Plan de Man

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Contemporary poster showing the Plan, portrayed as a fist, attacking big business, represented as an octopus coiled around the Belgian economy.

The Plan for Work (French: Plan du Travail, Dutch: Plan van de Arbeid), commonly known as the Plan de Man, was an economic policy devised in 1933 by the Belgian politician Henri de Man of the Belgian Labour Party (POB-BWP) to combat the economic situation experienced by Belgium in the aftermath of the Great Depression. The plan, described as a "Labour Plan", was one of the foremost examples of the doctrine of "Planisme" advocated by de Man.[1] The policy was aimed at "instilling a mixed economic system" by the creation of a "a nationalized sector covering the organization of credit and the main industries which have already in reality been monopolized."[2]

It was broadly similar to the Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1933 "New Deal" in the United States and the later SDAP's 1935 "Plan of Work" in the Netherlands.


Despite the support of the POB-BWP, the plan was criticized by many left-wing commentators. Leon Trotsky derided the plan as "a plan to deceive the toilers" and "a renovated instrument of bourgeois-democratic conservatism."[3] Trotsky further summarized the plan as:

In de Man’s plan we have – under the bourgeois character of the social-democracy – a program of state capitalism which the social-democracy itself passes off, however, for the beginning of socialism and which may actually become the beginning of socialism – against the social-democracy.

—Leon Trotsky, Revisionism and Planning: The Revolutionary Struggle against Labor Fakers (1934)[3]


  1. ^ Boneau, Denis. "Le planisme, une idéologie fasciste française". Voltaire Network. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Deruette, Serge (1999). La Vie en Rose: Réalités de l'Histoire du Parti Socialiste en Belgique. Aden. p. 90. 
  3. ^ a b Trotsky, Leon (January 1934). "Revisionism and Planning: The Revolutionary Struggle against Labor Fakers". New International. 11 [1945] (2).