عنوان مقاله [English]
This paper aims to introduce main axioms of Marxian theory of planning, and its development during twentieth century as well as the recent decade, enabling reader to compare it with other theories. Although the practice of planning began in Soviet Union, Marxist writers were not pioneers in developing a distinct theory of planning. Therefore, to grasp the essence of a Marxian approach to planning, one has to follow all important interpretations and analyses that pro-Marx scholars have published on planning in the capitalist or socialist countries, during the aforementioned time span.
A historical review demonstrates that neither Marx nor none of his most distinguished disciples in Russian Social Democratic Workers Party, among them Lenin and Trotsky, had ever tried to explain planning as a distinct question per se significantly. However, negation of market mechanism and capitalism, as well as emphasizing on social ownership versus private property, automatically led to state ownership of productive sources and planning for exploiting them. In this stage, planning was considered a matter of routine by socialist thinkers. Therefore, there was no need for theorizing. Nevertheless, as the first bottlenecks and ambiguities appeared, deliberation on planning began. Furthermore, Great Depression of 1930s and destructions of Second World War brought about hot debates on what should be done to overcome capitalist cyclic crises and how capitalist planning could be recognized from socialist one. These questions and many other similar ones made Marxian thinkers, among others, to deliberate on planning as an important process of intervention in economy and society with very important good and bad results.
Today, Marxian scholars – including neo-Marxists and post-Marxists – still consider planning, an absolute necessity of the modern society, but few of them believe that planning should be the only regulating system of economy, and must substitute the market. Furthermore, all of them are against capitalism, claiming that this system is not able to carry on the basic choices of any economy, but few of them still believe that a state-owned means of production and central planning would lead to socialist society. Nowadays, post-Marxists, among them regulation theorists, emphasize on regime of regulation instead of ownership system and believe that by establishing a system that embraces private and cooperative sector, state sector and civil sector (non-profitable endeavors) and a banking system, with more responsibility and responsiveness towards the public, a more equalitarian and suitable condition may come about.