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The Politics of PlanningThe Debate on Economic Planning in Britain in the 1930s$
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Daniel Ritschel

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206477

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206477.001.0001

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Political and Economic Planning: The PEP Group

Political and Economic Planning: The PEP Group

(p.144) 4 Political and Economic Planning: The PEP Group
The Politics of Planning

Daniel Ritschel

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Political and Economic Planning, which was the first and best known of the capitalist planning groups. It explains that PEP set itself the goal of drafting an explicitly ‘capitalist’ plan of national reconstruction as the programmatic basis for a ‘Planning Party’ and, ultimately, a ‘planned society’ in Britain. It notes that the group never fulfilled this modest ambition and eventually abandoned the very ideal of planning itself, retreating by the end of the decade to its better-known later role as an independent research institute. It emphasizes however, that its early efforts to develop a programme of ‘capitalist planning’ are of crucial importance in the context of planning debate. It explains that PEP's search for a formula of planning that would reconcile the techniques of planning with a private enterprise economy illustrates the ideological complexities both of the debate and the paradoxical ideal itself.

Keywords:   Political and Economic Planning, capitalist planning group, Planning Party, planned society, planning debate, private enterprise economy

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