Democracy and Planning

I read Stuart Hampshire’s article, “In Defense of Radicalism,” (DISSENT, Spring ’56) with great interest and agree essentially with his notions of the function of the radical in society. However, Mr. Hampshire seems to have overlooked the conditions which produced the concept of freedom in the 18th century and consequently bypassed one of the basic problems of 20th century society, especially as viewed from the ideological framework of the socialist. This is the problem of social planning. Take, for example, the changing nature of the technological apparatus of our economy which involves, if effective mobility is to be obtained, the pushing, though not necessarily by force, of people into certain job areas.

Now if we assume a socialist government advocates the planning of the economy and at the same time espouses complete freedom of choice for the individual, we a...

Socialist thought provides us with an imaginative and moral horizon.

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