Revisiting Teleogical Planning: Predictive vs Normative Thinking
By Marcos Thadeu Queiroz Magalhaes
Teleological Planning is associated with the communist and socialist planning fiasco. However, the flaw does not rely on assuming that planning is a teleological activity. The flaw resides on assuming that the government is the sole planner (or player) in the "planning game", or that it can monopolize the game. Carlos Matus developed a very comprehensive epistemology of planning to cope with that understanding.
I understand that Teleological Planning is (and has been) fully compatible with capitalist systems. I understand that to plan is to impress volition (desire) towards the state of things, such that by acting consistently with purpose, we TRANSFORM reality. Therefore, planning is essentially a CREATIVE process.
As a consequence of that, if planning is reduced to prediction frameworks that only extrapolates current initial conditions assuming that structuring logic remains unaltered, it is not planning at all but a mere calculus. Furthermore, no transformation can be expected to be brought into being by such approach.
Crucial decisions in planning are not the technical ones, but the MORAL ones. And this is the most challenging aspect of planning. It is to decide what is desired, sustainable, worthy, and good. And such decision cannot be restricted to a few individuals.
Marcos Thadeu Queiroz Magalhaes
Published: 17 Apr, 2015
C.f. John Maynard Keynes's quote that "The important thing for government is not to do things which individuals are doing already, and to do them a little better or a little worse; but to do those things which at present are not done at all." Also Mariana Mazzucato's book "The Entrepreneurial State".
Burke Burnett · 17 Apr, 2015