STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
The Technocrat Meme Descends
By Staff News & Analysis - November 16, 2011

In defence of Europe's technocrats … Outside Britain, experts have often played a positive role in politics. Is it time we stopped knocking the technocrats? Mario Monti, Italy's prime minister designate and one of the 'technocrats' criticised in the British media … Leafing through the British press over the last week, you can't but notice the increased sightings of a rare political subspecies: the "technocrat". Prominent technocrats include the Italian prime minister designate, Mario Monti, and the Greek PM, Lucas Papademos, who have been parachuted into the top job, the papers say, in order to act out diktats of their "paymasters" in Germany and France. In the Telegraph, Christopher Booker has revealed that "EU architects never meant it to be a democracy": technocracy was always the plan. In the same paper, Charles Moore has proclaimed that "left and right should agree that this is not the time for technocrats and Frankfurters", but real democrats. – Guardian

Dominant Social Theme: Technocrats are good people and run nations well.

Free-Market Analysis: The Guardian is schizophrenic on the issue of technocracy. They've run at least one article deriding the swelling technocratic priesthood and another one (see above excerpt) that supports it.

To us, this talk of technocracy is an old, familiar dominant social theme. The power elite that wants to make a transition from nation-states to one-world government needs to establish the cult of the expert, or at least to re-establish it. Enter the technocrat.

In fact, the meme is historical in nature. Ever since Plato saw shadows on a cave wall (and long before, probably), the idea that "experts" could run the world has been popular. Leaders are always given extraordinary powers and said to possess unusual foresight and wisdom, though usually they don't have either.

Now we have the argument that technocrats can run EU states better than politicians because technocrats have less at stake politically and are generally more contemplative and disinterested. But even were this so, it doesn't hold here. The "technocrats" that the Guardian speaks of are actually central bankers who work within the larger citadel of Money Power.

You see, there are normal people and then there is the power elite. These elites are trying to create a one-world government in our view. They are trying to make progress. Right now, the EU is in the midst of an elite takeover whereby those who run the larger EU organization are now assuming roles within the nation-states themselves.

The justification is "technocracy." The individuals involved are supposed to be wiser than normal people. This is not, as we just pointed out, a new concept. In fact even in America, this has been a popular liturgy on and off. Here's some more from the article:

The word "technocracy" comes from the Greek words "tekhne", meaning skill, and "kratos" meaning power. Technocrats thus literally promise to be "problem solvers" – politicians who make decisions based on their expertise or specialist knowledge of a particular subject, rather than to please a particular interest group or political party. The term is commonly attributed to the engineer William H Smyth of Berkely, California in 1919, though the idea that a country should be organised and spiritually led not by the church, feudal landowners or the military but by industrial chiefs and men of science, goes back to the early socialist thinker Saint-Simon.

Yes, there's no harm in saying it: technocracy once used to be a big idea for the international left. In 1930s America, for instance, it wasn't a term of abuse but the programme for a new social utopia. In the middle of the Great Depression, an emergent technocratic movement led by engineers and dissident economists such as Thorstein Veblen and Howard Scott proposed that populist politicians simply weren't capable to fix the system: "The maladministration and chaos imposed upon the industrial mechanism by arbitrary rule of extraneous interest has reached such a point that many technicians feel the urgent need of confederating their forces in a program of industrial co-ordination based, not on belief, but exact knowledge," thundered a pamphlet by the Technical Alliance.

… Does that mean that technocracy is better than democracy? Of course not. But it might just be worth considering that a temporary technocrat rule may well be an acceptable – perhaps necessary – part of the democratic process at times of crisis. Would we prefer British healthcare to be run by technocrats (ie experts) rather than politicians and free-market ideologues? I think so. Would we be more confident in the judgment of British frontbenchers if most of them hadn't gone straight from university into politics? I think so.

Yes, technocracy is indeed a Leftist shibboleth, and we don't agree with the Guardian that it is a "better" choice. It also, in our view never, went away. It is just one more variant on a theme. In the US, it reached its peak popularity in the mid-20th century led by M. King Hubbert who invented the concept of Peak Oil.

Hubbert invented Peak Oil in our view to buttress his case for a technocratic class. He needed a problem in order to pose his solution. Technocrats often suggest technology-focused solutions and approach governmental problems with a "problem-solution mindset." The technocracy movement's influence may be seen within the modern "cult of technology" and the idea of an advanced "information society."

This fits in quite well with the idea that central bankers are good, gray men engineering the volume and price of money for the benefit of us all. It is surely an important theme. And it is one that might have worked up until, say, two years ago. But now this meme is in trouble.

People for the most part know that something is not right when central bankers have access to trillions while "normal" people have access only to thousands or hundreds. This was not generally recognized until recently. But now thanks to the Internet, the reality is evident and obvious. You can see previous articles we've written on the subject here – one on technocracy and the other on its result ("dreamtime"):

Technocrats Take Over Greece

'Dreamtime' Rolls Along

Thanks to the 'Net, more and more people understand the inequities posed by central banking and this comprehension has enormous ramifications. Another meme has now been caught in the larger backwash: the Technocrat.

After Thoughts

Their rule over Greece, Italy and perhaps other countries as well may be retarded by this larger understanding of what modern technocracy is and how it has been implemented. This has enormous ramifications for Europe and for the elites themselves that are counting on a positive reception for the new technocratic leaders.

Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
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