Real life DHARMA Initiative # 6: Technocracy Incorporated

technocracy fascist

Technocracy Incorporated is one of the great vanishing acts of history. At the peak of its existence, Technocracy Inc. had half a million members in California alone and received extensive press. Today, they are virtually forgotten.

To over simplify: the goal of Technocracy Inc. was to create a socio-economic system run entirely by engineers. It was founded by Howard Scott, an engineer with dubious credentials.

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  1. Coincidentally, when I first got to PDX in ’93, a friend informed me that one of the last Technocracy groups in existence met in Portland once a month and asked me to check them out. I don’t know if there is still any sort of meeting, but there is a local phone number (503-285-3229) and a web site ( My take was that Technocracy had some good ideas that might have worked in the 20s, but that it had no concept of how to deal with an information economy. Also, they didn’t seem to have a transition plan — it was all, “If everyone in North America did this…” with no plan for how you start when, say, only .0001% of NA happens to agree with you. Still, even in its earliest days, Technocracy understood that the true cost of something is energy + materials + THE COST OF CLEANUP, which is something we’re only now figuring out as a society..

  2. I went to one of the monthly meetings. I’ve seen a car with a Technocracy display in it – no lie – as recently as 5 years ago in St. Johns. You can usually get their magazines at the downtown Powells.

    They are definitely a no-transition-period school of thought.

    I’m not sure there is such a thing as a true cost of something. I’ve been deeply wrong before.

  3. I’ve been reading up on technocracy lately (inspired by Bill and Trevor, curiously enough.) They’re way ahead of their time in talking about true cost, but also in rejecting growth as the yardstick of a healthy economy.

    They definitely fail my realism test by having no concept of how to achieve their program. Not only no transition period, but the “no politicians” rule. Here’s a clue- enacting these policies will require politics, and that makes anyone involved politicians. You can’t change society and keep your hands clean at the same time.

    Trevor- “true cost” may be an inaccurate label, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect on the idea they mean by it..

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