I began this post just to share the graphic at the bottom, but got carried away in the lead in.
As a bloodless technocrat I am always unnerved when the people take to the streets.
As I recently told a correspondent: if we are doing our jobs right then people shouldn’t even know that technocrats exist. They should never think about us. They should think about the things they care about; their children, their friends, their love interests, their dreams. If they know about the technocracy then the technocracy has failed.
There is no doubt that these movements – OWS and the Tea Party – are a glaring sign of technocratic failure. We shouldn’t forget that as long as these movements exist. Any moment that a citizen spends thinking about taxes, the economy, lobbyists, the capitalist system, etc is a moment of their lives that we have wasted and that they will never get back.
Time is all that they have, to burn it is to burn their lives away. It is to destroy the very thing we are supposed to protect. If you keep in mind that your ultimate goal is to induce a rational blissful ignorance in your citizens then you I think your ship will always be straight.
Keeping this goal in mind lets us know why totalitarianism in all its forms is the deepest failure of technocracy. The technocracy is everywhere. It pervades people’s lives. It doesn’t matter what you are trying to achieve, if you are achieving it through constant interference in a way that citizens can feel it is an utter failure.
Its also why – from a technocratic point of view – Laissez-Faire practically speaking tends to fail. Rarely, in practice, do people in a Laissez-Faire society go about their day without complaining about the vagaries of the market and the injustice of the system.
The ideal of course would be to provide just enough social insurance that people would go on with their lives: starting businesses, families, churches, etc with the sense that they’ve got a good shot at achieving their goals if they work hard and play by the rules.
It’s a hard – perhaps impossible – balance to strike, but understanding that they key is in the experience of the citizen, not numbers about inequality, tax burdens or even GDP, has to be paramount.
And, by the way, here is the graphic I thought was cute: