In This Changes Everything,* Naomi Klein makes an interesting observation, intended to explain why we aren’t building the kind of economy we need: “… there is something sinister, indeed vaguely communist, about having a plan to build the kind of economy we need, even in the face of existential crisis” (125, my emphasis).
Is that why we don’t plan?
At the individual level. People are so que sera even about creating other human beings. ‘You’re pregnant? I didn’t know you wanted to spend twenty years of your life looking after someone.’ ‘Oh, it just happened ….’
And at the community level. If lakes were zoned, for example, everyone—jetskiers, and people-with-screeching-kids, and canoeists —could be happy. But as it is, the first group is angry with the third, the second group is angry with the first, the third group is angry with both the first and the second.
This lack of planning—it’s all because it’s communist? Because a pre-determined society is somehow against individual freedom?
Not planning is against individual freedom. Not planning is allowing yourself to be tossed about at random, by chance—and that’s not being free.
I wonder if there’s also a religious element involved. To plan, to choose your future, is to reject, or at least challenge, God’s plan. For you, your future.
Also, planning requires foresight, and foresight requires imagination. Which, I’m realizing, most people don’t have.
Planning also requires strong desires, for X over Y. Again, I’m realizing that most people—don’t really care. (Which means they get in the way of those of us who do.)
*very highly recommended, by the way