Techies Are Trying To Replace Politicians

TECGTHEY WANT TO replace politicians with engineers and our modern financial system with one backed by the laws of science. They dream of a world without scarcity, where the miracles of technology can easily meet the needs of everyone in the nation.

No, we?re not talking about today?s Bitcoin-hawking Silicon Valley techno-utopians. We?re talking about Technocracy Inc., an organization founded in 1931 to promote the ideas of a man named Howard Scott.

Scott saw government and industry as wasteful and unfair. He believed that a new economy run by engineers would be more efficient and equitable. His core idea was that what he called the ?price system??essentially the capitalist economy and the fiat currencies it uses?should be replaced with a new economic system based on how much energy it takes to produce specific goods. Under Scott?s plan, engineers would run a new continent-wide government called the Technate and optimize the use of energy to assure abundance.

Though little known today, the organization boasted over half a million members in California alone at its peak in the 1930s and `40s. Members painted their cars ?Official Technocracy Gray,? wore a uniform consisting of a gray double-breasted suits, and saluted Scott when they encountered him in person. At their most extreme, some members replaced their names with numbers, such as ?1x1809x56,? according to an essay published on, of all places, the US Social Security Administration website. In 1946, its members organized a massive motorcade, driving from Los Angeles to Vancouver, Canada, to get the word out about the movement. The organization chronicled the journey in a short film (see above).

Into the Future

The motorcade was perhaps the organization?s biggest spectacle, but its peak is often said to have been reached in 1932, after the New York Harold Tribune published an expose revealing that Scott had, at best, exaggerated his credentials as an engineer and had been fired from at least two World War I construction projects for lack of productivity. Soon after, Scott?s Energy Survey of North America, an ambitious project backed by Columbia University to document precisely how much energy the nation?s industries required for production, stalled.

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