Technocracy is a proposal for a steady-state, post-scarcity economic system. It is intended for industrialized nations with sufficient natural, technological, and human resources to produce an economic abundance. Primarily this refers to the continent of North America, but may also apply to other areas today as well if they have achieved certain minimum criteria.
Put in the simplest terms, a Technocracy is a society where machines do the work that people do not want to do.
What is the purpose of a Technocratic society?
The stated goal of a Technocratic society is to provide the highest standard of living possible to all citizens for the longest period possible.
What are the attributes of a Technocratic society?
There are many, but a few can be summarized here:
- A thoroughly scientific method of control of the technology of the continent.
- Democratic controls for all non-technical issues and decisions.
- Maximum freedom for all citizens in terms of latitude of purchasing power and personal rights
- Removal of methods of scarcity economics such as money, debt, value, and interest.
- The elimination of political decision-making from technical affairs
- Replacement of these methods with an empirical accounting of all physical resources, products, and services (called Energy Accounting).
- Productive capacity many orders of magnitude higher than currently possible, without requiring any new equipment.
- Decrease in human labor required to produce these amounts through proper use of automation.
- Highest possible standard of living for ALL citizens in terms of income, housing, health care, education, and leisure.
- Sustainable resource management through conservation and industrial efficiency
- Elimination or vast reduction of various social ills, such as poverty, crime, pollution, insecurity, and disease.
Is Technocracy a form of government then, or something else?
Technocracy is not a form of government, such as democracy, or monarchy. It is an economic system, similar in this respect to capitalism or socialism. It differs from other known economic systems however in that it is designed for use in a post-scarcity environment where scarcity-based systems like capitalism and socialism would not work. A good rule to learn would be that scarcity problems require scarcity solutions (like economic systems), while problems of abundance (post-scarcity) require solutions of abundance (i.e. Technocracy). (More on this here.)
What form of government should be used with Technocracy then, or can any be used?
One of the interesting qualities of a post-scarcity society is the lack of a need for political government. The majority of anti-social behaviour we are accustomed to in scarcity societies would be absent given a properly-designed society of abundance, requiring only minimal attention to social ills such as crime. This attention can be easily handled by the technical administration of the Technate without need of any political or philosophical guidance or interference. Thus, a Technocratic society would have just as much freedom, and probably more, than we experience in democratic societies, but with none of the drawbacks. It is a case of having the best of both worlds.
I have heard of technocracy and/or technocrats before, but what I see here does not look like that.
The word "technocracy" has been used by many people to refer to many things over the years, and hence people often have many misconceptions about Technocracy. What we are talking about on this forum is the result of research done by the scientific group called the Technical Alliance. We also distinguish the word with a capital/upper case letter "T" to refer to this idea, and a lower case "t" to refer to broader definitions concerning technology and government.
Won't we need to invent artificial intelligence, humanoid robots, and/or nano-robotic assemblers (replicators) before a post-scarcity society will be possible?
Not at all. A post-scarcity society has been possible since at least the 1930s in North America. The main requirement for it is to be able to produce more goods and services than a scarcity-based economy can handle with any stability. This point was reached sometime in the 1920s in North America, and possibly elsewhere in the world by now. The axiom is that before this point is reached, only a scarcity-based economy will work, and Technocracy will not work, while if this point has been reached, than only a Technocracy will work.
How was Technocracy invented?
Technocracy was invented in the 1920s by the Technical Alliance, a private research group of top scientists, engineers, and other experts, and headed by Chief Engineer Howard Scott. Their research centered on the idea that the United States during World War I had vastly greater production than it did during the previous time of piece. In investigating this mystery, they discovered that the total production capacity was indeed already there during peace-time, it was only the scarcity-based economic system that was being used that was holding it back. They thus set about to design a new economic system from the ground up, one that would allow the full productive capacity of the continent to be used for the maximum standard of living of all citizens.
For more information on the history of Technocracy and the Technical Alliance, try the second and third links on this page.
I keep seeing Technocracy referring to North America only. Can it be used anywhere else in the world?
Technocracy was designed to deal specifically with the problems facing North America, namely that of the incompatibility of being able to produce an abundance, but not being able to properly distribute it. Specific research was done to determine this, and this project was called the Energy Survey of North America. Given that this research was done in the 1920s, it is entirely possible that other areas of the world may be capable of employing a Technocratic system by now; however, in order to determine this, a similar Energy Survey would need to be done on that area. Until then, it is impossible to say for sure.
Many more articles and other resources can be found at Technocracy.ca.