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Technocracy movement

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Technocracy sign in Oregon, 1939: Argumentum ad cellarium
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See also technocracy, which is the underlying concept. This article is about a specific political movement based on the ideal of technocracy.

The Technocracy movement (or Technocracy Incorporated), founded in 1918 as "The Technical Alliance" and incorporated in 1933 as "Technocracy Incorporated" was (and, surpisingly enough, still is) a weird movement which flourished briefly during the Great Depression, advocating the merger of all of North and Central America into one nation, the "North American Technate," to be ruled by scientists and engineers replacing politicians.[note 1] Existing currencies were to be replaced by the "erg", the centimeter-gram-second (CGS) unit of energy.

The movement's founder was Howard Scott, an engineer who was later accused of exaggerating his academic credentials.[note 2] Marion King Hubbert, later known for his geoscience work for Shell Oil and his Hubbert's Peak Theory, was an early supporter and the main author of its study course.[1][2]

The movement's fondness for matching red and grey uniforms and militaristic fleets of grey vehicles brought it under great suspicion, given the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1930s. A newspaper article from 1942 claimed that the movement had "the tone of an incipient Fascist movement".[3] In 1942, Technocracy was described as propagandistic and an incipient fascist group.[4][5] The reasons why the movement were both symbolic (driving in identical gray cars, gray uniforms and replacement of member names with number-letter codes) and rhetorical (advocating an end to democracy, replaced by oligarchic technocrats).[5] Following the Pearl Harbor attack, Scott suggested that he become the continental dictator.[5]

Elon Musk's maternal grandfather (whom Musk cites as inspirational), Joshua Haldeman, was a prominent member in Canada (Haldeman was also a racist and antisemite).[5] In 1940, Haldeman was arrested and convicted of "distributing and publishing documents likely or intended to interfere with the efficient prosecution of the war, and likely to cause disaffection to His Majesty", one of three convictions that Haldeman had in connection with the movement.[5] Unusually, Haldeman, who was born in the United States, was blocked from entry into the US in 1940, where he was to give a speech (Haldeman would normally have retained US citizenship by birth).[5]

Haldeman's movement name was "10450-1", another member's name was "1x1809x56",[5] which sounds a lot like some of Musk's children's names.

Many of Scott's predictions of economic doom failed to materialize and membership dropped after 1948 during much internal dissent. The movement survived, a shadow of its former self, and Technocracy Inc. still exists today with a small presence on the Internet, promoting itself as "Functional Governance for North America."

See also[edit]

External links[edit]



  1. Fans of Sonic the Hedgehog might have alarm bells going off in their heads (mostly regarding a certain maniacal egg-shaped scientist) upon reading this.
  2. We'd say we're surprised, but we'd be lying.