board was established within the Executive Office.

(32)Any such specification as this is to be regarded as suggestion for beginning arrangement to be tried in practice and to be changed freely as experience accumulates. It might be pointed out, however, that there is considerable experience already in the city field.

(33)This is like the escape of every first generation of farmers on new land from the penalties of soil mining.

(34)To use a phrase from Veblen the planner is "required to administer the laws of causal sequence...." Theory of Business Enterprise, p. 313.

(35)"... the opponents of planning wrongly assume that planning must inevitably increase the total power now in use throughout our social order, whereas it might very well lead to a mere redistribution of that power without any enlargement of it at all." Mr. Rene DeVisme Williamson, "A Theory of Planning," Plan Age, Feb. 1939, P. 36.

(36)His methods too, though they may seem erudite to the uninitiated are a simple growth from common thinking. Mr. C. E. Ayers in a recent discussion of Mr. John Dewey (New Republic, LXXXXVII, 1259, p. 306, 18 January 1939) makes this point concerning all the instrumental arts, quoting the following well-known passage from the Essays in Experimental Logic:

"This point of view knows no fixed distinction between the empirical values of unreflective life and the most abstract process of rational thought. It knows no fixed gulf between the highest flight of theory and control of the details of practical construction and behavior. It passes, according to the occasion and opportunity of the moment, from the attitude of loving and struggling and doing to that of thinking and the reverse. Its contents or material shift their values back and forth from technological or utilitarian to esthetic, ethic or affectional.... In all this there is no difference of kind between the methods of science and those of the plain man.... The fundamental assumption is continuity in and of experience."

Veblen certainly did not regard himself as a pragmatist. In fact he felt that the common sense of this attitude was pre-Darwinian and that it supported the classical attitudes he was striving to break down. Dewey's position that the thinking of common men blossomed out into science was, however, very similar to Veblen's position. Labels aside, the approach of theae two was very similar.

(37)It is perhaps significant in this connection, also, that the choice of members for any likely planning body would be made necessarily from a group at least as highly qualified and restricted as is true of the judiciary. An understanding of the contrast in point of view between the politician, the jurist or the business man as over against the planner can be got by reading the passages in The Theory of Business Enterprise which begin on p. 318. The planner is simply under a different discipline.

(38)Veblen described the discipline of the machine industry in similar terms: 'The discipline of the machine process enforces a standardization of conduct and of knowledge in terms of quantitative precision, and inculcates a habit of apprehending and explaining facts in terms of material cause and effect. It involves a valuation of facts, things, relations and even personal capacity, in terms of force. Its metaphysics is materialism and its point of view is that of casual sequence." (Theory of Business Enterprise, pp. 66-7). If this seems strikingly like the discipline under which the planner works tnat is because the discipline actually is identical. Planning grows out of measurement, exactitude, repetivity, and so on, all principles on which the machine process also rests. They are related parts of the modern culture. To speak of planning as cold, arbitrary, a regimenting force and so on, as its detractors like to do, is merely to object to precision as a substitute for whimsy, to measurement as a substitute for rule-pf-thumb, to repetivity and exchangeable part manufacture for craft work on the medieval pattern.