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Encyclopedia > Technocracy (bureaucratic)

Technocracy ("techno" from the Greek tekhne for skill, "cracy" from the Greek kratos for "power") is a governmental or organizational system where decision makers are selected based upon how highly skilled and qualified they are, rather than how much political capital they hold. Look up Technocracy, technocrat in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Much of the recent sociological debate on power revolves around the issue of the constraining and/or enabling nature of power. ... This article concerns places that serve as centers of government and politics. ...


Technocrats are individuals with technical training and occupations who perceive many important societal problems as being solvable, often while proposing technology-focused solutions. The administrative scientist Gunnar K. A. Njalsson theorizes that technocrats are primarily driven by their cognitive "problem-solution mindsets" and only in part by particular occupational group interests. Their activities and the increasing success of their ideas are thought to be a crucial factor behind the modern spread of technology and the largely ideological concept of the "Information Society." Technocrats may be distinguished from "econocrats" and "bureaucrats" whose problem-solution mindsets differ from those of the technocrats.[1] A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy, usually within an institution of the government. ...


A technocracy is a form of de facto elitism, whereby the "most qualified" and the ruling elite tend to be the same. These elite are selected on the basis of specialized knowledge, rather than through purely democratic elections or other processes. Elitism is the belief or attitude that the people who are considered to be the elite — a selected group of persons with outstanding personal abilities, wealth, specialised training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are the people whose views on a matter are to be taken the most seriously, or... For other uses, see Democracy (disambiguation). ...

Contents

Development of term

The term "technocracy' was used in the United States as early as 1919 by engineer William H. Smyth in a book Industrial Management. It came into common usage through management theorist James Burnham's 1941 work Managerial Revolution. Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... James Burnham (1905–1987) was an American popular political theorist, former Communist activist and intellectual, known for his work The Managerial Revolution, published in 1941, which heavily influenced George Orwells Nineteen Eighty-Four. // Burnham was of English Catholic stock, although he was an atheist for much of his life... For other uses, see 1941 (disambiguation). ...


Governmental form

A technocratic government is a government by experts designed to ensure administrative functions are carried out efficiently. Technocracy can, in theory, take many forms and incorporate many systems of government. Technocracy may come about as a provisional form of oligarchy, in which the economy is regulated by economists, social policy is decided by political scientists, the health care system is run by medical professionals, with the branches of the government working together and sharing knowledge to maximize the performance of each in as equal a way as is feasible. Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Oligarchy (Greek , Oligarkhía) is a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society (whether distinguished by wealth, family or military powers). ... Social policy is the study of the welfare state, and the range of responses to social need. ... See also: Political Science Notable political scientists Kenneth Arrow - Nobel Memorial Prize winning economist who published influential paper on his widely cited Arrows Impossibility Theorem Robert Axelrod Duncan Black - Responsible for unearthing the work of many early political scientists, including Charles Dodgson Jean-Charles de Borda - 18th century mathematician... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The delivery of modern health care depends on an expanding group of highly trained professionals coming together as an interdisciplinary team. ...


Technocracy is often thought of as 'rule by scientists and engineers,' or bringing these groups into power, though this is only one form of Technocracy. Currently technocracy is often founded as an emergent phenomena by corporate entities in order to maximize productivity and minimize waste. No current regional government has identified itself as a technocracy. For a List of scientists, see: List of anthropologists List of astronomers List of biologists List of chemists List of computer scientists List of economists List of engineers List of geologists List of inventors List of mathematicians List of meteorologists List of physicists Scientist pairs List of scientist pairs See... Engineering is the application of scientific and technical knowledge to solve human problems. ...


Criticism of technocracy

Governmental decisions are not only technical, but are often also political. A correct technical decision may be reached by experts using rational arguments. A correct political decision reflects subjective choices, regarding human values, or an uncertain future. At times the correct political decision may not be rational from a non-political standpoint, while the most technically rational decision may be disastrous for an office from a political standpoint. Some cite example by decisions which hindered Al Gore in politics, but have elevated his standing in the scientific community. This article is about the former Vice President of the United States. ...


Socialists sometimes charge that neo-liberal structural adjustment policies represent technocrats (such as in the IMF) setting policies in the name of macroeconomic growth without considering how cutting subsidies in developing countries might affect the poor. Inversely, many technocratic socialists suggest that without the proper application of technical expertise and technology, poverty is unavoidable. Many technocratic socialist suggest that economic socialism on a large scale requires both expert governance and efficient technologically advanced production and distribution systems. Many megalithic arcology city models favor technocratic socialism. Socialism is a social and economic system (or the political philosophy advocating such a system) in which the economic means of production are owned and controlled collectively by the people. ... Structural adjustment is a term used to describe the policy changes implemented by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (the Bretton Woods Institutions) in developing countries. ... The flag of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the international organization entrusted with overseeing the global financial system by monitoring foreign exchange rates and balance of payments, as well as offering technical and financial assistance when asked. ... The Try2004 Hyperstructure or Megacity as featured on the Discovery Channels Extreme Engineering programs. ...


A technocrat seeks to optimize efficiency in his particular field of expertise, whereas governmental decisions often have to approach matters from different points of view. Technocracy is also varied and diverse, and disputes of interest between technocrats are common. A technocratic environmentalist may seek to limit pollutants and popularize green technology, while a technocratic industralist or a technocratic populist may seek fewer restrictions on pollutant emissions. Green technology is a technology that offers a more environmentally friendly solution compared to an existing technology. ... Populism is a political ideology or rhetorical style that holds that the common person is oppressed by the elite in society, which exists only to serve its own interests, and therefore, the instruments of the State need to be grasped from this self-serving elite and instead used for the...


Technocracy primarily emerges from corporate entities and thus often lacks popular sovereignty. While this may be good for a particular corporation it can also be undemocratic, harmful to employees, and stifle free expression by liquidating competition. “Sovereign” redirects here. ...


Technocracy is not inherently democratic, and even democratic forms of technocracy often limit eligibility for office to those with "proper credentials and expertise". It is easy to envision a Technocracy devolving into little more than old world oligarchy without proper checks and balances in place. Technocratic activist often counter that democracy can just as easily devolve into monarchy without term limits, a separation of powers, and other such checks and balances. To press the point many argue that western democracies aren't fully democratic, and that eligibility for office is actually limited to those with sufficient wealth and media attention. Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Oligarchy (Greek , Oligarkhía) is a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society (whether distinguished by wealth, family or military powers). ...


Derogatory usage of Technocrat

Calling someone a "technocrat" sometimes implies that he is part of, or supports, a bureaucracy where decisions are handed down by officials chosen according to their real or supposed technical knowledge. The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      This article is about the sociological concept. ...


Technocracy can be democratic, but because it typically forms within corporate entities that are unconcerned with democracy, it often lacks democratic legitimacy. Rhetoric to justify this often reinforces it as a derogatory term, as a few technocratic spokespersons have openly alleged that democracy is inherently deficient, often referring to it as mob rule. It's note worthy that this opinion is not mainstream among technocrats.


Technocracy and democracy

It has been argued by individuals such as Dr. J that a constant progression to a more technocratic society is inevitable, as many issues have become too complex for most people to easily grasp. Thus, as a theory of civics, it may be suggested by some that technocracy opposes democracy, which assumes that almost no issues are in fact too complex for most people to grasp. Often for both supporters of democracy and supporters of technocracy, the increasing complexity of the modern world requires the introduction of increasingly better forms of public education in order to keep the population informed and able to deal with complex issues. An educated population is considered to be the basis of both an effective technocracy, and an effective democracy. Civics is the science of comparative government and means of administering public trusts—the theory of governance as applied to state institutions. ... // Public spending on education in 2005 Public education is education mandated for or offered to the children of the general public by the government, whether national, regional, or local, provided by an institution of civil government, and paid for, in whole or in part, by taxes. ...


While in a democracy any individual recognized as an unconvicted citizen is allowed to vote or run for office, in a technocratic democracy registration for office might be limited to only those who hold the "proper credentials" or meet a minimum intelligence quota. While hypothetically anyone could attempt to obtain the credentials for an office, critics allege that a system containing any tests for public office is undemocratic, or at least easily abused.


One form of government that combines elements of both democracy and technocracy is anticipatory democracy, which relies on prediction markets and other somewhat inclusive means to find the most accurate predictors of scientific and technological trends. Anticipatory democracy is a theory of civics relying on democratic decision making that takes into account predictions of future events that have some credibility with the electorate. ... Prediction markets are speculative markets created for the purpose of making predictions. ...


Technocracy and socialism

Many self-identified technocrats are also self-identified socialists. Socialism calls for an economic system based on production for the needs of all of society, with the goal of advancing quality of life for all in an environment of social equality and respect for workers. From this standpoint, opinions are split among socialists as to whether or not it would be possible for technocracy and socialism to fully work in concert with each other. Those who believe that technocracy and socialism can facilitate each other argue that a body of highly skilled scientists and engineers would be best able to plan and manage the society and economy for the benefit of all. Many socialists, however, take a more skeptical view and argue that no matter how skilled technocrats may be, they will always serve their own interests rather than the interests of society as long as they are not placed under democratic control. Socialism is a broad array of ideologies and political movements with the goal of a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community for the purposes of increasing social and economic equality and cooperation. ...


Though democratic technocracies have been tested and proven functional on small levels, they have only done so among groups sharing similar interests. Opponents of technocracy as a system of government are often quick to point out that no wide-scale democratic technocracy has ever been tested. Many socialists question the practicality of a democratic technocracy, especially when facing the obstacles regional governments often face. Socialists often observe that just because it works when applied as a hobby or experiment to only a few hundred like-minded people, doesn't mean it could fit the needs of a county or nation.


Technocratic activists might often counter that Socialism was at one time just a political experiment shared by a few hundred like-minded individuals, and that socialism has had mixed results for various reasons. Technocratic socialists suggest that socialism without technocracy can never meet its own ideals, and that only by the proper application of technology and expertise can food, shelter, electricity, and clean water be afforded to everyone.


System of governance

Technocracy can also refer to a system of governance in which laws are enforced by designing the system such that it is impossible to break them. For instance, to prevent people from riding a tram without paying, the carriage's doors could be designed in such a way that a payment was required to open the doors. This article refers to public transport vehicles running on rails. ...


The same idea can be applied on much larger scales, with automated public surveillance by semi-intelligent systems that automatically control or limit the actions of individuals to prevent illegal activity. This is called the carceral state, in which the whole state is effectively a Panopticon - a prison with strict rules, where all individuals are supervised to ensure compliance. Author Charles Stross called this a Panopticon Singularity. In this way, the bureaucratic form of technocracy may be an authoritarian system governance. A carceral state is a state modelled on a prison. ... Panopticon blueprint by Jeremy Bentham, 1791 The Panopticon is a type of prison building designed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham in the late eighteenth century. ... Charles David George Charlie Stross (born Leeds, October 18, 1964) is a writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. ... The Panopticon Singularity was first described by Charles Stross in an essay originally written for the Whole Earth Reviews 111th issue, where he describes it as a police state characterised by omniscient surveillance and mechanical law enforcement. ... The term authoritarian is used to describe an organization or a state which enforces strong and sometimes oppressive measures against the population, generally without attempts at gaining the consent of the population. ...


The principles of anticipatory design, wayfinding, and B. F. Skinner's vision Walden Two, to some degree echo this potential, but relying on psychology and conditioning exclusively, and not on any intrusive technology to enforce the rules. Wayfinding refers to the ways in which people and animals orient themselves in physical space and navigate from place to place. ... Burrhus Frederic Skinner (March 20, 1904 – August 18, 1990), Ph. ... Walden Two (1948) is a novel by B.F. Skinner which described a fictional utopia in which a thousand people have obtained a good life modeled after Thoreaus experiment in living near Walden pond. ... Psychological science redirects here. ... Conditioning is a psychological term for what Ivan Pavlov described as the learning of conditional behavior. ... By the mid 20th century humans had achieved a mastery of technology sufficient to leave the surface of the Earth for the first time and explore space. ...


Many technocrats would suggest that fear of technology and social change often assume the most oppressive and dystopian of scenarios, pointing to popular media and propaganda in which socialism, democracy, and communism have all been portrayed in an equally distopian and cautionary light. A dystopia (or alternatively cacotopia) is a fictional society, usually portrayed as existing in a future time, when the conditions of life are extremely bad due to deprivation, oppression, or terror. ... For other uses, see Propaganda (disambiguation). ...


Technocracy in fiction

Mage: The Ascension, a popular roleplaying game published by White Wolf, prominently features the Technocracy, aka the "Technocratic Union", as a shadowy, world-controlling organization similar in principle to (and indeed containing) such conspiracies as the "New World Order", the "Freemasons", and others. Mage: The Ascension is a role-playing game based in the World of Darkness, and is published by White Wolf Game Studio. ... White Wolf, Inc. ... One World Government redirects here. ... Freemasons redirects here. ...


In Frank Herbert's Dune series, the Ixian society is often referred to as the "Technocrats of Ix." Frank Patrick Herbert (October 8, 1920 – February 11, 1986) was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American science fiction author. ... Dune is a science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert and published in 1965. ... Ix is a fictional planet featured in the Dune novels by Frank Herbert. ... Ix is a fictional planet featured in the Dune novels by Frank Herbert. ...


The animated series Insektors features character Teknocratus as the "chief engineer" to the Yuk society. At one point he creates a computer named Kalkulator, capable of automating a city. Insektors was a 1994 animated TV series about a war between two tribes of anthropomorphic insects, the Joyces (an airborne, brightly coloured race) and the Yuks (a dank, dark race fixated on keeping their furnaces burning in order to survive). ...


The Archie Sonic Comic features the Dark Legion, an organization of borg-like Echidnas that worship technology as the ultimate pinnacle of their society. The Sonic the Hedgehog comic books, which are produced by Archie Comics, are currently an ongoing series starring Sonic and his friends, feauturing most of the times Knuckles the Echidna back up stories (but in recent years Knuckles will be part of the Sonic stories). ... A cyber-enhanced solider of the Dark Legion The Dark Legion is a fictional organization from the Sonic the Hedgehog comics. ... Look up Borg in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Ancient Echidna warriors as seen in Echidnas in the video game, comic book, and television series fiction of Sonic the Hedgehog, are anthropomorphic, dreadlocked animals that stand out from the other humanoid animals. ...


A technocratic elite rule the last human city of Bregna in the 2005 movie Aeon Flux. Æon Flux is a film produced by Paramount Pictures, to be released in late 2005. ...


Footnotes

  1. ^ Njalsson, Gunnar K. A. (12/05). "From autonomous to socially conceived technology: toward a causal, intentional and systematic analysis of interests and elites in public technology policy". Theoria: a journal of political theory (108): 56-81. Berghahn Books. ISSN. Retrieved on 2006-12-15. 

Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 349th day of the year (350th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Technocracy (disambiguation) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (379 words)
A bureaucratic technocracy, or a government run by the highly educated.
Technocracy (World of Darkness) (or Technocratic Union) is a fictional world-wide conspiracy that employs a scientific paradigm to pursue an agenda opposed to superstition and faith-based belief systems and dedicated to the victory of science as the primary world belief system, in the role-playing game Mage: The Ascension.
Technocracy (EP), a 1987 EP by the band Corrosion of Conformity.
Technocracy (bureaucratic) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1006 words)
Technocracy ("techno" for technology and "cracy" for "power") is an organizational system in which decision makers and political leaders are selected on the basis of technological knowledge —often because of some conflict or competition where technological escalation is a constant feature.
Technocracy is often thought of as 'rule by scientists and engineers,' or bringing these groups into power.
Technocracy in its purest form is a variant on the old theme of oligarchy.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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