Planning is widely perceived as an approach to economic life that both subordinates decisions about production and distribution to a supposedly objective Science and as an illegitimate subjection of economic laws to a commanding political Will. This article excavates two key phases in the Soviet experiment with a planned economy, namely, the New Economic Policy under Lenin and the Stalinist institution of the five-year plan, to explore the way in which planning could be thought of as directly incorporating a dimension of social and class conflict. This archaeological reconstruction of an antagonistic politics of planning is contrasted with the disavowed elements of planning within contemporary business logistics as well as with efforts within critical Marxist theory after 1968 to push against the depoliticizing dimensions of the plan.

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