Thinking About Technocracy

Where to from here?

Public wants the rich to be punished?

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Interesting link from the Observer provided by P2P Foundation’s Michel Bauwens’ de.licio.us embedded links today.  It appears people want to tax the rich in a punitive manor because of the current pains caused.

A technocrat would of course be against such means because they tend to have destructive consequences.  However, technocracy is likely to aim for greater income equality, and taxes are probably the right vehicle in some cases (e.g. windfall profits.)  The theme in today’s New York Times OpEd follows a similar vein as that of the Observer.

We are seeing a sort of 1930s populist backlash against the wealthy now that will do more harm than good.  Something has to be done about excessive incomes and resource utilization, but the something done ought not to be done in anger.  It’s got to be collaborative.  Admittedly there is a slash and burn libertarian set who will be against any sort of social tariffs or protection of the commons.  Those people will have to be battled through the usual editorial channels and, more generally, ignored while policies are implemented they will never appreciate.   It ultimately becomes a matter of education and normative policies.  They’ll claim brainwashing and the typical Ayn Randian sorts of complaints.  At some juncture they win if they block action.

My own view is that you collaborate to achieve consensus moves and find where it is impossible to compromise.  If they battle there, then they simply have to be overruled by scientific facts (e.g. on climate change.)  That overruling is a major change between technocracy and pure democracy.  Democracy allows for well-understood mistakes to be made;  technocracy should not do so.

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Written by ryanlanham

January 4, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Posted in Open Mike

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