A discussion of political theory may seem a long way from the daily workload of practicing planners and architects, but heated local debates over public and private concerns in future land development are framed in almost every case by the larger dialectic between the state and private capital. Within a capitalist economy, planners and architects help shape the built environment so that it operates efficiently, and maintains the existing social and economic order – a prime requirement for continued and efficient capitalist production and profitability. This mission can often conflict with planning’s other main goal of advancing and protecting the common good and the collective interests of the community, including the welfare of deprived groups or others threatened or harmed by development.