Social Forecasting and the Problem of Changing Values, with Special Reference to Soviet and East European Writings.

by Fred Charles Ikle

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Only when prediction is linked to policy choices should we speak of futurology or "the science of prediction." An essential but neglected aspect of social forecasting for more than five years ahead is the prediction of what people will want then. Planners may seek to adapt to changing values (bourgeois states are better at this than Communist states) may remain neutral, or may oppose them. Attempts of planners to foster their own personal values may be concealed by their presenting a single forecast as inevitable. Some Soviet writers fear that planners may make only forecasts that serve their own interests. In any case, the choice of topics for forecasting is determined by contemporary interests. Forecasts may emphasize attributes of the state, such as population and GNP, or of individuals, such as age and income distributions. More attention is needed to attain a desirable balance between them. 14 pp.

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