Ideologies, Goals, and Values

By Feliks Gross | Go to book overview

10
Social Planning and Ethics

Social Planning: A Strategy Definition

We shall proceed with the definition of planning gradually, step by step, from general to more specific. The resulting differences in major types of planning are not a consequence of an abstract exercise. The types are related to major patterns that were practiced by planners and decision makers of our century.

The major dilemma is the problem of ends and means: considerations of efficiency versus ethical-moral, normative considerations (normative boundaries) in choice of means. In its very essence it is a problem of social control by use of force and coercion, on one hand, and freedom, or various degrees of free associations, on the other.

Strategy and tactics constitute the art of achieving goals effectively. Planning, social economic planning, is nothing else but a specific type of strategy. It is governed by the same principles as strategy is. It faces similar problems. The structure of goals is similar, since it is the same major pattern of achieving objectives. Planning is a rational and economic way of achieving goals: by means of least effort, with a minimal or optimal allocation of resources in optimal time necessary for efficient achievement of goals. It is above all a choice of adequate means in order to achieve desired ends.

Planning is an art akin (but not equivalent) to science. The function of the scientific method is an intellectual economy and concentration of intellectual effort with the purpose of achieving valid and verifiable results. Thus maximizing efficiency in goal achievement with a minimum of allocation of resources and effort is a component of planning. Principles of economy of effort and expenditure are not sufficient, however seminal they may be. The concept, or at least a major category of social planning, is identified with public interest, with the welfare of underprivileged, with assistance to the needy, with protection of the exploited. It is considered a beneficial activity. In such context and within this narrowed-

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Ideologies, Goals, and Values
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Sociology Series Editor: Don Martindale ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Introduction xxi
  • Acknowledgments xxxiii
  • Part I Ideologies 1
  • 1: The Directive and Regulatory System 3
  • 2: Ideologies--The World Outlook and Values 26
  • 3: The Structure of Ideologies 44
  • 4: The Appeal and Function of Values 58
  • 5: Definition of Values 71
  • Part II Goals 75
  • 6: Types of Goals 77
  • 7: Formation of Goals 91
  • 8: Horizontal Sequence of Goals 103
  • 9: Strategies 119
  • 10: Social Planning and Ethics 128
  • 11: The Logic of Planning 145
  • 12: Distant Goals 156
  • 13: Social Rhythm and Cyclical Goals 183
  • Part III Values 209
  • 14: Hierarchies of Values 211
  • 15: Multiple Sets of Values 237
  • 16: In Search of Universal Values 273
  • 17: Toleration and Pluralism 300
  • Bibliography 321
  • Index 337
  • About the Author 345
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