The Triumph of the Technocrats

Those who don’t yet understand our centrally-planned cartel-state system will benefit from reading How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul (The Atlantic). I’ve presented related analyses in three recent essays:

The Protected, Privileged Establishment vs. The Working Class

The Collapse of the Left

25 Years of Neocon-Neoliberalism: Great for the Top 5%, A Disaster for Everyone Else

What we’re talking about here is the Triumph of the Technocrats. There are multiple levels to this triumph of the technocrat class:

1. The dumbing down of the Technocrat Class via a Higher Education system that optimizes technocrat specialization at the expense of real-world business experience and broad-based knowledge.

As a result, the technocrat class has a very high opinion of its intelligence and judgment because it has no idea how little it actually knows or understands. It believes Higher Education’s hype that specialization has given it a superior understanding that entitles it to control and power.

This overweening belief in its own superiority sets the stage for hubris and catastrophically ungrounded decisions.

Need we look any farther than the invasion of Iraq or the Establishment’s response to the insolvency of self-liquidating money-center banks in 2008?

The roots of the Technocrat Class’s hubris and self-congratulatory bias go all the way back to the 1960s-era “whiz kids” described by David Halberstam’s classic account The Best and the Brightest.

The rise of computers (albeit primitive by today’s standards) enabled the first Technocrat romance with “big data”, i.e. a reliance on data analysis to make decisions about a real world that cannot be reduced to quantification without a loss of decision quality and humility.

This is how we ended up with a nation in which Technocrats with no real-world military combat experience are running America’s wars and Technocrats who have never started a single company or paid a single employee with their own money are running America’s economy.

2. As outlined in How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul, the Liberal Establishment melded Corporate-banking cartels and the central state into one centrally planned, technocrat-controlled cartel-state system. This has created millions of well-paying, protected Technocrat jobs in an expansive Deep State that stretches from universities to the corporate media to the federal agencies to Silicon Valley cartels and monopolies.

Here is my simplified chart of the Technocrat Deep State:

Here’s a chart that reflects the massive expansion of Technocrats in the healthcare system: charts of Higher Education track this same Triumph of Technocrats: the number of administrators has exploded while the number of tenured professors has essentially flatlined.

The top 5% is the Technocrat Class. The phenomenal rise in the income and spending of the Technocrat Class is illustrated in this chart:

No wonder the Liberal Establishment is freaking out: they’ve failed. Despite their multiple degrees, they are ignorant. Despite their confidence in “we’re the best and brightest,” The economy inhabited by the bottom 95% has stagnated, and all the wars of choice run by the technocrats have become unwinnable quagmires (despite Rummy’s claim that “we don’t do quagmires”).

Even worse, “lesser beings” (i.e. the rest of us) are challenging their central planning power, which they view as their birthright / entitlement. Here’s the Liberal Establishment’s view in a nutshell: How dare they challenge our power? The reality that “lesser educated” people actually have a better grasp of the real world than Technocrats is simply unacceptable to the Liberal Establishment Technocrats.

We cannot advance until we dump the Technocrat Class and decentralize the power that the Liberal Establishment happily concentrated into the hands of corporate cartels and the central state.

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  • WillDippel

    Here is an article that looks at the interesting connection between Google and the Obama Administration:

    The Deep State is alive and well.

  • Miko

    If you want to understand technocracy, I would recommend Jacques Ellul’s book “The Technological Society”
    It’s available free in .pdf

    He understood where our society was heading in the 1950s and it seems to still be on that track.

    • kimo

      All you have to do is read UN Agenda 2030 aka Technocracy and what was discussed at the DEVOS summit. China has taken the lead roll in implement Agenda 2030.

      Google: Technocracy News

  • Scoot Wad

    This is the fault of liberals and liberal ideology? Your arguments are sound other than that tired old canard. Blame it on the commies or Hollywood or Reagan while you’re at it.

    Youre a smart guy, you know who set up this system and why things are the way they are. It’s been like this long before liberalism. Or do you really not know?

  • diogenes

    Same old same old lie about the “populist,” “liberal” Democratic Party. Both parties are owned and operated by factions of the same oligarchy of the 0.1% whose interests both serve. Smith’s standard screed is totally deluded, delusive, cynical and poisonous. As long as the Two Party lie persists, nothing will change except for the worse. Smith serves this lie. Thanks a bunch.

    • No More Neos

      I’ve noticed that as well. Neoliberalism often gets confused with the “liberal Third Way Democrats” when it has nothing to do with party affiliation as it does an economic policy. It refers to the “new freedom” of deregulated markets, which are anything but free. The freedom is in how heavily manipulated and fraudulent it can become legally.

    • Zap

      Your criticism’s are all non sequitur and never have anything to do with what is actually in the article.
      Reading your comments one would think CHS is praising Hilary and the Democrats, shilling for Wall Street, covering for the Fed, promoting the stock market etc etc and none of that is ever in a single article that he writes.

      • diogenes

        No. It’s you who can’t read what I’m saying, or don’t want to. CHS is shilling for the system that prevents alternatives to Hilary from emerging. He says, well, this roulette wheel has taken your money 20 times in 20, so, let’s just place our bets one more time. Which do you want, red or black, odd or even. Take your choice. It’s a free country. The wheel is rigged. That’s obvious. But CHS is the man who says “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” And you do too.

        • Zap

          Your rants never have anything to do with what CHS is actually saying.
          Did CHS support Hilary or Trump in the election?

  • David S

    The number of physicians is a product of crony capitalism on behalf of the AMA and the medical establishment as expressed in direct limits on the number of medical schools in the country, limits on the class sizes, limits on the number of graduates, limits on the number of available residencies, and finally state-regulated limits on professional licensure, who can perform what procedures, etc. This destruction of market freedom in medicine on behalf of the western/allopathic medical establishment has been going on at both the federal and more importantly the state level for over 100 years. A calculated shortage of doctors insures higher pay and maximum power in the marketplace. Administrators on the other hand do the bidding of the ruling elite, the AMA, etc. and help to maintain the power structure. And given that 50% of all monies spent on healthcare pass through government hands, it is of little wonder that the bureaucracy of medicine would outpace the growth of any productive/value-added side of the equation.

    • diogenes

      Yes. They rigged it that way starting in the early 50s, and many physicians who were healers quit. Meanwhile the AMA accepted a $5 grant from the American Tobacco Institute to “fight the spectre socialized medicine” and kept its collective mouth shut about the carcinogenic properties of the ATI’s product. Wall Street cronyism in action, their monument millions of corpses. In just this one pile.

      • David S
        • diogenes

          Yes, but the 50s were in this, as in so many things, a turning point, and the AMA was a key player, and sold out millions of Americans to their death cancer of the lungs, throat, mouth, etc. for the sake of organized greed. What’s horrible is that many people who go into medicine are bright, caring, devoted souls who really do want to commit to a life of healing. And the system puts them in bootcamp and turns them into obedient privates in a stormtrooper brigade of deadly greed.

          • David S

            Thanks to the control over professional licensure in vast numbers of jobs/professions, your “bootcamp” analogy applies far beyond the realm of medicine too. I most certainly have NO opposition to independent certification of skills, etc. by competing agencies, but I heartily reject the notion that the government should play any role whatsoever in either certifying anyone or more importantly preventing anyone from providing services to another without their (politically and financially-manipulated) approval.

  • This article was confirmed by Mike Morell, former Deputy Director of the CIA, on the Charlie Rose show earlier this week. In their discussion on how presidents have traditionally made decisions, he described a consensus process with the 20+ security agencies that have basically dictated US foreign policy since 9/11.

    Most interestingly, his complaint about Trump making attendance at National Security Council meetings optional to the Heads of the Department of National Intelligence and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reveals a major loss of power and influence for the technocrats.

    Instead of driving foreign policy, the security agencies will now be relegated to just giving advice.

    The Trump administration will now be calling the shots.

    • diogenes

      Actually in Truman’s vision their function was to be “intelligence” — in the sense of factual information — not advice, or spin, or policy. Unfortunately a senior partner of the key Wall Street Law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell — the law firm that wrote, for example, the incorporation papers for JP Morgan’s creation of US Steal — Allen Dulles, because its head, while another Sullivan 7 Cromwell partner, his brother, John Foster Dulles, became Sect. of State. Only late in the game — 1958 — did Eisenhower realize how completely he had been steered. Whence his farewell address’s warning. Still unheeded, to our great loss and greater peril.

  • Jill

    I think there needs to be a better description of these people than “liberal technocrats”. Maybe it should just be, technocrats? I agree that liberals are doing everything you write about but so are conservatives. Our likely newest Supreme court justice cannot be called a liberal. He can be called a technocrat. This is such an excellent description in many ways. It just needs to expand to include the rest of this class.

  • No More Neos

    Most people never understood that neoliberalism is fascism with a smiley face. We’ve had that fake smiley faced leadership for the past 40 years in this country.

    “There is no force in American politics that is more extremist than the neoliberal establishment. Imagine if we were living in a sane society where everyone was thriving and resources weren’t squandered on stupid things. I think it’s fair to say that that’s the ideal bullseye we’re all shooting for.

    Then imagine someone came into that society saying, “Hey guys! I’ve got a great idea: let’s take most of your money and resources and give them to a few extremely wealthy owners of multinational corporations and banks! We’ll spend decades funneling all new income to them instead of to you while driving up the cost of healthcare, food, shelter, goods and services for the benefit of those few really rich guys, and we’ll sign a bunch of trade agreements and treaties to help them do this to other countries too.

    We’ll tax you to create the most powerful military the planet has ever seen, then we’ll use it to leverage other countries into obeying the wishes of those few really rich guys to make them even richer. If they don’t, we’ll send your kids to go kill them and be killed, watching their friends die and becoming exposed to such horrors they’ll be traumatized for life if they don’t commit suicide instead.

    We’ll keep squeezing you tighter and tighter, taking more and more and more, so that pretty soon eight plutocrats will control more wealth than half the world! Doesn’t that sound fun?”

    How well do you think that idea would go over in such a society? It would be immediately dismissed as the radical ravings of a deranged lunatic. But that’s exactly what the US political establishment has been fiendishly dedicated to serving you, to the exclusion of all else.

    That’s radicalism. That’s extremism. What bizarre kind of bubble does a politician have to be living in where wanting that is “mainstream” but wanting to be able to pay rent and go to the doctor’s when you’re sick is considered “radical”? That is precisely the insane bubble that all the Berners, Greens and socialists are rejecting, and it’s what the Trumpsters are rejecting as well. We all just want a healthy society where we’re able to thrive, and that is simply not on the menu of the so-called political “center”.

    How annoying is it that the neolibs and neocons get to call themselves the “center”? Like the desire to choke the ecosystem to death and wage endless, stupid wars for plutocratic interests is somehow a moderate approach to the world? The only reason they get to call themselves the “center” is because of this stupid left vs. right false dichotomy they themselves have promulgated because it stops us from seeing that the real divide isn’t left-right but top-bottom. The top is a small club and we ain’t in it, and fewer and fewer people are okay with that.

    “Radical” my ass. May we all be radicalized into normality.”

    • No More Neos

      The horrific thing is that they knew, they were warned… but did it anyway.

      “To allow the market mechanism to be the sole director of the fate of human beings and their natural environment …would result in the demolition of society.” ~ Karl Polanyi, 1944

      “In 1945 or 1950 if you had seriously proposed any of the ideas and policies in today’s standard neoliberal toolkit, you would have been laughed off the stage or sent off to the insane asylum.” ~ Susan George, political scientist

      Do not confuse the economic – oikos nomia – the norms of running home and community with chrematistics – krema atos – the accumulation of money. ~ Aristotle

      • diogenes

        Polanyi is interesting but confused. You need to read Veblen — The Theory of Business Enterprise, The Instinct of Workmanship, The Vested Interests, and The Engineers and the Price System. Absentee Ownership offers a summary overview and a mild development of these texts, but to really grasp what he reveals, the first four named are key. My essay, posted elsewhere on this site, The Distribution of Wealth In America, touches on some of this, but you really need to go to Veblen. His work has been, basically, suppressed — because it really does give the game away entirely. People who have heard of him or think they have ‘read’ him have read his first, least interesting, least revealing book (The Theory of the Leisure Class), but it’s these four (or five) texts named above that lay out his views. He exercised a profound effect on such thinkers as Louis Brandeis, William O. Douglas and Buckminster Fuller. I cannot recommend him to your attention in strong enough terms. He is definitely not an easy read because of the nature of his subjects, but he is not gratuitously difficult or obscure. And his dry satiric style is great, if you have the temperament to enjoy it.

      • diogenes

        I wrote too hastily (just below) about Polanyi. He is excellent on the emergence of the “market economy” in England, its contradictions and collapse. But he has nothing to say about the emergent dominion of corporate finance and its fictitious (fraudulent) nature, or about the basis of economic values in the heritage of technology and crafts which is a “joint stock” possession of the human race at large. Both these points are central to Veblen’s discussion and to an understanding of the character and perversions of the contemporary economy. Also, Polanyi’s attachment to the fetish of the gold standard, which never existed or worked as posited, is uncharacteristically impercipient and ahistorical, and expresses his basic lack of understanding of the hoaxes of finance. But on his subject, the “market economy,” he is first rate. And also no substitute for Veblen, who can be understood as extending and completing his vision. In the same way, Fernand Braudel’s Civilization and Capitalism 15-18th Century fills in the pre-history of the long-distance mercantile trade operations which preceded ‘capitalism’ (so-called) and were the emergent force behind the “market economy” Polanyi investigates.

    • No More Neos

      “I long ago formed a view of capitalism that regards it as similar to fire. It is a powerful force which can warm our home and cook our food. In short, it can be very useful, maybe even essential, but ONLY if it is kept tightly controlled. Fire has no conscience, it only wants to be fed, and it always demands more. Before one brings fire into their home, one builds a fire-proof containment vessel. When designing this fire-box we do not let ‘fire’ decide how thick to build the steel walls or how tightly the gaskets fit. ‘Fire’ does not even get a vote. We have given in to the demands of ‘fire’. We have sacrificed all the furniture. We have allowed fire to escape the box and become the master. The house is burning down, the roof is gone, the walls are burnt almost to the substructure, and our very foundation is at risk. Viewed in this manner, everyone, whether or not they are totally anti-‘fire’, can understand the urgency of getting the damn thing back in the box.”

      • diogenes

        “Capitalism” is a set of legalized fraudulent, coercive schemes to extract something for nothing from the livelihood of the population at large. It’s a fraud. For a discussion with plentiful references detailing this, see Parts 2 & 3 of my essay, posted elsewhere on this site, The Distribution of Wealth In America.

    • No More Neos

      “Neoliberalism is just the polite word for fascism, the apparatus of the state working hand in hand with the corporations to empower and enrich the few, including using the law enforcement powers of the state to suppress opposition and dissent.

      In 1975, the two major American political parties effectively merged when the Democrats abandoned the New Deal and adopted in its place the “neoliberal” policies prescribed by the self-appointed Democratic Leadership Council. It’s been downhill since.

      Some allude that “neoliberalism” came about haphazardly, as a malformation of the thought of relatively innocent theorists resulting in more than a few unintended consequences. I have my doubts about this. The current state under which we are living has been carefully planned out. The neoliberal phase is merely one step farther in the longer plan being implemented by a handful of greedy, miserly, devilish cabalists whose intent is to control the entire planet and enslave most of the world’s population — those they don’t outright murder.

      This is a genocidal plan whose declaration of intent is inscribed on the stones that mysteriously appeared in the State of Georgia in the 1970s. By now, we should know the hand of this cabal. They are behind the many false flag attacks we have witnessed, including 9/11. Their signature gift of foreknowledge, such things as the apparently coincidental repetitions of certain numbers (i.e. 9/11), is a ruse to convince the slaves that they have some special powers. The trade agreements have one end only and that is the destruction of the United States of America as a free and independent nation state.

      I don’t think we will be able to see clearly into the future or establish a plan for where we are going until we finally come face to face with where we’ve been and what we’ve done. That means uncovering the roots of 9/11 and following the money that has made this horror show of endless carnage possible.”

      • diogenes

        Again, this is right on target but its earlier history is a little muddled. Wall Street exerted control over “both” the Democratic and the Republican parties in the 1890s and consolidated that power in stages over the next 70 years. The Atlantic article cited by the bozo author of the article to which this discussion is appended is a reasonably revealing discussion of the final stage of the corruption and gutting of the Democratic Party, but it was only the final stage. The initial stage climaxed with the election of the phony “progressive” Woodrow Wilson in 1912, who installed, as his first item of business, the Federal Reserve, a key power center for the Wall Street oligarchy, and herded America into its second war for world economic empire. (The first, the Spanish-American War, was also a Wall Street operation: Wall Street was massively invested in Cuba.)

    • Jill

      This is a very thoughtful comment!

    • diogenes

      Thank you. This is dead on target except that this situation’s origins are to be dated to 1947-48, rather than “forty years ago.” The 15-year period from 1948-1963 saw the covert installation of Wall Street operatives at the center of power — notably the Dulles brothers, partners in Sullivan & Cromwell, THE key Wall Street law firm from before 1900. November 1963 was a watershed and another took place during the ejection of Nixon and the Ford-Rockefeller administration that followed, when numerous key figures in later developments — e.g. Cheney — first emerge; and of course Sept. 11, 2001 marked a third tightening of the screws. Underlying the entire process has been the drive for world financial empire by the (self-styled) “American” 0.01% hereditary oligarchy with headquarters on Wall Street, using the American military as its hired thug, our constitutional government as its parastical host, pimp, enforcer, the media and the “mis-educational” establishment as its mass hypnosis brainwash advertising agency, and the American people as its servants and source of cannon fodder. President Eisenhower warned us of what was and is going on in his farewell address. The General knew what he was talking about. America needs an alert, informed, active citizenry to restore our constitutional democracy. Nothing else can and nothing else will.