By Jason Caci
A technocracy is a government that is run by scientists, engineers, or experts in technology. I cannot tell you when the United States will become a technocracy, although the completion of the transition could occur in twenty years, forty years, or even a century or two. However, I can say with confidence that it will happen eventually. Heck, most of the world will probably be run under a technocratic government.
Since the birth of our great nation, most politicians previously worked as lawyers, which makes sense. However, there has been a lot of political instability in this country among both the Republican and Democratic Party, could it be just part of a natural cycle? Perhaps. In the end, politics is not about who is right but about who argues the best, the main strength that lawyers have. Nonetheless, we must realize that as time passes, technological development becomes more rapid as a result of the increased knowledge that humans possess. At that point, humans will trust the Internet more, if they haven’t started to already, than our lawyer-turned politicians because the lives of humans revolve around the Internet.
The transition has already started, though it has had a very small effect for the moment. The Economist used Singapore as an example. According to The Economist, “the political and [technological] expert components of the governing system there seem to have merged completely.” For example, their prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, is an expert in computer science. Furthermore, former President of Singapore Tony Tan, who resigned on August 31, graduated with a PhD in applied mathematics. In addition, he received his bachelor’s in physics and his Master of Science in Operations Research. The Economist also reported that “Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) has evolved from revolutionary generals to lawyer-politicians and finally economist-technocrats, but with less success.” Low success is expected at the moment because the transition is in the earliest stage that one could imagine. A country has to anticipate a bumpy road when going through a change as big as this one.
Technological takeover has not only occurred in politics, but in sports as well. For example, sabermetrics – the application of statistical analysis to baseball records – has taken over baseball. In the past, scouts used to look at only home runs and runs batted in when analyzing batters and only earned run average and wins when analyzing pitchers. Now, scouts are analyzing top baseball prospects by using advanced statistics. For batters, scouts now use weighted on-base average, weighted runs created plus, and batting average on balls in play. For pitchers, scouts are using fielding independent pitching and skill-interactive earned run average. I know that I am losing the attention of most of you right now with all of this talk about baseball. You folks are the type of people that society neither wants nor needs to run this country. People that do not like baseball would not last in a gunfight. You need to be calculated. Patient. You have to play the long game.
Tim Harford of the Financial Times observed that after the financial crisis passed, politicians did nothing while “technocratic central bankers were – to borrow a phrase from Mohamed El-Erian, economic advisor – ‘the only game in town’ in sustaining a recovery.” Harford believes that “technocrats may not be too interested in politics, but politics is interested in technocrats.” However, I believe that technology will become so ingrained in us that the technocrats will have little to no choice but to become involved in politics. People are also egocentric by nature- they always want more. For example, “selfies” on social media apps like Instagram are a constant stroking of their own egos in today’s social media realm. Powerhouses in technology already have an influence on society, so they will want an even bigger influence by attempting to obtain political power. For example, Mark Zuckerberg gave a commencement speech this past May at Harvard University which gave the impression that he was establishing a political agenda. According to the Financial Times, he “suggested support for criminal justice reform, continuous education and the redistribution of wealth.” Zuckerberg is already one of the richest men in the world, yet he wants even more power. He has already made a fortune from Facebook, so why not take an extra step and obtain political power, to really command people’s information? One would imagine that he has at least a decent chance of doing so as a result of his major influence on society already.
There is another major concern regarding the technocratic rise. People that have success in the field of technology usually work in big cities, such as New York City or San Francisco. Those cities strongly lean liberal. As a result, the inhabitants have a good chance of being influenced by the political landscape in the region, and the technology.
I am already witnessing this transition with Yahoo. Whenever I go to their homepage, I only see news articles from either the Huffington Post, Newsweek, or the Independent, which all strongly support the left. Social media will also be on the rise, which means that more people will become brainwashed by the users of social media to promote their liberal agenda. What they do is nitpick a situation and act as if the situation happens all the time. A majority of regular folks who spew their political beliefs on Twitter spend so much time on social media I’d believe they don’t have jobs. They are probably the same people who go out to protest at 1:00 p.m. because they have free time, unlike the working American. Folks that use social media for the sole purpose of confirming their own biased opinions are really showing their naivety these days and it could very well end up becoming worse in the future. People should avoid social media like the bubonic plague.
Nobody knows when or if the change to a technocracy will happen, though I do believe that it will occur. If indeed that is the case, it will certainly change the way we function in society.