What This Continent Needs Is Scientific Government
Man must soon learn to govern himself intelligently, or he will not survive!
Information Brief Number 63
The great irony of our age is that we have, for the first time, the energy, technological equipment and resources to eliminate starvation, poverty and inequity. Yet, conflict among North Americans for the material goods of our affluent society has never been more intense. The reason for this contradiction is that, while we have the technological means to produce (without waste) more than enough for everyone, the archaic political and economic system of this continent will function only in a condition of scarcity and will not permit the continent's technology to produce and distribute the requirements for a high quality of life for all citizens. If the technology were managed directly for the benefit of the people, consumer products would lose their value, and it would therefore be impossible to tell them. Attempting to preserve the concept of value, our present political and economic system (more correctly called the Price System) becomes embroiled in all sorts of insane activities to preserve scarcity and thus value.
As a case in point, let us consider one material without which no life could continue on the globe — air. Air has never been subjected to the operations of trading financing, mortgaging, loaning, borrowing, evaluating, or any of the other manipulations of the Price System. Why? Because its bountiful supply has never permitted the creation of a scarcity. With air, there has never existed the opportunity of introducing the concepts of value and human labor, which for the basis for both free enterprise and socialistic economic theory. The situation with respect to air could be duplicated with any other essential product if we satisfy the requirement that it be adequately supplied.
In order to survive, the Price System must solve its problem of maintaining scarcity by cunning public relations techniques, destroying and stockpiling food to keep prices up, and somehow sabotaging with legal tangles the productivity of our equipment, so that a healthy Price System can be maintained. Two other great catch-alls for the disposal of North America's bounty are the foreign aid program and war. Even these enormous undertakings are failing to absorb the production of North American power and machines. Why do people go hungry in a land that can furnish an adequate supply for all? Because they have been conditioned to follow the rules of the system, no matter how far out of the context of reality those rules become. North Americans, to date, have preferred to follow obsolete rules rather than use their heads in installing a logical system of governance.
Problems Are MultiplyingSerious mass problems, incompatible with our technological age, are crime, poverty, transportation congestion, poor housing, pollution, unemployment and growing minority group frictions. And, obviously, these problems are interrelated. For example the groups at the bottom of the occupational and economic pile are feeling the severe effects of automation first. The number of jobs for the unskilled and semi skilled will continue to decrease, and the only hope for the growing number in the labor force whose services are no longer needed is the Guaranteed Annual Income or make work jobs, WPA style. If the Guaranteed Annual Income is adopted, the anti-automation pressure which labor has been exerting on industry, would probably be greatly reduced, and industry would the proceed with open throttle towards total automation. This will, in turn, cause the phasing out of ever more massive numbers of blue and white-collar jobs and will eliminate substantial numbers of jobs, even on the executive levels. Today this is validated by the use of micro-processing and robots.
The present system of political government is, in reality, so fractionated and preoccupied with individual political power struggles that it cannot mobilize itself to deal quickly and effectively with any problem of national scope. We have an immense, uncoordinated tangle of roughly 100,000 governments in the United States from the local and regional levels to the federal level, including school districts, etc.
This, then, is the irrational state of affairs in which we find ourselves in this Great Technological Revolution. And the consequences of irrational management are far more serious for man than one might suppose. Man must soon learn to govern himself intelligently, or he will not survive!
Politics, business and religion, which people historically have looked to for the remedies for social and economic ills are becoming progressively more impotent in dealing with the new and mounting pressures generated by automation, population expansion and the complexity of modern technological existence. There is no precedent in history for these developing trends and the direction is constantly towards greater, rather than lesser, complexity and more and more massive problems. Within a business-political structure, or Price System, the problems cannot be solved because the solutions are incompatible with profiteering, political power struggles and outdated governmental concepts.
Man has designed and constructed enormous dams, power plants, and canals, but he has never designed and constructed a total plan for continental hydrology. he has designed streamlined trains, and magnificent railroad terminals, but never an integrated, continental system of low-cost rail transportation. He has designed automobiles and highways, but never a super-highway system with control of traffic origination and load factor. Man has build haphazard economies and political empires, but never, until the advent of Technocracy, Inc., has he designed a self-contained, technologically controlled, social mechanism.
In other words the design of the past has been but the design of the minutiae and working up from the part to the whole and not the design of the whole. With unmeasurable factors, effective social planning is impossible.
The free enterprise system is man-made. Although it has become endowed with a special, almost spiritual status, it is merely one of the many possible systems created by man to regulate the exchange of goods and services. A far more efficient and productive system would be one in which the operational concepts ere consistent with scientific and technological know-how.
A key concept in operating a Technocracy, as opposed to governing a political system, is Functional Control. Function Control is not control by a group of technological elite. It is control by technique which means that the process which works best is adopted, and the process which is shown through performance to be less efficient is discarded. A functional organization has no political precedents. It is neither democratic, autocratic, communistic, or fascistic. Functional Control is determined only by the requirements of the job that must be done, and not by any outside consideration or influence. Instead of the location, design and materials of a housing complex or a dam being determined by political factors, they would be constructed and located so as to be of maximum effectiveness in meeting the needs for which they were intended.
Technocracy proposes that the administration of the North American Continent be converted from a disorganized, haphazard political superstructure, all but alienated from the needs and challenges brought about by modern technology, into a highly planned, coordinated system of production and distribution, under the direction of science. The resulting Technocracy would exist for the purpose of harnessing technology to the task of creating an equitable high-quality life for its citizens. The North American Continent is a naturally circumscribed area, and it has the necessary resources, technology and technically-trained man power.