The Beginner's Guide to Technocracy

What is Technocracy?

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 on this website 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 web page 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.

What is the basis of Technocracy?

All currently known economic systems have their roots in political ideology, philosophy, and opinion. By contrast, Technocracy has its roots purely in science. It could even be defined as a technology, as in the application of science to serve a social goal or problem, rather than a political idea (more on this here). It was developed by scientists, engineers, and other specialists seeking to understand the role of high-energy technology in our society (such as electrical generators, large earth movers, manufacturing plants, and fast, motorized transportation). This study, which encompassed over 10 years, divulged important information about how technology was affecting our society, and where these trends would take us. Their research resulted in the following three conclusions:
  1. The first is that there exists on the North American Continent a physical potential in resources to produce a high standard of goods and services for all citizens, and that the high-speed technology for converting these resources to use-forms in sufficient volume is already installed, and that the skilled personnel for operating it are present and available. Yet we have unprecedented insecurity, extensive poverty and rampant crime.
  2. The second conclusion of Technocracy is that our current economic and political model, (called the Price System) can no longer function adequately as a method of production and distribution of goods. The invention of power machinery has made it possible to produce a plethora of goods with a relatively small amount of human labor. As machines displace men and women, however, purchasing power is destroyed, for if people cannot work for wages and salaries, they cannot buy goods. We find ourselves, then, in this paradoxical situation: the more we produce, the less we are able to consume. (more on this here)
  3. The final basic conclusion is that a new distributive system must be instituted that is designed to satisfy the special needs of an environment of technological adequacy, and that this system must not in any way be associated with the extent of an individual's functional contribution to society.

The upshot of all this is that the scarcity model of the Price System worked well when there existed a natural scarcity. However, now that technology and rich natural resources have eliminated scarcity, an entirely new economic model is required. We have changed our methods of production from an agrarian model to a technological one, thus we must also change our method of distribution from an agrarian model to a technological one.

What is the Technocracy Movement?

The Technocracy movement is a collection of individuals, groups, and organizations who's goal it is to inform people about Technocracy and educate them so that they may make an informed choice regarding it, and be capable of installing it should they decide that this is what they want. While groups may differ in the areas they are concerned with, activities, or methodologies, the one thing they agree on is that Technocracy appears to be the best answer for any technologically advanced area for giving its citizens the highest possible standard of living for the longest period possible, and avoiding most of the ills that plague those same societies today.

Here is a partial list of known groups:

  • Technocracy Inc.: The successors to the Technical Alliance —the inventors of Technocracy— this group focuses on preserving the information collected and developed by that group for reference by anyone interested in it.
  • Technocracy.ca: A website dedicated to producing Technocracy education and promotion material focused on a modern audience, as well as building a community of interested and concerned people looking to learn more about the idea, and how they can become more involved in the movement. Most of the material is designed for non-technical people not previously acquainted with Technocracy.
  • The Technocracy Katascopic Project: A project to develop a program of Technocracy awareness, education and research in the most efficient and effective means possible.

There are many other individuals and groups doing similar things that vary in the degree to which they adhere to the principles of Technocracy. Some are good sources of information and participation, while others may be similar to Technocracy in name only, seeking instead to promote their own ideas (or deride those of others) under this name. Discussions about these can be found in the forums(external link).

Where does one go from here? How do I learn more?

There are several online resources available to you right now, and much printed material available on request. Here is a brief list of suggestions for where to start learning about Technocracy. Choose whatever interests you, but feel free to explore the web site and ask questions in our forums. Many people find Technocracy a confusing subject, and it may take some time before you really begin to grasp the idea. The best approach is to supplement your reading with questions asked on the forums.

Why Technocracy is necessary

To better understand the problems that arise when trying to employ a scarcity-model economy in a technological society, try these articles:

Technocracy Highlights

To better understand the goals and benefits of a Technocratic society, try these:

Technocracy Fundamentals

To begin to understand how a Technocracy works, try these:

Technocracy in Print

Here is a list of printed material that would be useful in learning Technocracy:

  • The Technocracy Study Course - While no longer officially in print, print copies can sometimes be found in libraries, private collections (particularly those of Technocrats), or by visiting Technocracy Inc.'s Continental Headquarters. While much of it is outdated today, it is the most detailed book on the subject. It is the best resource for fully understanding the premises behind Technocracy's analysis, conclusions, and designs. It covers 23 lessons and subjects ranging from basic science, geology, engineering, biology, psychology, medicine, architecture, and sociology. There is an electronic version also available upon request. Simply send a forum or private message to Kolzene on this site, or contact Technocracy Inc.'s CHQ.
  • Technocracy: Technological Continental Design - An updated and condensed version of the Study Course, it is nonetheless a great overview of all areas of Technocracy. It is available in print from CHQ or electronic (PDF) form.

Other useful Technocracy Resources

And finally here are some resources that you will find useful for answering questions and finding more specific information:

  • Glossary of terms used in Technocracy literature.
  • Topics and Issues - If you have an area you are particularly interested in, such as the environment or education, here is a list of articles you will find interesting, arranged according to topic. (Currently under development; some topics may not be completed yet.)
  • Beginner's Articles - A list of articles designed to make learning certain concepts in Technocracy easier. This is probably the best place to go from here.