Technocracy vs. Communism - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The solving of mankind’s problems and abolition of government via technological solutions alone.

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By grypo
#13285875
We are talking about two separate things, I think. Yes, of course it requires wide-ranging and sweeping reforms to human culture, thought, and philosophy". This is not under contention and the reason why a technate has yet to be taken seriously. But I'm talking about outcomes and how a technocracy eliminates the need for government interventions on social issues, I'm not questioning the requirements of the populous to embrace the ideas. An example: Had technocracy been embraced during the Great Depression there would be no need for government laws, say, like the Civil Rights Act or Affirmative Action or Hate Crimes, etc. Elimination of the economic scarcity also eliminates class distinctions.

And what literature have your read on this, if you don't mind me asking?

Edited to add:
In short, I'm just saying what the brief in the technocracy website says:
Technocracy, then concerns itself with the determination of the most probable in the field of social science - the determination of the most probable state of society. It has to do primarily with that part of the social mechanism relating to the production and distribution of goods and services, but it has many far-reaching social implications
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By MB.
#13286023
And what literature have your read on this, if you don't mind me asking?


I read the technocracy study course.

We are talking about two separate things, I think.


It seems like we're not talking about two things, it seems like we're debating the nature of technocratic states (technates).
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By El Gilroy
#13287814
I'm thinking technocracy is most relevant in regards to a controlled economy, with certain political institutions probably capable of benefiting greatly from the potential inclusion of technocratic ideas.
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By MB.
#13288597
A technate need not necessarily operate a controlled or planned economy, so long as the economy is founded on energy accounting if some de-centralized system is found to maximize efficiency it would be adopted.
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By grypo
#13292083
I read the technocracy study course.


I'm reading some of it now. My readings were taken from newsletters and some older articles that the course seems to be based on, and maybe a bit biased in my choosing. But, getting back to the original point, I think your description of "government by Science" is probably more apt than mine, "economics by science" so I concede that one . And even further, maybe "society by scientific method" which fits in with how I would prefer humans behaved.
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By Ombrageux
#13292179
There isn't a whole lot of difference between technocracy and Leninism (or a "modern aristocracy").
By Zerogouki
#13343306
Sorry, I should have been more clear. When I said "Communism", I was referring to the Karl Marx version, not the Joseph Stalin version.

And if I understand it correctly, you (technocrats) intend to eliminate the need for laws and money by telling people to be team players, without the force to back it up, and hoping that they'll take your advice?

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By Bosnjak
#13372400
Stalin was also influenced by technocracy he let educate more engineers then advocats or economists.
By Zerogouki
#13481408
It is as odds with capitalism, but that is not a form of government either. The main reason for the idea was to deal with the problem I described in my last post, which, the originators thought would lead to an elite class controlling technology and using it to create a scarcity of recourses for a lower class


...just like Communism.

Technocracy is not a government... Its effects on social and democratic functions are indirect but obvious. It's aim is to divorce the economic system from the politics of government altogether.


...just like Communism.

Yes, of course it requires wide-ranging and sweeping reforms to human culture, thought, and philosophy


...just like Communism.

Had technocracy been embraced during the Great Depression there would be no need for government laws, say, like the Civil Rights Act or Affirmative Action or Hate Crimes, etc. Elimination of the economic scarcity also eliminates class distinctions.


And it eliminates the concept of race, too? How the hell does it do THAT?

"government by Science" is probably more apt than mine, "economics by science" so I concede that one . And even further, maybe "society by scientific method"


...none of which actually mean anything, as far as I can tell.
By Khalq
#13481468
Zerogouki wrote:Yes, of course it requires wide-ranging and sweeping reforms to human culture, thought, and philosophy

Zerogouki wrote:...just like Communism.

Technocracy is independent from all these.

Zerogouki wrote:...none of which actually mean anything, as far as I can tell.

Having people use scientific and technological means to solve human problems instead of having to deal with a rusty system of ignorant arriviste opportunist politicians. Clearer now?
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By Citizen J
#13484097
I see there's no technocrats here (what happened to Kolzene?). So I shall attempt to answer at the risk of stepping on his toes.

There are elements of Technocracy that are similar to all other forms of economics. To categorize it as one or another is to blind one's self to the differences.

First, the similarities.
Technocracy is indeed a central command economy designed from top down, rather than bottom up. The terms used are catascopic, rather than anascopic. Technocracy does eliminate the use of money, but energy accounting retains one of the functions of money - a means of accounting (obviously).

But the differences are many.
For one thing, no past or present form of communism ever adopted energy accounting. As such, their accounting systems suffer from the same problems as all price systems. Most notably, their accounting system introduces artificial limitations to economic expansion. Even when they have all the necessary physical resources and labor, if they don't have the money, they cannot build the factory. The only way to prevent a Technate from economic expansion is to not have a physical or labor resource. Also, because currencies are exchangeable, those nations are vulnerable to fraud and corruption coming from both within and from without.
Conversely, under the price system - even a communist one - if an individual has no money, that individual goes without food, clothes, etc.. Not so under a Technate; the individual can have whatever is available. Energy accounting is merely a means of accounting, not a means of determining who gets how much of what. Scarcity of any kind is merely an indicator of what industry(ies) need expansion.

Next,
Under every past and present implementation of Communism, authoritarianism is far greater than under a Technate. The sample Technate developed by Technocracy inc is largely modeled as a corporation. As such, there is a similarity to capitalism. There's a lot of social issues that have nothing to do with meeting the physical needs of citizens. Technocracy is unconcerned with all those unancillary social issues. These would be dealt with separately - literally, under a separate form of government. In America, the town mayor is usually not the CEO of any local companies. A technate would also have similar distinctions. It is only my own idealism that makes me wish this social government would be a direct democracy or something similar. But the truth is; how the people of a technate decided to govern themselves is of no concern of Technocracy itself. Those "in charge" of maintaining the economy are not necessarily those "in charge" of running the society. With the caveat that you cannot do anything socially that jeopardizes the smooth functioning of the economic engine itself.

Finally, (and this is a separate issue)
Motivation in a fully implemented technate is really not much of a problem. Just take a look at the ultra wealthy today. Most of them need never get out of bed again for the rest of their lives. Yes, most of them are quite busy. In fact, some of them are the busiest people you would ever meet. They are so busy because they love what they are doing. People in a fully implemented technate would likely behave similarly. They would do what they love doing because they love doing it, rather than doing things simply to survive. Another example is the motivation behind open source programs and free music. One of my favorite music sources happens to be jamendo.com, where nearly everything is free - and some of it is quite good. What motivates these thousands of people to produce programs and music without monetary gain?
But this is under a fully implemented technate. A fully implemented technate has already automated to minimize the labor required. It would take a long time to get to that point. Until then, the common motivations would still be used - work to eat, work to survive; just like any capitalist, socialist, or communist society. Instead of getting money, perhaps, you get the stuff you would buy more directly.

In the meantime, if you refuse to work, you get sent to the doctor. If a doc determines you can work and you still refuse, you get sent to a psychiatrist. If he determines you can work and you still refuse, you get sent to either prison or get a one way ticket to the nearest capitalist society. One way or another, you will work to live. The technate is no free lunch; especially when it's still trying to put itself together. It's just that it will be more like working for Ford than Stalin (hopefully).
Until the establishment of a full technate is well underway, motivations will be not much different than in any other society.
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By mirandaC55
#14611925
Kolzene wrote:Zerogouki: You point out several similarities between Technocracy and communism. However I would point out that these points are all superficial in nature. The essence of communism (as I understand it anyway, I am not an expert on this) is the progression of society from the class struggle.


What about communist slogan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/From_each ... o_his_need ?
This slogan completely agrees with Technate's one, does not it?
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By KlassWar
#14611938
Bosnjak wrote:How could a Technate survive against a Techno-Capitalism or Techno-Fascism, where Researchers have to work up to 8-10 hours? It would become technologicaly inferior.


Being a classless society, your good ol' communistic Technate wouldn't have class contradictions tearing it apart. Stability-wise, not having whole classes of people whose objective interests are irreconciliable with the regime can be a real joy.

Rejecting intellectual property, the commie Technates could also reverse-engineer, mass-produce and mass-market any Techno-Capitalist or Techno-Fascist tech they got their grubby hands on.

If the techno-capitalists or techno-fascists became a military threat the commie Technate could simply enact a war economy and have its people work as long and hard as the enemy for as long as it took to win the war.
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By Zamuel
#14611939
Kolzene wrote:I would actually go with "economics by science" myself, since Technocracy eliminates the need for formal government.

A fascinating subject ... It seems to me that Technocracy, at least as a functional principle, will be required if and when the human race colonizes space. An efficient and reliable methodology being essential to environmental maintenance and supply. I don't see however, that it can functionally replace government in the role of external relations, and the internal adjudication of personal differences arising from human nature. Any system of government that can successfully prioritize technocratic considerations would seem to be compatible.

Any thoughts?

Zam
#14611961
external relations


Isn't international relations a field of study? I would imagine professional negotiators and a good sense of what the nations needs vs. what it can give would be sufficient to handle international relations.

internal adjudication of personal differences arising from human nature


Not sure exactly what you mean here. A criminal justice system? Civil adjudication?
#14611966
external relations
mikema63 wrote:Isn't international relations a field of study? I would imagine professional negotiators and a good sense of what the nations needs vs. what it can give would be sufficient to handle international relations.

Yes, but negotiations must be backed by authority ... and any external commitments would have to interface with technocratic capacities. Neither of which would normally be within the the scope of a negotiator.

internal adjudication of personal differences arising from human nature
mikema63 wrote:Not sure exactly what you mean here. A criminal justice system? Civil adjudication?

Both, although I would hope criminal activity would be limited by technocratic innovation ? If not, police powers would also be a necessary government function?

Zam
#14611974
Yes, but negotiations must be backed by authority ... and any external commitments would have to interface with technocratic capacities. Neither of which would normally be within the the scope of a negotiator.


Why wouldn't the negotiators have the power to make good on their negotiations? I would imagine deals would have to be approved by those groups affected by it democratically.

Both, although I would hope criminal activity would be limited by technocratic innovation ? If not, police powers would also be a necessary government function?


You could certainly lower the crime rate with study and careful intervention, and most crime is based on stealing material goods and technocracy is meant to be post scarcity. but I would imagine crime will always exist, and the criminals would be referred to the psychiatric system.
#14612379
Zerogouki wrote:Communism: "Let's get rid of government and private property and the economy, and we'll all share things, and people will work instead of screwing around all day because they will feel like working just out of the kindness of their hearts."

What?!

Today the spoliation rate from the riches is very low, likely less than 5% (*), so communism by itself only has a small margin to increase purchasing power. On the other hand it is extremely likely that it would lead to a significant decrease of productivity, therefore leading to a decrease of purchasing power. Even worse if you were sharing things evenly between the rich and poor countries.

Capitalism and science coupled together created an incredible explosion of growth for the past two centuries and I doubt anything can beat this. At best I think that efficiency may in the decades to come become irrelevant as we will become more efficient than reasonably needed.

The promise of communism should not be an increased purchasing power, this would be an illusion, it is about power and equality.


(*) Before someone jump at my throat with a ten times higher figure, ask what this wealth really is. Forget money, it obscures things, and focus on the Marxist reading grid: value is labor. So how do riches use the labor they acquire? There are only two avenues in the end: production means (enterprises) and private luxuries (villas, cars, etc). And the former is ten times more important. In the end riches only seize relatively small amounts of labor for their personal goods and services. The individual figures remain extravagant and infuriating when compared to the average citizen, but collectively insignificant when compared to mankind.

Technocracy: "Let's get rid of government and private property and the economy, and we'll all share things, and people will work instead of screwing around all day because they will feel like working, just out of the kindness of their hearts. But it'll be like Star Trek, where it's all like high-tech and shit, and everything that we need will be provided by machines that operate on magic and the power of positive thinking."

No, that is a promise from technology, not from technocracy.

Technocrats may believe that experts holding vast amounts of power may create a more efficient economic organization. I think the idea is ridiculous but even if you think they are right, surely you do not believe it would be largely more efficient than capitalism. Even if they were collecting so much data that the governments' computers would know you better than you do.


Seriously, that's the impression that I'm getting after reading some of this stuff. Can someone explain what I'm missing?

Now you are indeed right that there are similarities between most visions of technocracy and communism, especially the belief in a centralized and wise government.

However technocrats tend to deny the inevitable politicization of political matter while class conflicts are the cornerstone of any Marxist revolution. And technocrats tend to promote efficiency (but are actually fascinated by their hope of aseptization and systematization of human societies) while marxists tend to promote equality (but are actually fascinated by their hope of power).


MB. wrote:I read the technocracy study course.

There is not a single or official vision of technocracy, but many of them.

A technocracy is only defined as a regime that puts technology and knowledge at the heart of its governmental processes. From such a loose definition many implementations are possible.
#14612517
Pure Communism: No state is necessary (after a really big state was necessary coz dialectics m8) because the productive forces have advanced enough to make "superproduction" possible and people just take what they need and put in work when they want. There are no classes as a consequence, and the only social organization comes from the people who are all workers. The workers have control over the means of production for the benefit of all the workers, abolishing division.

Pure Technocracy: No state is necessary because we'll pretend there's not a state because we are just managers who only control the economy. Advanced technology and automation makes "superproduction" possible and people just pay in energy credits to get it coz they don't need money and this is different because its energy and therefore "objective" and "scientific" unlike money. There no classes because technocracy is NOT a form of government dammit, just an economic scheme in which we put elite technicians in charge of managing all resources. The technicians have control over the means of production for the benefit of all citizens, abolishing division, but this is not a form of ultra-rightist hierarchy disguised behind a universal gibs state, but totally conformable to left wing thinking (if you don't). The technicians have no power and own nothing and will never abuse their centralized control over all production to eliminate the non-working meatbags around them. It's not a government. Just a "system", man.
#14612534
Just to throw this out there, Trotsky (there were many others in the Soviet circle, especially some of those that didn't survive the purges) thought one of the goals of communism was technocracy:

Trotsky wrote: "Technocracy" can come true only under communism, when the dead hands of private property rights and private profits are lifted from your industrial system. The most daring proposals of the Hoover commission on standardization and rationalization will seem childish compared to the new possibilities let loose by American communism.

National industry will be organized along the line of the conveyor belt in your modern continuous-production automotive factories.

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