This conversation is closed.

Do you support technocracy government?

Technocracy is a form of government in which experts in technology would be in control of all decision making. Scientists, engineers, and technologists who have knowledge, expertise, or skills, would compose the governing body, instead of politicians, businessmen, and economists [Wiki].

Closing Statement from Truong Thanh Chung

I see different opinions about the technocracy government, about the role of experts (scientists, engineers, and technologists) in a government. My personal opinion: for now, we need more objective reasoning in the decision process.

  • Jun 27 2012: In a way I do believe a technocracy will be not just the better option but a necessity for a country to function properly. However maybe not the conventional technocracy as mentioned above (from wiki). The ability to understand a situation and deal with in correctly doesn't have anything to do with popularity but with knowledge of the subject it concerns and although you can and should be aided by experts of the subject you still need to have a decent level of understanding on your own to be able to interpret and make a choice from the information at hand.

    So essentially what I think needs to happen is that the voters need to be more aware of the education and background of the politicians, and take that into account in their political arguments and standpoints. However I do NOT believe that voting should stop and that national leaders should be elected by some jury or whatever. However I still believe that the economy is the driving power of any nation and thus you can't just have engineers instead of economists in office, you need both.
    So I guess this is more of a technocratically minded democracy.
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    Jul 10 2012: Interesting question. I do believe that there is a place for technocrats in any ruling coalition. But only a place.

    Science excels at analyzing the real world rationally. For instance, I have no doubt that a team of Industrial Engineers could work out the most efficient way to transport excess food in America to those starving in Africa. Better than markets, in my opinion.

    But what can Science say about the immorality of allowing people to starve? Nothing. So Science has limits. And these "moral" questions are only the beginning.

    Let's spin another example: Imagine your are playing catch with your son pretneding he is pitching in the World Series.

    Science can measure your neurotransmitter levels, brainwave patterns and behaviors. But it does not experience the joy you and Junior feel.

    Instead, Science flattens the experience. It is a map, but not territory.

    There are other things that, truly, cannot be "operationalized." For instance, how would analyzing the word counts in James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake" help you understand this crazy but ingenious work? What about appreciating Mozart, Picasso or Warhol? How could science help there?

    Despite these obvious limitations, I find Science often too "cock sure" of itself. But it often appears to lack wisdom.

    I always think of Vonnegut's "Cat;s Cradle" when in these discussions. Because he can, a scientist develops Ice-9--which destroys the world by freezing all H20. The scientist myopically focuses, but does not truly think or grow wise.

    Indeed, the brilliant Oppenheimer illustrates this by intoning the Vedas, "I am Siva. I have become death." While dancing in the shadow of the first mushroom cloud.

    Like Vonnegut, I believe technocratic rule would ignore wisdom and beauty.Instead, I think we need all views of the world to survive. Science. Art. MATURE Religion--which means not "chapter and verse", but open minded, progressive religions that embrace evolution and science. We need to become fully human.
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      Jul 11 2012: I guess a head-hard scientist is often bad governing a democracy.
      • Jul 13 2012: """""I guess a head-hard scientist is often bad governing a democracy."""""

        All environmental scientists agree the world is severely overpopulated right now. That means compulsory population control will have to be implemented wether we like it or not, or we will suffer the consequences. These types of decisions can not be left up to a democratic form of control.
    • Jul 11 2012: I think that's a good and very important point! We need leaders who can make good moral decisions with the public's interest in focus. However I believe that they ALSO need to be able to comprehend different expert opinions and paradigms. For example I would never want someone who hasn't studied economics to make heavy decisions that will greatly impact the country for decades to come, as has happened many times over the past few years with the current crises. Now of course the support of "real" experts is needed, but the decision-maker still needs some basic understanding to be able to understand the different options properly with benefits and consequences etc.
    • Jul 13 2012: """"I always think of Vonnegut's "Cat;s Cradle" when in these discussions. """""

      Revulsion Against Social Change - Wilton Ivie

      Excerpt from this item:

      "Future Frightens Intellectuals

      Thus, through the process of natural selection, the human tendencies to remain the same have been preserved in the chromosomes and the tendencies to seek something different have been culled out. A general revulsion against social change and a nostalgia for the ways of the recent past are deeply ingrained aspects of human nature. This phenomenon, along with the fact that we are now experiencing the most rapid change in man's social history, accounts for the epidemic of intellectual vomiting that is going on among the would-be protectors of man's social destiny and human values. Thus, such writers as Francois Mauriac, George Orwell, Kurt Vonnegut, Aldous Huxley, and many others view the future of 'materialistic progress' with a dim eye and seek retreat into the haven of the social mores, customs, and values of their own youths."


      http://archive.org/details/RevulsionAgainstSocialChange-WiltonIvie
    • Jul 13 2012: """""The scientist myopically focuses, but does not truly think or grow wise."""""

      "Wisdom belongs to ancient times. Solomon et al. were wise men. They arrived at their wisdom by logic, polemics, sophistry, rhetoric, debate, etc. They interpretated miracles based on this procedure and people altered their lives according to the beliefs these wise men accorded to miracles.

      By contrast, Albert Einstein et al. were/are not wise men. They were/are knowledgeable men, they were/are men of science. They arrive(d) at knowledge--establishing facts--by the scientific method.

      The difference between the two groups cannot be over emphasized. The former group never has/had to furnish proof for their wisdom. The latter has/had to establish proof beyond any reasonable doubt. This group constantly "fine tunes" facts. The former group was/is passive while the latter was/is dynamic.

      Men of science--ignoring miracles--are responsible for huge changes in our lifestyle. Prior to our age of science, our nation was a primitive, agrarian society. Production was by cottage industry, using guild craftsmanship. In those days people fetched water from their wells, chopped fire wood for their wood-burning stoves, shoed horses, etc. Families had spinning wheels in their parlor room; as a rule, clothes were home made, not store-bought. Stockings were darned and clothes mended; never thrown away until they were thread-worn.

      This primitive, agrarian age was a slow-pace age, an age of relative subjective ignorance. Society lacked an understanding of the physical universe - physics, chemistry, biology, etc. It was an ignorant age, not by choice but by circumstance.

      To a great extent, people relied on the interpretation of miracles by wise men and made decisions accordingly. No other course was opened for them. Since the age was slow-paced, when mistakes were made--and many were--no serious damage ensued."

      http://web.archive.org/web/20020905194115/http://www.technocracysf.org/justice.htm
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    Jul 4 2012: I would say that our governmental representatives need to be literate and appreciative enough to consult with techocrats enough to help make good decisions and that it is just as important for technocrats to be well-versed in the humanities and social sciences to consider those aspects of society in governance.

    Even more important is the issue of an ethos that must be a requirement for governance - a desire to do the "right thing" while considering long- term solutions. This means removing from power people who value self-benefit over the public good. This part is about ethos, which can go well or badly regardless of expertise.
  • Jul 13 2012: Chung Truong Thanh, asking people here their opinions about this subject is not really going to get you anywhere. Find out for yourself what the facts are and what Technocracy is. There are as many sets of opinions as there are individuals, but there is only one correct analysis which can be done, and only one synthesis that can face up to the physical necessities uncovered by that analysis. Only once you stop letting other people do your thinking for you will you find it. No one is asking you to believe what Technocracy is saying, but we are asking you to go and check out the facts for yourself. http://www.facebook.com/groups/2205039391/
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      Jul 13 2012: I love to hear different opinions from different people. I found some interesting thought, including yours.
      • Jul 13 2012: Thank you for showing interest and thank you for raising awareness about Technocracy Technate design. If you are really interested in this topic, you should join the Technocracy online group and you should read the Technocracy Study Course as well as check out the other Technocracy material available on the internet:

        Technocracy online group:
        http://www.facebook.com/groups/2205039391/

        Technocracy Study Course:
        http://archive.org/details/TechnocracyStudyCourseUnabridged

        List of links at the bottom of this page:
        http://technocracytechnicalalliance.blogspot.com/
      • Jul 17 2012: This is a very interesting topic! But I have to say that I personally would not support this type of government. Here is my reasoning why:

        1) This type of government would ironically stifle scientific growth. Try thinking of all of the scientists that have become great by challenging their former scientific institutions. Among these would be Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Darwin, etc. By creating an overreaching government that creates science as an institution rather than a method, new scientists would not be able to freely hypothesize against accepted knowledge.

        2) There is no way to decide which specialist is absolutely the most capable of leading their society. Even if democracy was applied to decide this, we would just end up with more of #1!

        3) The most intrepid and competent specialists, once found, would be bogged down with two jobs. One job being a scientist, engineer, doctor, teacher, etc., and the other job being that they have to run a society, both of which are daunting full-time jobs.

        4) Whether we like it or not, we are a world of humans and not scientists. If science dictated policy and personal decisions over what we, as humans, have taken as unconscionable, there would be no general respect for the technocracy. Legitimate and long-lasting governments take into account the reality of humanity. (Not to sound too much like Friedrich Nietzche.)

        5) In a way, we are always impacted by the contributions of specialists whether we like it or not. The exceptions to this are nations without freedom of thought. A free nation will, over time, beat any technocracy. Think about the scientific contributions of the U.S. and Western Europe versus the contributions of the U.S.S.R., Islamo-fascist nations, and China in the modern world.

        This was definitely an interesting subject to contemplate! Thank you for bringing it up.
  • Jul 13 2012: "The physical equipment of North America is already being operated by the technical people of the area, and they are doing their job very well considering the handicaps and deadweight imposed upon them by the overburden of business, politics and superstition. Think how much easier and simpler it would be for the technical people if this overburden was removed and they had full responsibility. A functional government of a technological society would not be like any of the many varieties of government that have flimflammed the citizenries of the world for so many centuries. Let there be a governance of function, not an authoritarian regulation imposed upon the people by the institutions of non-science.

    Technocracy invites the technical men and women of North America to become forthright and aggressive in their insistence that a governance of function, administered by people of technical training and achievement, be instituted to replace the predatory gangsterism now imposed upon our society under the name of ``government of the people, by the people, and for the people.'' There is no question about the scientists of America being able to organize a governance of function.

    What is needed now is a modest amount of favorable publicity for science. This job could be accomplished by the scientists and technologists of North America courageously acting together through the associations which they have already established. Timidity, hesitance and subservience are not becoming to scientists.

    If the organizations of science and technology do not provide adequate vehicles for social expression, the scientists of North America are always welcome to join and make their collective views known through Technocracy Inc. Technocracy is nobody's pawn or servant and it makes no compromise with the Price System. In Technocracy, one does not have to be nice to the status quo nor play footsie with the authoritarians."
  • Jul 13 2012: "Science, in view of some thousands of years of recorded history, has come only recently into existence. One after another, areas of thought once under the rule of opinion, philosophy and superstition have been invaded and conquered by the methods of factual observation and analysis. Today, only one major field remains unconquered by the methodology of science: the so called 'social studies.' The relationship between man and other men and between men and their physical environment is still a ripe field for numerous studious opinions and learned ignorance.

    Technocracy is advancing the frontier of science to this last stronghold of the past. Technocracy uses the same analytic and synthetic processes on the world of today as the scientist uses in his laboratory. Technocracy uses these methods not on a beaker of chemicals or a cage of white mice, but upon an entire Continent, and upon those aspects of the rest of the world which affect this Continent. Some of the findings of Technocracy aren't particularly well-liked, even by Technocrats; but what we like and what we don't like about the world around us doesn't change the fact of its existence. Technocrats have learned to face the facts and follow the facts, regardless of whether their previous conditioning causes them to like or dislike these facts."
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    Jul 3 2012: No. Not any more that a petro / chemical, banking, or military based government. However, technology, finance, military, and petro / chemicals are important components that each play a important part of the whole picture.

    We have allowed politics and politians to become careers instead of a service to the people. When this occurs the opportunity to vote themselves more power, perks, and benefits happens. That in turn causes apathy in the voting public which in turn causes more curruption. We still need a representative government but it should include term limits.

    All the best. Bob
  • Jun 28 2012: If you look inside the bureaucracy that is the working part of government, you will find that many decisions are already being made by scientists, engineers, and technologists. The whole debate about climate warming is about the science of predicting its effects and the technology to fix the problem. It might be a politician that decides whether we actually spend the money to fix the problem, but it is a technologist that determines how much it will cost in the first place. And yes, determining that cost amounts to a decision that involves many many smaller decisions.

    The same situation applies to defense spending, only more so.

    Whether you support it or not, technocracy is already here.
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    Jun 27 2012: No, I do not believe in technocracy. I find it as a concept oriented too heavily in the direction of absolutist government, question the breadth of its applicability to society, and I do not consider it functionally different in either case.

    The principle flaw of a technocracy lies with the fact that government is a social construct, that serves social functions. The lay voting public is not substantially better equipped to dictate the social functions of government day to day, to be served by technocrats, than it is to dictate technical functions to be carried out, served by social bureaucrats. In examples of technocracy from real life and much of its advocacy, the line is drawn on hard sciences and engineering, even excluding in the Wiki you quoted the subject economics.

    The technical fields and equipment may be inevitably related to government, but they are not inherently related to government. I submit there is a hard cap on the value of puissant ability to execute various functions without any enhancement to the legitimacy, value, or wisdom of those functions in the first place. Including social sciences and humanities expertise, such as economics, history, and geography, would help with the decision making.

    Lastly, it would be a comparatively simple adjustment to make any democratic system technocratic in execution; restricting voting to those with STEM degrees or occupations, and/or restricting elected office to those with the same background, or perhaps simply mandating that some form of technical or vocational certification be accomplished to graduate secondary school. In the United States, we are wont to bemoan the lack of cultural emphasis on quantitative ability, and cast envious eyes on powerful modern manufacturing economies like Germany, and the technical emphasis of education in India or the Far East. It changes little about our approach, though. Self-learning through consumer electronics exposure seems to have taken the lead on the subject, here.