Planning, Science and Freedom

“Planning, Science and Freedom.” Nature 148 (November 15, 1941).


“The last ten years have witnessed in Great Britain a strong revival of a movement that for at least three generations has been a decisive force in the formation of opinion and the trend of social affairs in Europe: the movement for “economic planning.” As in other countries — first in France and then particularly in Germany — this movement has been strongly supported and even led by men of science and engineers.

It has now so far succeeded in capturing public opinion that what little opposition there is comes almost solely from a small group of economists. To these economists this movement seems not only to propose unsuitable means for the ends at which it aims; it also appears to them as the main cause of that destruction of individual liberty and spiritual freedom which is the great threat of our age. If these economists are right, a large number of men of science are unwittingly striving to create a state of affairs which they have most reason to fear. It is the purpose of the following sketch to outline the argument on which that view is based.”

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