Technocracy is a system of governance in which decision-makers of a particular social stratum of the technical elite and expert community are selected based on their experience, preferably scientific or technological. While this is the opposite of democracy, it does not necessarily imply the elimination of elected representatives. But leaders are judged by their experience, not their political affiliation.
Technocratic government attempts to use the scientific method to solve social problems and uses logic and calculation to find the most rational solution to any problem based on the available information.
Technocratism means a theory of social development based on a methodology of technological determinism, which absolutizes the development of technology and presents technology as the basis of social progress. The benefits of introducing a technocratic form of government can be enormous: High level of education, High level of health care, Occupation of positions, up to and including the highest ones, exclusively based on professional competence, elimination of hard physical labor, reduction of working hours and expansion of opportunities for rest.
The technocratic movement, founded in 1918 by Howard Scott, which gained popularity in the wake of the Great Depression, can be seen as one of the key anti-capitalist social movements of the first half of the 20th century. Later on, technological determinism, i.e., the assumption that the development of engineering and technology is primary in relation to the development of all other spheres of society, was brought to the fore as the key idea. In essence, technological determinism is a bourgeois-progressivist view of the laws of history, which originated in the works of Enlightenment philosophers. On the one hand, technological determinism was born of the rapid development of the productive forces of developed countries at the beginning of the twentieth century, on the other hand, of the economic problems that were the reverse side of capitalist progress. Much more productive is another idea put forward within technocracy: according to it, we can no longer speak of the economy of individual states.
Either we are talking about the power of large corporations in a world that has entered the age of imperialism or some alternative to such globalization.
Example of Technocracy government system
The ideals of technocracy are solid in Chinese society. Moreover, some Chinese scholars promote the concept of a “soft” form of technocracy as the most relevant response to our time’s complex scientific, technological, and sociocultural challenges. From the point of view of the Western intellectual tradition, the “technocratic mentality” fundamentally contradicts the ideals of democracy as a rejection of ideas of openness and equality, the predominance of pragmatism over ideology and morality, etc. This raises the question of the relationship between technocratic ideals and democratic values. And it also provides a better understanding of the history of the formation and development of Social Technology Assessment (T.A.) and the RRI approach of Responsible Research and Innovation in China.
The RRI approach is an extensive set of practices for rationally shaping technology in light of society’s values. In recent years, an analysis of Western European sources shows that the link between TA/RRI and democracy is systematically necessary. The social assessment of technology is closely related to democracy and emerged more than 50 years ago in the West to support public decision-making on science and technology policy. This fundamental point stems from the fact that forecasts and scenarios of the technological future must be pluralistic and include as many participants in the dialogue as possible – not only the expert community and politicians but also ordinary citizens. This participation model indicates the fundamental applicability of TA/RRI only in the conditions of an open, democratic society, where no single version of the future can be recognized and where decision-making is made through a complex mechanism of social communication.
The question is whether Chinese society is ready for the perception of democratic ideas under the conditions of authoritarian power with its attitude to the ideals of technocracy and a one-party political system? It is especially true today when there is increasing talk about the emergence of China’s “digital dictatorship” and the global crisis of democracy.