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By Robert Goodman

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Example text

Thus it comes about that the apparatus of the Welfare State, for example, has benefited the middle classes and main­ tained the distribution of power and resources at its previous level. Indeed, as a corollary of the fact that planning has not been an attem pt to recast society in any fundamental respect, it has become one of the mainstays of policy for both the established left and right in British politics. Its development as part of the Welfare State apparatus has been supported by every post-war government.

As a result, the community felt it would have its say in who de­ veloped the area and how the relocation was to take place. It wasn’t until after seeing what happened to this neigh­ borhood and others once the initial battle had been won, and the media fanfare died down, that I began to realize that advocacy planning and other forms of “citizen participa­ tion” could lead to another dead end. In the case of the high62 WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM THE EXPERTS school project in Boston, four years have passed as houses continue to run down, a good part of the community that originally fought the battle has moved from the area, meet­ ings, meetings and more meetings have been held and still no housing has been built.

Linked with the demand for social planning, finally, is the tendency in all heavily bureaucratized and central­ ized societies for the people to demand involvement in the processes of policy-formulation and decision-making, and for the fuller accountability of public servants. However, just as the institution of planning mechan­ isms does not necessarily democratize the economy, so the creation of superficial pluralist mechanisms to give voice to the opinions of particular pressure groups does little to alter the existing power structure.

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