Vertical branch planning and horizontal territorial planning: a review of the approach, problems and the distribution of the productive forces
This paper is addressed to the question of an appropriate planning technology in Zimbabwe. Note is taken of some of the physical and social manifestations of "Capitalist Planning" in methods borrowed from Eurocentric Social Democracy which still bear the heavy stamp of Keynesianism and welfare state doctrines. History has revealed the latter doctrines to have been social instruments of oppression devised during the Great Depression of 1929 - 1939, to contain social revolution in North America. Lacking the basic historical base of real experiences that is the social field of inquiry, the paper argues, the missing element in National Planning strategies has been the scant attention paid to the accumulation of social technology. Despite very glib references to the mode of production, Marxists in Zimbabwe have not as yet been able to come up with a National Planning System that goes beyond the imperatives of World Bank and IMF-funded research proposals into the social relations of production. Research proposals emanating from these very eminent world resourceful persons sitting in Washington DC are mere instruments for the containment of the African revolution, whose tornado is currently sweeping over the sub-continent. It is therefore unlikely in the long run that the grey eminence of International Capital can actually sponsor research that is for the common good of the struggling masses of Azania. The paper also seeks to warn against the adoption of imported intellectual fashions. Import substitution projects should surely stop at the material base of society, because clearly in Africa, the limits for the indigenization of the social logic for capital accumulation have been reached. Planners in the political, economic and social sciences should therefore now direct their attention to the whole issue of indigenizing the socialist political economy. At the most basic level then the debate about planning amongst the left intellectuals in Zimbabwe is still not about the dualism of ideologies in Zimbabwe's superstructure. Rather, it is the articulation of Euro-centric versions of what the best road is to socialism. This is manifested in the fragmentation of the whole academic field of planning into regional and urban planning, social planning, district planning, etc. And despite much talk about political economy, we have not stopped to engage in self-critiques of our own individual planning ideologies or notions of "order".