1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

The Ludwig von Mises Institute

Advancing Austrian Economics, Liberty, and Peace

Advancing the scholarship of liberty in the tradition of the Austrian School

Search Mises.org

Central Planning and the Limits of Social Control

Mises Daily: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 by

A
A

[Chapter 5 in Central Planning and Neomercantilism, Helmut Schoeck and James W. Wiggins, eds.]

Almost by definition a truly central planner must be able to delegate numerous functions to remote individuals. He must be able to count on reasonably faithful adherence to instructions and orders conceived by him for the sake of the plan. No matter what technological improvements — such as electronic communications — are being used, essentially this problem remains one of basic social control. This is a process which, if successful, allows, without wasteful and costly physical and perpetual pushing and watching, a small group of men to control and direct a larger number for ends conceived by the minority. (There are instances, of course, where social controls are instituted by a majority for a minority, but even here the majority will delegate that control function to a group with fewer members than the total membership of the minority to be controlled.)

For the purposes of this essay we should also avoid confusing organization with central planning. Sometimes the advocates of "dynamic" (i.e., pushing) central planning try to take credit for their notion from human collective successes that appear to have resulted from planning. We would hold that the United States of America was never planned to be the richest nation on earth, but that its central document, the Constitution, as an organizational chart, provided, for the taking by individuals and groups, a political, organizational, and eventually also geographical setting capable of releasing unplanned efforts toward that end.

First let us examine the nature of social controls relevant to the problem of central planning. Obviously, most members of the human species acquire characteristics that fit them for planned long-range effort. We all possess traits required for taking part in plans, both as planners and performers. In antiquity, for instance, it would not have been possible for any ruler or city government to dispatch missions and armies across the seas and lands and expect them to carry out the assignment and return to their native grounds, unless human beings could be trusted to follow a plan even though the ultimate enforcer of the scheme could not be present all the time.

The entire history of civilization in itself, especially prior to worldwide electronic communications, once we pause to reflect, is a most astounding testimony to the efficacy of social control irrespective of time and distance. Why could a ruler ages ago send men and ships on their way without undue fear of losing control? He simply counted on a few known traits of human nature. They did not necessarily belong to the most charming attributes of man, although our better selves may have played a part too. Loyalty to the ruler or to one's parents and friends may have been active sometimes.

More frequently, perhaps, it was vanity and ambition. Instead of "going native" on a distant island and seeking the idyllic life, the explorer and his crew might find it a stronger incentive to return home, mission accomplished, and bathe in the glory bestowed upon them in their own society. Some explorers were under specific orders to "produce," and they had to fear penalties. Many former efforts at planned exploratory missions, however, were open-ended orders quite different, say, from a five-year plan.

Perhaps it is a most telling sign of basic differences between absolute systems of political rule in former times and the present Communist nations that in the past governments rarely required hostages before dispatching men abroad. (In the more distant past, of course, men dispatched from a civilized nation had fewer attractive places in the world to which defection would have been sufficiently tempting.) Today's Communist societies, as far as we know, are the first major social systems which depend on careful screening and the securing of hostages from a man's family before giving him a travel-exit visa or letting him go on a government-sponsored mission abroad. In view of the Marxist contempt for the idea of a constant human nature, it is an ironic proof of a universal human nature that the Communist state can count, most of the time, on a man's return from abroad as long as members of his kinship group remain at home.

Just how close must a human relationship be before the hostage system becomes operative? Usually, regardless of time in history, it includes spouse, child and parent, possibly sibling. Not even the National Socialist and Fascist regimes made the issuance of passports and exit visas dependent upon the assurance that close members of the applicant's family would remain inside Germany or Italy for the duration of the trip. This small, but in itself momentous, observation throws some light on what might be wrong with the Communist systems and their perpetual failure to obtain some of the social controls for planning that were available to former autocratic systems of government.

To return to the original premise, we can say that man without question is eminently well prepared to become a functioning part in a planned mission. He has the memory span, the status consciousness, the range of loyalty, and intelligence to receive instructions and carry them out almost for an indefinite time period regardless of intervening events. Certainly the success of complicated, far-flung military ventures over the ages supports this statement. The social controls used for directing men on distant, or at any rate unsupervised, missions and tasks rely, of course, on the penal law as well as on sufficient incentives.

Originally, central planning was not really an elaborated and major part of Marxist theory. Karl Marx and his immediate followers, of course, predicted that a state of order would succeed the "chaos" of capitalism, but they did not care to show how central planning was to do this job. Only when wartime emergency planning from 1914 to 1918 got under way, and often happened to be in the hands of socialistically inclined cabinet ministers, did socialism and central planning merge into a single doctrine. It has been noted that most of the schemes, as well as the semantics used to sell them, started by the socialists in Britain after 1945 were superficial imitations of military operations.

"The more coercive and authoritarian the planning scheme, the more evasion and noncompliance it will encounter."

But perpetual economic planning and military emergency planning cannot be equated. Controls which work in one setting will fail in the other. The threat of a court-martial may deter or keep in line most soldiers, although never all, but even capital punishment for crimes against the planned economy — as Germany during the last war and Soviet Russia again today show — fails to maintain universal loyalty to the economic plan and its requirements. And if one were to model the economy even closer after the military establishment, it is certain that the resulting inflexibility in the execution of the plan would hasten its failure.

Yet it should also be mentioned that even the most-successful and best-planned great military operations were not without social controls that failed. A book about the Normandy invasion, published in 1962, tells of paratroopers dropped in the wrong areas who then refused to follow orders. Unlike the planned economy, which has to heed principles of economics if it wants to last for years, the military operation can ignore economics temporarily. It can include in the plan a saturation principle, allowing for certain functions to fail while still reaching the overall goal within a specified number of days or weeks. (Advertising campaigns in a free market, by the way, can be conducted similarly.)

Money and men were not as much an object in the liberation of Europe as resources and labor would be in the planned economy. A military plan, e.g., an invasion, can be seen to succeed or fail within a reasonable span of time. It is measured by an all-or-nothing standard. The five-year plan does not allow such a simple yardstick.

The next important point, however, is this: meaningful, successful planning of human effort requires a breakdown or reinterpretation of social control at crucial moments. We do not live and operate in a fully predictable universe in which individuals who are completely and indefinitely subject to social control can help a plan succeed. Hardly any human enterprise ever can be predicted, calculated, and designed to the last detail in complete anticipation of the future environment in which the action will have to take place.

Again the example from military operations offers us a comparison. For instance, some military experts in Switzerland in recent years, going over the record of World War II, have noted in their publications a significant difference between the Soviet Russian military doctrine and the Western. Once cut off from headquarters or having run into a situation not contained in the initial order, the Soviet soldier, officer, or military unit, no matter what its size, almost invariably froze. The safest action was no action.

In contrast, non-Russian military instruction, including even the rather authoritarian German system, always included approximately this instruction to the individual military man: "When cut off from headquarters or when the situation no longer seems congruous with the original order, it is your responsibility to put yourself in the shoes of your absent commander, survey the tactical and strategic situation, and act intelligently in terms of your dynamic assessment of this new situation." Apparently such a safeguard against death by blind obedience to social control is hardly conceivable to Soviet military doctrine. It is not hard to see why. The planned society in which everything is interpreted in line with an inexorable and scientifically predictable course of events cannot easily educate the kind of person who would be amenable to an open-end order.[1]

So far we have obtained three principles: (1) Man is undoubtedly fit to be part of a plan; (2) any plan with a perfectly obedient team is most likely to be doomed; and, finally, (3) a social system strongly committed to centralized planning is less likely to allow the personality type to emerge that would be willing to risk ad hoc corrections in a plan in response to unforeseen events. Even a cursory reading of the official Soviet speeches and admonitions regarding the failure of agriculture in recent years provides sufficient documentation on this point. In the same sentence Khrushchev can condemn the Soviet farmer for (a) not having followed orders explicitly, and for (b) having failed to use his own judgment when the orders obviously did not fit the local environment and conditions.

Empirically we know, of course, that, by and large, individuals, even in the Soviet Union, will begin to deviate from a plan once its commandment has become obviously self-defeating, impossible to fulfill, or otherwise too demanding. Again, we have simply a safety valve built into the social system.

However, whether or not the individual deviation from a central plan will promote the overall accomplishment of the plan or merely the welfare and protection of the individual has much to do with the overall social system in which the planning takes place. A political-social system in which the boss can survive physically and politically an admitted error will benefit more from the initiative and corrections on the part of rank-and-file members than a system in which authority, because it lacks democratic legitimacy, tries to rest on the infallibility principle. As so many times in human affairs, those systems that want to stake everything on central planning are intrinsically those which can least afford it.[2]

Any system of social controls needs a legal test of compliance. The trustworthiness of this system of justice may be questionable in some societies, but even a rather ruthless totalitarian and collectivist state must seek the semblance of a rule by law instead of by arbitrary officials. In other words, central planning cannot do without a network of fairly fixed yardsticks against which the compliance of individual actors can be measured.

This is necessary, if for no other reason, to obtain enthusiasm and loyalty from the target of social control. Unless he can, in the performance of his assigned duties, see approximately how well he is doing in terms of the part of the plan revealed to him, he is not likely to carryon at a high level of efficiency. He will spend most of his time and energies securing alibis.

Democratic societies with a highly developed sense of fair play and equal protection under law also require explicit and incorruptible legal signposts for the fulfillment of a plan. Usually there will be contractual agreements. But in a free society, where jobs may be changed easily, the man working under a plan will suffer at least somewhat less anguish and anxiety than his opposite number in a totalitarian state when the deadline for plan fulfillment approaches and his output is still short of the goal.

Relative freedom from ultimate punishment for error or for just plain shortcomings due to physical circumstances are in themselves, as we now see, economic assets. This freedom, or the feeling and knowledge of this freedom from excessive fear, permits the individual performers in a social system to allocate more of their talents and time to task-specific activities instead of diverting them to alibi-securing, ego-centered chores.

These are overall assessments of the situation in free and less free societies. Of course, there will always be executives in free societies who work under a plan, and who, for personal reasons or because of an unreasonable authority system, will fall into anxiety and become panicky. And we can assume that the rulers of a Communist society occasionally want so strongly to accomplish a task that at least for a time they will increase incentives and creativity among the workers by promising some kind of amnesty in case of failure or delays. But the difference still is that the beneficiary of such top-level amnesty in the Soviet Union or in Red China has no absolute legal or contractual guarantee that the promise of amnesty will be honored. The top boss may have a change of mind, may need an excuse for himself, or may be succeeded by a man who owes his new position in part to the promise of dishonoring all commitments made by his predecessor.

In the last analysis, the interdependence between formal, legally circumscribed attainment markers for the phases of a plan and the possibility of planning in the first place contains reasons for the inherent weakness of planning as such. Sociologists, especially students of industrial work performance or, for instance, of staff behavior in hospitals, have uncovered overwhelming evidence showing that human beings are incredibly successful and ingenious in evading instructions or bending orders to their particular needs without formally violating the legal or contractual requirements.

In order to remain generally applicable, the formal rule cannot be brought down to the concrete level of any single operation. Consequently, it is extremely difficult to make a case against the individual's noncompliance unless the enforcing agency wants to appear vindictive and arbitrary, thus undermining the future acceptance and success of the planned effort. Again, the official acknowledgments in Soviet publications of frequent noncompliance with central orders, rules, and quota assignments represent more evidence than we need. Some 40 years of Communist attempts to create the perfect cog for the planned society have failed to eradicate individual whim, quest for private gain, ingenuity, and evasiveness. Thus, more recently, the bluntest and crudest tool of social control, the threat of capital punishment, had to be reinstated.

"Human beings are incredibly successful and ingenious in evading instructions or bending orders to their particular needs."

The more coercive and authoritarian the planning scheme, the more evasion and noncompliance it will encounter.[3] The more disposed a government, whether authoritarian or democratically elected, is to stake all on one or a few central plans, the more formal and strict it will have to be about the plan itself. The more central and comprehensive for a particular economic or social area the planning is going to be, the more it will evoke the basic difficulties shown in our analysis.

It is a somewhat different story when the planning is done through systems which can reward individual initiative and ingenuity all along the path of the plan, and, more importantly, which cannot and do not have to punish with absolute sanctions willful or involuntary failure on the part of any participant in the plan. This is one reason why in some areas of human effort private and voluntary planning has succeeded in remarkable accomplishments.

The much cited nonsocialistic economic planning in France of the past few years is, in truth, more in the nature of large-scale market research with findings made public. The plan encourages. It does not hold out punishment. (French planners, though, do try to produce specific growth rates in certain sectors by offering capital at cheap rates to industries willing to commit themselves.) As of 1964, however, serious questions about the success of the French "planifications" have already been raised. By contrast, truly central planning means that the government monopolizes an entire area of life and assigns targets and performance criteria for everyone active in it.

It does happen, of course, that even in a free society a governmental or supranational planning board and its implementing agencies will try to arrogate to itself certain sanctions which we usually expect to find in nonfree societies. The various coercive instruments of central planning are not entirely absent from the past and current history of politics in the West. Legalistic entrapment of entrepreneurs, differential taxation and import duties, and invidious publicity through strategic prosecutions are some of the means of such social control.

Let us now look at the chronic weakness in the front line of a social-control system which cannot afford to cut apron strings. Beginning with a certain size, every human society contains organizations, social systems, and institutions of various kinds which, in order to perform certain social-control functions, have to rely on frontline personnel that will be in direct and continuous contact with the individuals or groups to be supervised or controlled. We have these relationships, for instance, between foremen and workers, guards and prisoners, priests and parishioners, and lieutenants or sergeants and enlisted men. Another example is the local military government in occupied territories.

In all these cases, the center of control, headquarters, bishop, management, the warden's office in a prison, etc., must rely on the distant and, in terms of social proximity, most immediate agent of social control to perform in line with instructions and expectations from headquarters and with a minimum of compromise, sympathy, and deference to the one to be controlled. But we also know that people everywhere, on either side of a fence or front line, can make life for each other more miserable than necessary, if they so wish. Consequently, in any such situation we usually can detect milder or stronger symptoms of fraternization, of compromise.

The patient, the prisoner, the worker, the member of a congregation, the host government to an ambassador — all can succeed in diminishing the status of the most immediate agent of social control with his own headquarters or higher authority if they try long enough, hard enough. The prison guard who is constantly provoked into using his ultimate disciplinary weapons, the ambassador who has often to resort to diplomatic sanctions, the priest who has to threaten excommunication every other Sunday from his pulpit cannot really continue performing their functions indefinitely. They know this, and the audiences, or subject populations, know it as well. Even during the Civil War in America, and especially during World War I in Europe, it was found that the soldiers of both sides, when opposite each other along a front line for a time long enough, or in certain circumstances, began to conclude their own temporary truce with exchanges of favors, the promises not to shoot, etc.

"The patient, the prisoner, the worker, the member of a congregation, the host government to an ambassador — all can succeed in diminishing the status of the most immediate agent of social control with his own headquarters or higher authority if they try long enough, hard enough."

We have here a genuine and probably unsolvable dilemma of social-control processes. If I am the central authority, I cannot send out someone to be the distant agent of social control without expecting him to have some communication with the ones to be controlled. But my very permission to him to have communication is the beginning of a process which will undermine the authority I have delegated to him.

All social interaction produces some assimilation, even across lines of culture. If a central authority has hundreds of frontline agents of social control, the principle of the least effort compels it to prefer those agents who will have to check back most infrequently and about whose conduct headquarters will hear little from those to be controlled.[4] This fact, produced by the limited time available to any single man in a central position within 24 hours, in turn, will cost him some power of social control because it diminishes the lines of communication between the distant agent of social control and his authorizing agency.

Thus, it may be possible to derive from the principle of the least effort and the basic span of attention available to an individual a theory of the limitations on any social-control system ever to be arranged.

Substituting an electronic computer system for the human central watchdog will hardly be a solution to the planner's dilemma. It is quite common today to dismiss skepticism about utopian experiments by mentioning the newly developed, fantastically efficient, and omniscient electronic machines. One of the more optimistic recent authors writing on "The Computer Revolution" describes applications of computers ranging from selecting corn hybrids to distinguishing the sounds of submarines from those of fishes.[5] It is possible to construct computers which have the inherent ability to "learn from past history." They improve their power to discriminate as a result of experiences with previous responses whose feedback indicated a correct definition of the situation by the computer. Some computers can control complex chemical manufacturing processes.[6]

Why could not such a machine or complex of machines eventually plan, supervise, control, evaluate, and replan, let us say, the entire agricultural production of a country? Weather statistics from many decades, current and predicted weather data, information concerning the effectiveness of fertilizers, and a thousand other items might be stored in such a system, and the orders to the remaining humans out in the field would come over teletype from a nonhuman, almost error-proof, unbribable electronic brain. If this works for a single chemical plant, why not also for agriculture, transport, and steelmaking?

Again, my point is that to some extent such a system probably will work within a free society. It can handle, for example, the planning of the output of a diversified line of automobiles in response to a multitude of consumer choices expressed to their local dealers. Here, as long as the electronic system plans and coordinates the manufacturing and distribution process, perhaps even including initial investment decisions, it operates mostly in response to decisions which in themselves are not part of a master plan. The computer merely leads to a more economical and rational allocation of resources. Minor errors or breakdowns of the system will not have serious consequences of a psychological or political nature.

The situation, however, is different the moment such a central electronic brain has been delegated the function of coercive, politically infallible planning. In this case the recipient of messages from the system, as soon as he fears that the local conditions will not permit him to satisfy the anticipation for his performance stored in the machine, will have every interest to foul up the machine. Some 15 years ago college students discovered a way of cheating the electronic grading machine on examinations (for instance, by coming to class with a sleeve wetted in a solution capable of making the entire examination sheet a conductor for electricity instead of just the places marked).[7] And in 1961, a New York stock brokerage executive embezzled large sums by means of a few well-calculated extra holes in punch cards. Had he not confessed prematurely, a conviction would have been impossible, and had he not made a minor human error, the fraud might have gone on indefinitely.

In 1961–1962 there were numerous reports in Soviet newspapers about very ingenious evasions and tricks played on the planned economy. Some of these economic crimes — now subject to capital punishment — involved the concerted effort of 50 and more people in several echelons. It is therefore doubtful whether the human central planner and supervisor in the infallible society can solve the basic problem outlined here by the installation of electronic gear; the more elaborate and mandatory the planning in the infallible society, the more will countervailing powers and antisystemic ingenuities come into play, regardless of the sophistication of control tools.

Moreover, unlike a human planner, who can decree that his memory is infallible regarding the details of a plan, a machine cannot brandish a party card. Its data, its conclusions, etc., can be challenged. Thus, the central planner again needs a supervisor and a defender of his electronic gear. This puts him back to the dilemma he faced before the installation of control by computers.

Richard T. LaPiere (A Theory of Social Control, 1954) has shown in numerous analyses that the basic social controls available to man and the basic forms of compliance and evasion have not changed since antiquity. Deep in their hearts today's planners know this too. Most discussions of decisive central planning, therefore, even today — in spite of all experiences to the contrary — end on a utopian note of hope. We cannot improve our tools of social control because the better the instruments of social control, the more self-defeating they become. What is left? Remaking people so that they will fit the tools of planning?

"The basic social controls available to man and the basic forms of compliance and evasion have not changed since antiquity."

Some 30 years ago, Karl Mannheim tried to rescue the notion of planning, in the face of totalitarian planned societies, by introducing the slogan of "Planning for Freedom." It would be the state's task to bring about a new personality type whose life could be planned without his being aware and therefore resentful of social controls. Mannheim had an honest moment when he asked and did not really try to answer, "But who shall plan the planner?"

In 1959, Eugene V. Rostow, Dean of Yale's Law School, published a tome with the title Planning for Freedom. He does not mention Mannheim as the originator of this semantic deception. But Rostow, for our time, tries to do what Mannheim did for the '30s and '40s: to make central coercive planning — mostly through legal restrictions — once more respectable in the face of the failures and consequences of planning in communist and socialist countries. He thinks that there is good and bad coercive government planning, but planning there must be:

Planning by a modern government … is inescapable because a capitalist economy doesn't keep itself at high levels of employment, nor can it accomplish unaided certain other economic goals of the community.

And there are no institutions, apart from those of government, to carry out the essential preliminary function of planning … The issue is not whether to plan, but what to plan and how to plan.[8]

If a label is necessary for the concept of planning outlined here, it might be identified as Planning for Freedom.[9]

Professor Rostow is unhappy to find even enlightened segments of the American public still attacking planning as "collectivism" or as "creeping socialism." He is happy that the "Committee for Economic Development" has been won over to this notion of planning for freedom, but the editors of Fortune, to his dismay, still do not see the light.

Toward the end of his book, Rostow had to admit,

If we reread the reformers of seventy or eighty years ago, we find that most of their objections to the injustices of American society have been met, in whole or in large part.[10]

But this is no discouragement to a good planner. There is so much left to bring under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government:

There are social problems of intense difficulty to resolve … the linked mysteries of crime and family patterns, the improved organization of medical care. The future of the cities presents a major challenge.…

The challenges which are emerging in many areas of social study and social action should provide ample work [for planners?] for many years.[11]

"The challenges which are emerging in many areas of social study…" — this phrase deserves closer interpretation. The extension of central planning increasingly receives justification, its "legitimation" — and its presumed actual executability — from a certain kind of statistics and social research. Honest research and statistics conscious of their limitations, of course, are not in dispute. We are threatened by incongruous or deceptive statistics and carefully segmentalized research. In an age of computers and scientism it seems probable that socialism in its various forms will no longer try to win through sentimental, nostalgic ideologies and ideals but through the production and manipulation of research data and the presentation of "compelling" statistics.

In 1961, officials in the United States federal government seemed to have adopted, with less insight than Mannheim possessed, the idea of planning a new generation of farmers who would be amenable to planned agriculture. According to The Wall Street Journal (October 2, 1961) and other publications, the Kennedy administration planners at that time abandoned hopes of a revolution in government management of agriculture. Federal officials now feel that what they view as truly effective controls on farm production must await a gradual "reeducation" of public, Congressional, and farm opinion:

These officials believe the chief farmer opposition to tighter controls comes from older farmers who aren't enthusiastic even about present controls. Eventually, the planners figure, most farms will be operated by younger, less independent-minded farmers who will be willing to accept higher controls in return for the promise of income protection."[12] (emphasis added)

In addition to farmers, the old folks in general have received a special place in the planner's heart. And yet, ironically, here too, a gerontologist at Cornell University, in 1958, pointed out that the present generation of aged may not yet be "ready" for the planner, but the next one may well be.

Wayne E. Thompson writes,

Evidence from the Cornell studies seems to show that the present generation of oldsters are more widely capable of managing their own lives than would be indicated by the proliferation of counseling programs, aids to self-help, advice to the "age-lorn," and organized activity programs for older people. Self-reliance such as this may not be the case with future generations, since the youngsters of today are fed liberal doses of the values of "playing it cool," of heeding one's peers in "other-directed" manner, in short, of being "well-adjusted." Moreover, for those who are not "well-adjusted," professional help and advice springs eternal. Given this orientation, personal resilience may come to be relatively lacking, and then systematically "helping people to help themselves" may be more squarely to the point — assuming there remains someone to help the helpers!"

In short, even today it is recognized that we lack the social controls to bend people to the plans made for them. Not just in the USSR or in India but in the United States also the utopian element still plays a role: if not this generation, maybe the next one will somehow provide the personality type with which and for which the scheme will succeed.

It may be that overconfidence in the possibilities, the potential of central planning, in part, stems from a misunderstanding of man's apparent willingness and fitness to take part in grand plans. The erection of the Empire State Building as well as the Normandy invasion required planning and compliant individuals. Men do well under a plan and its controls if the Gestalt to be accomplished makes sense, is not too distant, and offers rewards as well as challenges for different levels of skill. But this is quite different from a superimposed, infallible political philosophy which would urge on us an engineered society.

Notes

[1] See the excellent Swiss book by Rolf R. Bigler, Der einsame Soldat [The Lone Soldier], Eine soziologische Deutung der militärischen Organisation (Frauenfeld: Verlag Huber & Co., 1963). The book contains an extensive bibliography. Our statement applies to formal Soviet units, not necessarily to more independent guerilla units. The segmental success of science and technology in the U.S.S.R. cannot be use to weaken our argument here, because there are sufficient examples of underdeveloped and manipulated areas of Soviet science, e.g., the field of genetics where Lysenkoism has been in and out of favor erratically over the years.

[2] To some extent, of course, the Soviet Union has, as have other communist countries, institutionalized local and even central self-criticism. But this has not removed the basic commitment to the possibility and desirability of the infallibility principle, nor can such a political system ever give assurance of amnesty to the one who admits his errors. See Gregory Grossman, ed., Value and Plan, Economic Calculation and Organization in Eastern Europe (University of California Press, 1960), especially the chapter by Michael Kaiser on the reorganization of Soviet industry.

[3] It is even impossible to plan procedures in a maximum security prison with much success. See Gresham M. Sykes, The Society of Captives (1957). And when the penal law becomes too severe, it may be impossible to find informers to inform or juries to convict.

[4] Cf. George Zipf, The Principle of the Least Effort (1949).

[5] Edmund C. Berkeley, The Computer Revolution (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1962).

[6] The Soviets expect great things from computers: "The use of high-speed electronic computers for economic analysis, economic information, and accounting is one of the effective ways of raising the scientific level of economic planning." I. Yevenko, Planning in the U.S.S.R. (Moscow, 1961), 245.

[7] According to a report to the New York Times by Theodore Shabad, dated Moscow, February 17, 1962, the Soviet Government discovered large-scale fraud in tests taken for college admission in Russia. Some Russian parents paid as much as $4,000 to $18,000 to the ring, whose members then took the college entrance examinations for the sons of their clients. Human nature seems to be similar everywhere.

[8] Planning for Freedom, 23f.

[9] Ibid., 28.

[10] Ibid., 379.

[11] Ibid., 380.

[12] It should be noted that these are the hopes of planners. There was considerable evidence in 1962 and 1963 that especially the young farmers vote against government restrictions.