Steve Witham (
Wed, 25 Jun 1997 22:36:54 -0400

Carl Feynman writes-
>Technocracy was invented back in the '30s. It was yet another mass movement
>to reform the society and economy along rational, centralized lines, just
>like Fascism and Communism. [...]

Yeah, Marx was big on science, too: he thought that 1) the free
market is too random because it relies on people "just happening to"
produce goods and services that meet needs--so freedom needs to be
replaced with science, and 2) that what he was doing was not "ideology,"
ideas made to rationalize someone's particular interests, but "science,"
pure and unbiased. (Or course then he spoiled it by saying things
like, "Workers of the world, unite!" and "The point, however, is to change

The way that "science" figures into people's insanities is very interesting.

>PS. The word 'technocrat' was reappropriated lately, primarily by the
>magazine Economist, to refer to a dispassionate and number-oriented style of
>economic/political management. [...]

Hmm. Here's the definition of "technocracy" from my 1949 dictionary:
"Government by technical experts." It doesn't even mention the movement.
But two dictionaries from 1989 and 1991 do. One says the movement was
"prominent about 1932." The other says the word was coined in 1919.

I thought "technocrat," meaning any techie in a controlling position, went
way back. Some guy at a desk looking at numbers and uncaringly making
decisions that affect your life. Like an insurance actuary.


--           Steve Witham          web page under reconsideration
"Let him who is without sin correct me if I'm wrong BUT..."