This pamphlet consists of an exchange of letters between Director-in-Chief of Technocracy Inc., Howard Scott, and J.K. Faulkner which was thought to be of interest to the public and was first published in The Northwest Technocrat of July 1965 (No. 220) along with two articles referred to in Howard Scott's letters.
J. K. Faulkner, assistant professor of economics at Western Washington State
Howard Scott's careful and complete response to Faulkner's questions contain information about Technocracy's history and purpose that is useful to a better understanding of Technocracy.
The Scourge of Politics In the Land of Manna and Political Schemes In
Industry, ironically enough, are a repudiation of the political objectives of
the I.W.W. publication in which they were published, and politics in all other
forms. But, more important, the articles perceived the pattern of things to
come -- the advanced engineering concepts which have since become Technocracy,
the future design of social operations for
Mr. Howard Scott
Director and Chief
Dear Mr. Scott:
I expect by this time you have received a letter from Mr. Harry Briggs indicating my interest in Technocracy, Inc.
I am working on a Ph.D. in Economics at the
Trace the intellectual antecedents of this movement, and yourself in particular, for whatever impress or contribution may have been relevant in its formation.
It is also important to indicate
the history of the movement from the initial formation of the Technical
Alliance, to the first announcement of Technocracy on
The other major factor which will probably be the most difficult is to indicate is the theory of energy determinants, such that the economist as well as those that might pick up the thesis might tell something about Technocracy.
With this rather brief outline indicating the general direction of the dissertation, I would hope that you might help me in this task. The following represent questions which have plagued me, and while I am sure many of them have been asked before by the press, it is important that you answer rather than my being forced to go to these secondary sources.
I have been unable to find any theses that have been written on Technocracy. If you have any knowledge of any being written, I would very much appreciate hearing about it. I am thinking now of those that might be in the process. I have gone through the indexes and abstracts, but have not found anything.
I would like very much to meet you. I hope that if I ever have more than two dimes to rub together that I will be able to get back to Rushland.
As this study progresses, I may have additional questions which only you can answer, which I respectfully hope that you will be able to do.
J. Kaye Faulkner
Instructor of Economics
(This letter of
J. Kaye Faulkner
Dear Mr. Faulkner:
Your letters of March 6th and
In Section II, you state that it is important to indicate the history of the
movement from the initial formation of the Technical Alliance until the
present. That is indeed, Mr. Faulkner, a tall order. If Technocracy Inc. had
the staff of ``Time,'' ``Life,'' and ``Fortune,'' or the ghost writers
available to the President of the
We opened our first office in July 1918 at
The Technical Alliance conducted its affairs under the direction of a temporary committee, with Sullivan W. Jones, Secretary. The temporary organizing committee was composed of the following:
Howard Scott, Chief Engineer
Frederick L. Ackerman, Benton Mackaye,
Carl L. Alsberg, Leland Olds,
Allen Carpenter, Charles P. Steinmetz,
M. D. Electrical Engineer
L. K. Comstock, Richard C. Tolman,
Electrical Engineer Physicist
Stuart Chase, John Carol Vaughan,
C.P.A. M. D.
Barrows Fernandez, Thorstein Veblen, Alice
Bassett Jones, Charles H. Whitaker,
Electrical Engineer Housing Expert
Sullivan W. Jones, Secretary
(The above taken from the original leaflet printed in 1919 by the DePamphilis Press of New York.)
I was on this committee, as you will notice, as Chief Engineer and Exectutive Director. It might be interesting to give some of the background of the members of the organizing committee:
Frederick L. Ackerman was a well-known architect, designer of buildings for
Dr. Richard C. Tolman was professor of physics at the
Early in 1920, the Technical Alliance took a whole floor at
During the time that we occupied the quarters at
Another project which we undertook, of lesser magnitude than the one of the Railroad Brotherhood, was for the Industrial Workers of the World. We still have here at CHQ two long blueprints listing the interlocking of over three thousand corporations of the big five packers -- all totally owned; equally impressive, of all those in which the five owned 50 percent or more. The Railroad Brotherhood and I.W.W. were merely clients of the Technical Alliance and paid for the services rendered. So therefore, referring to your question #4, of March 6, 1964: ``Was there anything to the suggestion that you were active in the I.W.W. outside of the two articles you wrote for the One Big Union Monthly,'' may I say your information is incorrect. I never was active in the I.W.W. or in any organization, labor union or political party, nor was I ever a member. The two articles in the One Big Union Monthly were not written for the One Big Union Monthly, but were written prior to this, at the time of President Wilson's ``Fourteen Points,'' which you will find enumerated in the first article. The reason for the publication in the One Big Union Monthly was that the Chairman of the Board of I.W.W. thought as they were engaging us in a research project, they should have something on which to publicize their relationship and their necessary expenditures. We said we knew of some articles and they seemed to be satisfied with them. We never heard from the One Big Union Monthly after that.
In Question #1, you ask what influence Soddy had on our theory of ``energy determinants.''
We derive most of our concepts of thermodynamics and energy determinants
from the works of J. Willard Gibbs, and we had formulated most of our concepts
of modulus and calculus of design prior to our coming in contact with Soddy's Wealth,
Virtual Wealth and Debt in 1927. Frederick Soddy was a chemist and
scientist, completely unknown to us, as we were unknown to Soddy. Soddy
formulated his ideas in the British scientific and academic world of his time.
He starts out on the correct course, and then gets lost in the muddle of values
shortly after page 100, and he loses his original direction and analysis in the
mass of money and economic values. Soddy himself, in a newsreel interview taken
in his office and laboratory, presented in the early 30's a very nice admission
and commendation for the development of Technocracy in the
Question #2 asks, ``do you feel in looking back over the period that Veblen, Bellamy, Frederick Taylor had much influence on your outlook of a scientifically run state?''
We had never read Veblen, nor had we any contact with him until September
1918. He published a series of articles in the ``Dial Magazine'' in 1919. We
had had a series of conferences and seminars in 1919 in which Veblen and others
brought the economists and sociologists, and we brought the scientists and
engineers. The last five Veblen articles appeared in the ``Dial Magazine'' from
Veblen faded out of the picture in
Bellamy was an artist and did a lovely job in his ``Looking Backwards'' and his other book, ``Equality.'' But we would like to point out that Jules Verne in his book, ``Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,'' envisaged a marvelous submarine. The book was so intriguing that it enjoyed a world-wide sale. Nevertheless, no naval architect or designing engineer would attempt to design a submarine from Jules Verne's artistic concepts displayed in his ``Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.'' It just wouldn't work. The same can be said of Edward Bellamy. Edward Bellamy's was an idealistic projection. He had the intuitive feeling of the artist, but it also was entangled in human beings on the theory they could be elevated to such a high degree of perfection in their moral and ethical values that a new society could be made to function on the essence of their betterment.
Frederick W. Taylor developed his theories of scientific management while working at the Midvale Steel. Out of his Midvale Steel experiments with time studies and that big husky Dutchman that he had as lead man in his pig iron gang at Bethlehem Steel, Frederick Taylor came up with a set of guide rules on how management could obtain greater productivity from labor by making human labor more efficient.
A number of engineers became so-called disciples of Frederick W. Taylor,
even though he had passed on to his reward in 1915. A considerable number of
engineers took up the so-called scientific management of Frederick Taylor and
further embroidered it and publicized themselves as efficiency engineers and
management consultants. Henry L. Gant had been
The formulation of our concepts began prior to World War I and during World War I and developed from then on. Some interesting examples: We had already developed our Continental Accounting system with our geographical division numbers, namely, a combination of the latitude and longitude of the southeast corner of a quadrangle, giving you an accurate location of any place on the Continent or the world without respect to political boundaries, place names or languages. This in conjunction with the conductivity characteristics of carbon coding with a modified Dewey decimal system enables one to devise a Continental accounting system and medium of distribution, becoming at once a Continental accounting system and continuous inventory of both production and distribution on an hourly basis, Continent-wide. You have to bear in mind, of course, that the system was devised before computers were developed to handle the instantaneous computation necessary under this system. We preceded the computers by some years. We brought out our million and a half volt D.C. power transmission in 1923. We brought out our calendar prior to that, in 1921 and 1922. We are stating this merely to give you some idea of the periodicity of the development of events of the organization and its concepts.
Question #5 asks, ``Members locally point out that there were attempts to take over your ideas and the organization of Technocracy and as a consequence of this it was incorporated.''
The incorporating papers of Technocracy Inc. were originally drawn up in the
fall of 1932. This was done primarily to restrain the terrific flood of unauthorized
material, from every writer from the far right to the far left attempting to
climb aboard the bandwagon. The granting of the charter of incorporation of
Technocracy Inc. was delayed for some months due, apparently, to political
pressures brought to bear in
In question #3 you ask, ``How does the prediction of the collapse of capitalism compare with that of Marx?''
Technocracy never had any philosophical predictions on the inevitable collapse of capitalism. The Marxian political philosophy was a condemnation of the ills of so-called capitalist society and a propaganda political document that all wealth was created by work, labor and toil, a theme which he sums up in his ``Workers of the World Unite.'' Marx, of course, envisaged abolition of one estate and the creation of another, and that the capitalist class should be expropriated and the workers be installed as the new social elite in a socialist world. Technocracy Inc. has never held any brief for the so-called ``capitalist class,'' or for that matter for any proprietary interest or group in our social structure. Marx only wanted to eliminate the so-called exploiting and owning classes. We contend that it is hardly worth undertaking. What Technocracy has always contended is that if sufficient energy consuming devices are installed and the total amount of extraneous energy consumed per capita reaches or exceeds 200,000 kilogram calories per capita per day, toil and workers alike will be eliminated, and, when toil is eliminated, the bourgeoisie will likewise go down the drain of history. Technocracy has always contended that Marxian political philosophy and Marxian economics were never sufficiently radical or revolutionary to handle the problems brought on by the impact of technology in a large size national society of today. It is sufficiently revolutionary to be of some importance and temporary application to under-developed areas of the globe. We have always contended that Marxian communism, so far as this Continent is concerned, is so far to the right that it is bourgeois. It is well here to bear in mind; the technological progression of the next 30 minutes invalidates all the social wisdom of previous history. Technology has no ancestors in the social history of man. It creates its own.
We could give you the energy calculations in many examples, but that takes
paper and time. A simple one in agriculture: In order to handle the food
production where the costs are lowered and to where the speed is so great that
it becomes applicable to large scale production, concepts and design factors go
beyond anything that the Russians or Chinese have ever attempted, because they
base their concepts on the collaboration of human beings and the values of
human toil and hand tools, although they were trying to adapt these concepts to
the introduction of mechanical means. Neither
In question #8, you state there were some reports that Technocracy had in
mind the use of physical force (
Understand, human toil and hand tools, from at least Hammurabi's time (about
the 19th Century, B.C.) down to the present time, the annual increment of
physical production, under human toil and hand tools was so small that it
required a century to amortize the principal and interest of any major debt.
Therefore, without technology, there would be no possibility of any social
renovation, only a perpetuation of human toil and hand tools. The capital
re-investment rate under human toil and hand tools occurred once in a century.
Today, in the
Technocracy, not being a political party or a conspiratorial body, has never had any intention or any wish to assume power, political power that is, in this Price System. We have never had and never will have any theory of assumption of political power. After all, the consulting engineers that design the great suspension bridges, or any other work, do not make the working drawings, nor do they fabricate any of the materials. The design materials are fabricated by different organizations or erecting companies, who erect the structure. But the orders today are given by the fiat power and economic power of the political state and its dominant interests.
Technocracy has proposed the design of almost every component of a large scale social system. True, it would require a technological orchestration of all physical operating factors, but a technological socialization is far more reaching, more drastic and more pervasive than anything that Marx or any socialist ever thought of. So, as you continue in your study of Technocracy, you will find that it is incorrect to view us as being in any way analogous to any party or political philosophy, or to any agitators of social change for any reason whatsoever. We have never advocated social change. We have pointed out the factors that would create it and have come pretty close to predicting its arrival, but that is an entirely different thing than advocating social change per se, for social change's sake. You will find it extremely difficult to change from sociologic and economic thinking to one of Technocracy; it is well to realize here and now that Technocracy, like science, has no truth; truth is a philosophic absolute, while in Technocracy all things are relative. We are concerned with the consumption and control of energy and the energy consuming devices and their resultant production and consumption, which are all measurable, and have nothing whatsoever to do with truth or philosophic values.
You will find that all the values that you or any other person have acquired regarding culture, art and the humanities, may be interesting to talk about, but have little use in designing any comprehensive system of tomorrow that can be controlled; we are not talking now of police control -- we are talking of technological control; nor do we mean regulation. Regulation, of course, comes in after the origination, after something is started, but control comes in at the beginning or origination.
The subjective entities of personal living are undoubtedly better in the
With the technological application of physical science involving ever-increasing energy consuming devices and technological equipment, the system of tomorrow will be a system of operation and control of energy and things, wherein decisions will have to be rendered as the closest approximation of the next most probable energy state, made at the speed of energy transmission and not awaiting the deliberation of one good man and true, or a thousand. Their deliberations would take too long, and the mechanism would be out of control. This is being ironically brought home every day in the corporate world of the present, especially those that install the latest computers. Computers can solve practically all of the problems of the corporate entity, except the most urgent one, that of finding someone who can ask the computer an intelligent question that involves direction and design.
Thanking you for your interest, I remain,
Very truly yours,
Howard Scott, Director in Chief
Dear Mr. Scott:
I very much appreciate your letter of
There are, however, still several questions which remain unanswered which I
was not able to incorporate at the time I wrote the letter of
In one of several book reviews on Harold Loeb's Life in a Technocracy a reviewer suggested that it was a pale Looking Backward. This is the important justification for raising the question: Did you feel at the time that Harold Loeb's book in any way represented the possible vision of how life in a Technocracy might be and would become?
The third question is in part the response to your answer to question number two on page four with regards to Veblen. If Veblen did not influence your thought, do you think that you influenced Veblen's thoughts and the articles which appeared in Dial magazine?
Fourthly: Was Technocracy incorporated in the State of
The fifth question, in reference to the earlier question number eight in my
letter of March 6 and answered on page eight of your letter, is in regard to
the use of physical force. I mentioned
Another factor which has struck me as being of some consequence has been the similarity between the organization chart of the Technate and the Wobbly Wheel. I also notice that in a pamphlet put out by the All America Technological Society in 1933 that their organizational structure would fit somewhere between the two. Would you care to comment on this?
A seventh question, which seems to me to be quite important, was the one having to do with whether you influenced FDR at all during World War II. And here I have in mind the ads which appeared in a number of newspapers and apparently over the radio calling upon FDR to appoint you Director General of Defense.I would like to restate question number twelve, March 6. I ran into the suggestion that your distribution system was somewhat like the Army. Would you comment on this? This is of primary importance to me because of the question of value in a distribution system.
I have been unable to find any thesis or books done on Technocracy which would take an objective position with respect to its contribution, its theory, and so on, from an outsider’s viewpoint. That is to say, most all of the contributions have been either for or against rather than taking a neutral middle stance in a scientific objective way. Do you have any such information which might aid me in my endeavors to research this particular problem? It does seem that something like this should have been done earlier and as a consequence I would like very much to have access to such information if it is available.
Question nine: Were there any members of Technocracy Inc., who moved from the IWW into Technocracy from the latter part of 1932 until the early 40's. Did any Wobblies find any satisfaction in the Technocratic Movement? I have in mind Ben H. Williams. I am not sure he is the same Ben Williams who was active in the IWW but I do know that there was a man called Ben H. Williams in both movements. Would you care to comment on this and would there be any other people who might be involved in both movements.
Question ten: While I don't really feel that a membership in and of itself either lends support to an argument or to an idea I would like to include something about membership figures if you feel free to release them. Historically is my primary concern. If you don't feel that you want to bring it up to date that is fine, but I would like to have some idea of the membership from 1932 until 1940 or 1945 if you are so inclined.
J. Kaye Faulkner
Assistant Professor of Economics
Mr. J. Kaye Faulkner
Western Washington State College
Dear Mr. Faulkner:
Your letter of August 17 landed in here in the midst of one of our busiest periods. During August and September we have a considerable number of visitors every year to CHQ, those on vacation with time available and on the long holiday weekend of Labor Day. CHQ had over 30 guests over the holiday weekend. To house and feed that number, additional to the Staff, is of course, somewhat of a project in itself.
In your letter of
Years ago we did some checking, and we found that the word ``Technocracy'' was not originated as a word either by us or by William Smythe, but had been used by five other persons back as far as 1882. But all of the ones who had used ``technocracy,'' including Smythe, had never used it as a definition and a name of a system of technological design and operation of a Continent. As far as we know, we never had any personal contact with William Smythe, nor did we have any knowledge of his having written articles in which he used the word until several years later. Our use of the word came about because we tried to find a word which was descriptive, and in reviewing the origin of the words ``democracy,'' ``autocracy,'' ``plutocracy,'' we found -- ``democracy'' (using the combination of the Greek root word ``demos'') -- the rule of many; ``plutocracy'' -- the rule of wealth; and ``autocracy'' -- the rule of one; we picked on the combination of ``technocracy'' to mean the rule of science and skills. This was our approach, and we were not concerned as to whether we were the originators of the word, because that is a common process that can be easily arrived at by any one who has the knowledge of Greek root words. So far as we know, Smythe was associated with, if not part of, the Scientific Management Efficiency Engineers and the Taylor Society that came out of World War 1. As we had nothing in common with efficiency engineering and scientific management we therefore were unconcerned as to how the word was used by others. We were only concerned with our own use of the word. After all we were creating a unique idea and we wanted a name for it, and ``Technocracy'' was the name we decided upon. Our decision was not influenced by any of the writers of the time. We were too busy formulating the principles of design and the mathematics of area energy operations to have much time left to be concerned with anything else.
In the third paragraph of your letter of August 17, you state, ``in one of several book reviews on Harold Loeb's Life in a Technocracy a reviewer suggested that it was a pale Looking Backward.'' You ask the question, ``did you feel at the time that Harold Loeb's book in any way represented the possible vision of how life in a Technocracy might be and would become?''
Back at the time that Harold Loeb was seeking a publisher for his book,
three publishing firms turned down the publication because Technocracy refused
to approve the manuscript in any way, shape or form. Harold Loeb was never a
member of Technocracy. He later tried to get in on the action when he, Felix
Fraser and Montgomery Schuyler tried to start the Continental Committee on
Technocracy. They attended the convention at the Hotel Morrison in June of
1933. They afterward attempted to tour across the
There are many others, but it would take too long to enumerate them all and their various positions. Harold Loeb was only one of a number who attempted to jump into the parade and cash in on it, whether for monetary reasons or reasons of prestige, we do not know, and we do not care. But he was only one of a thousand or more who attempted to effect a similar attachment to Technocracy. His book is a piece of imaginary fiction and the kindest thing we can say is that Bellamy did far, far better many years ago, but both Looking Backward and Loeb's Life in a Technocracy have nowhere in their pages the modulus and calculus of the design of an operating technological mechanism for the Continent of North America.
The third question of the first page of your letter of August 17 is ``if
Veblen did not influence your thought, do you think that you influenced
Veblen's thoughts and the articles which appeared in the Dial Magazine?'' I
first met Thorstein Veblen in the early fall of 1918 at the old Faculty Club of
Columbia University. I was introduced to him and to half a dozen others by
Montgomery Schuyler, and Merrill Rogers who was advertising manager of the Dial
Magazine at the time. As a result of the first meeting with Veblen, Dr. Horace
Kellen, Dr. Wesley C. Mitchell, Dr. Johnson (later to head the New School for
Social Research), Dr. James Harvey Robinson, Miller and others, it was proposed
that a series of seminar dinners be held in which Veblen would undertake to
bring the economists and sociologists, if I would make a similar undertaking to
bring a number of scientists, technologists and engineers. A number of these
dinners were held at the Columbia University Club on West 43rd and other places
Veblen wrote a series of articles for the Dial Magazine. They were later incorporated and printed as a book under the title of ``Engineers and the Price System.'' The Price System, as you may be aware, was Technocracy's term and not Veblen's. The last article (both in the Dial and then later in the book Veblen called ``Memorandum on a Practicable Soviet of Technicians'') we disagreed with, because our analysis contended that social change on this Continent would take an entirely different pattern and would not be analogous to the development in any other part of the world. It would be peculiar and endemic to the technological development of this Continent.
Our association with Veblen and his dry sense of humor was rewarding, but at
the same time it was slightly disappointing, chiefly because he didn't have the
energy or the initiative, due to ill health, to entertain a great departure
from his academic background. These remarks are not to be construed as
indicating that there had been a personal break with Thorstein Veblen; there
was not. The
Mrs. Dorothy Whitney's donations to the
Thorstein Veblen, in a meeting in my apartment in
The last several articles of the Dial Magazine were undoubtedly written by
Veblen because of the contact of the Veblen group with the Technical Alliance.
They were attempting to ride what they thought might be ``the wave of the
future'' and Veblen in the last few articles in the Dial was undoubtedly going
along to some extent with the master minding of one Ardzrooni. He was one of
the famous Ardzrooni brothers, raisin kings of
Your fourth question, ``Was Technocracy incorporated in the State of
The fifth question, also on page one of your letter of August 17, ``in regard to the use of physical force,'' you stated, ``it was June of 1933 and it was during the Continental Convention on Technocracy. You were quoted as saying, `Technocracy would gain its end by use of force and bayonets.'
As we stated in other communications, no such statement has ever been made
by me or by Technocracy Inc. Our original declaration at that convention, and
which since has been printed in our literature far and wide, was ``that
Technocracy would never ask the public of these
On page two of your letter of August 17, you state ``another factor which has struck me as being of some consequence has been the similarity between the organization chart of the Technate and the Wobbly Wheel. I also notice that in a pamphlet put out by the All America Technological Society in 1933 that their organizational structure would fit somewhere between the two. Would you care to comment on this?''
We do not see any resemblance, as the Organizational Chart stretches across the wall of a good sized building, and is capable of extension and expansion. We never had any Wobbly Wheel at the time we drew the schematic organization of a Technate. We see no resemblance whatsoever.
After all, Technocracy was not responsible for the formation of the All
American Technological Society in 1933. This organization was dreamed up by
General Wood, head of Sears Roebuck, Major General Westervelt, vice president
of Sears Roebuck, in charge of production, Blythe and Co., whom you might call
the Stone-Webster of the
The seventh Question. ``......... which seems to me to be quite important was the one having to do with whether you influenced FDR at all during World War II. And here I have in mind the ads which appeared in a number of newspapers and apparently over the radio calling upon FDR to appoint you Director General of Defense. I would like to restate question number twelve, March 6. 1 ran into the suggestion that your distribution system was somewhat like the Army. Would you comment on this? This is of primary importance to me because of the question of value in a distribution system.''
There were a few ads placed asking for my appointment, that FDR appoint me
as Director General of Defense. These ads were due to over-enthusiasm and
exuberance of members of Technocracy on the
One of the most vociferous attacks on Technocracy in
After all, Technocracy has never attempted to advise, influence, persuade or cajole the political leadership of any country on the North American Continent, nor anywhere else. We are somewhat amused by Franklin Delano Roosevelt's placement in high position of 18 or more of our ex-members and associates in his administration. If they in any way influenced FDR that was certainly not because of any direction or initiative on the part of Technocracy; it would be more likely solicitation on the part of the erstwhile members for the political future of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and their own enhancement.
Your question nine states: ``Were there any members of Technocracy Inc. who moved from the IWW into Technocracy from the latter part of 1932 until the early 40's. Did any Wobblies find any satisfaction in the Technocratic Movement? I have in mind Ben H. Williams. I am not sure he is the same Ben Williams who was active in the IWW, but I do know that there was a man called Ben H. Willians in both movements. Would you care to comment on this and would there be any other people who might be involved in both movements. ''
There were only two members of Technocracy who had been associated with the
IWW. They did not move from the IWW into Technocracy. They merely happened to
be in certain geographical locations and they moved and joined Sections of
Technocracy, not in the same area, but considerable distance apart. We had no
knowledge of them, or their past association, nor had ever heard of them prior
to their joining Technocracy. One was the Ben Williams which you mentioned in
your question nine. Both of these members were dismissed from Technocracy for
conduct unbecoming a Technocrat. As to the question of whether any Wobbly found
satisfaction in the Technocratic movement, if they did they would not have been
dismissed from Technocracy. Technocracy is the antithesis of the program and
philosophy of the Industrial Workers of the World. It never has had anything in
common, and any member of any organization that joined Technocracy we were
willing to accept as members provided they were citizens of the
We have no knowledge of any other people who might be involved in both
movements with the exception of one, Ralph Chaplin. Ralph Chaplin visited me in
my apartment, if I remember correctly, sometime in September, 1919. Ralph
Chaplin was a member of the IWW and was poet, writer and editor of their
publication. In 1948 Ralph Chaplin had completed a book entitled, ``Wobbly -- the
Rough-and-Tumble Story of an American Radical,'' a book made possible by the
grant of the Newbury Fellowship in Midwestern Studies by the Newbury Library to
Ralph Chaplin. The book is 435 pages in length. On page 295 he mentions, ``Not
the least interesting person I met on my trip was Howard Scott............. We
discussed at length Thorstein Veblen's 'Soviet of Engineers' and its relation
to the '
This is very interesting, in that Ralph Chaplin in writing a book of this kind
wishes to give credence and importance to his position and the doctrines of the
IWW. We did not spend more than a few minutes on the IWW credo or the ``Soviet
of Engineers'' or the ``Industrial Encyclopedia.'' Very little time was taken
in that. On page 296 he states: ``All the time he was discoursing so plausibly
about teardrop automobiles, flying wing airplanes, and technological
unemployment, I was looking at the other side of the studio where an appalling
phallic watercolor painting was displayed among blueprints and graphs on a big
easel. Evidently the 'Great Scott' was a man of diversified interests.'' Once
again, this is quite interesting. I never had a painting, phallic or otherwise,
and if I had had a painting I certainly would not mix it up with blue prints
and mathematical charts. On the same page (296), the last sentence of the
second paragraph, he states: ``All this was done before Howard Scott came to
Further on in the same volume, on page 359, he states: ``When Technocracy
swept the country as a possible panacea, I supported it editorially. I even
helped to organize Howard Scott's 'Technological Congress' during
Ralph Chaplin, while he never joined Technocracy, at that time and slightly
later, gave it an apparently sincere and honest support. But we must point out
that I did not wear a gray suit, nor did the Technocrats wear gray suits in
1933, 1934, and 1936.1 wore a blue suit in all those years. We have the data
and the photographs to prove it. No doubt this kind of statement probably comes
from the ``quarterbacking'' which the intellectuals of the
So far as Technocracy is concerned, our contact with Ralph Chaplin in 1919 was renewed 14 years later, and Ralph Chaplin, with all the enthusiasm and vigor that he had at his command regarding Technocracy, never joined the Organization. He got into difficulties at a couple of meetings and we lost contact with him completely.
In 1934 we published the pamphlet, ``Science versus Chaos,'' which is
substantially an address by me before the national Technological Congress and
Continental Convention on Technocracy at Hotel Morrison, June, 1933. This
pamphlet was first published by the thousands in
SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN
Technocracy -- new, startling, and fundamental -- has invaded the minds of North Americans with unparalleled positive ness and force.
Its original research summary, a simple statement of facts about the critical period in which we find ourselves, startled the world. The questions it posed still remain unanswered.
Technocracy not only made the American people `fact conscious,' but confronted the entire Continent with the inevitability of fundamental social change.
Technocracy's position is based on facts, not rhetoric. Its message has cut deep. It has reached more intelligent and functionally important citizens in all walks of life than any other organization, and continues to do so.
Technocracy's scientific approach to the social problem is unique, and its method is completely new. It speaks the language of science, and recognizes no authority but the facts.
In Technocracy we see science banishing waste, unemployment, hunger, and insecurity of income forever.
In Technocracy we see science replacing an economy of scarcity with an era of abundance.
In Technocracy we see functional competence displacing grotesque and wasteful incompetence, facts displacing guesswork, order displacing disorder, industrial planning displacing industrial chaos.
Technocracy is the extension of science to build a civilization worthy of the intelligence of man.
Technocracy concerns itself with the Continental area of
North Americaalone. Technocracy marks a turning point in American history -- the birth of a greater . Technocracy contains all the elements out of which great movements are made. America
Howard Scott, founder and Director-in-Chief of Technocracy Inc. presents in the following pages a diagnosis of the existing disorder and an outline of a New America.
It is interesting to note that Ralph Chaplin never mentioned this, as an enthusiastic approval of Technocracy, at any time in his volume. He wrote this eulogistic approval of Technocracy 14 years after the first meeting, and 15 years after that he writes a book. In that long 15 years, Technocracy had not had any contact with him and had never heard from him. The Organization had been in existence, and Ralph Chaplin could very easily have contacted us, but apparently it was his privilege not to do so. We were uninformed and unaware of either his manuscript or his book until years after its publication. We regret the bias and the incorrect emphasis and errors in his statements made in the book ``Wobbly,'' by Ralph Chaplin. They are incorrect in substance and in fact.
You seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that there is some
connection with other organizations of the
As the technological design for the operation of a Continent would eliminate human toil, and the ``worker'' would become as extinct as the Dodo bird, it axiomatically follows that as any Continental social system eliminates toil and the ``worker,'' all of the other proprietary rights and proprietors will join the ``workers'' in the limbo of the forgotten past, because when toil and the workers are disposed of, the bourgeoisie become extinct. All of the political philosophies from Leninist-Marxism of the left to the European Catholic-Fascism of the right extol the corporate structure and attempt to distribute land to the peasants and freeze agricultural workers to the soil.
Modern technology never got anywhere as its beginnings in the industrial
revolution were meager and blockaded by the limiting concepts of those who
introduced machine processes as adjuncts to human labor in the acquisition of
greater profits. Under human toil and hand tools, the annual increment of
production was so low each year that a major investment required a century for
the amortization of principal and interest; or to state it another way, the
re-investment of capital in capital goods could occur approximately once in a
century. Private enterprise in these
In the early days of the Technical Alliance, we were visited by all kinds of people, from Americans of the upper levels of finance and industry to a raft of writers, so called radicals and leftists. In a sense we technologists and engineers were somewhat naive at that time, in that any knowledge that we might have had of any of the movements was purely cursory and not from intention. All of the movements and all of the literature had nothing to offer Technocracy. Technocracy was proposing a technological re-design of the Continent in a closed-field of operation. We, as an organization, were not interested in preserving the status quo, nor were we imbued with any conspiracy to destroy it. We were not concerned with wasting our time trying to capture the entire scientific and engineering profession of this Continent as members. We knew only too well that if every technologist and engineer designed the equipment of tomorrow to operate at higher speeds with greater energy consumption per unit of time, and less energy per unit produced of products or services, that they did not have to be Technocrats, that, in their professional way, they were doing their best to behave as if they were. It is therefore obvious that none of the political philosophies, right or left or center, and none of the social movements or labor organizations had anything to offer Technocracy. In fact all of them were impedimenta in the pathway toward tomorrow. They had nothing to give us because we were involved in an original piece of research in a unique projection that had never beer% proposed before. These movements had nothing to give us; they might in some way attempt to imitate us, to borrow from us, or to block us, but in the main they made no real attempt to understand Technocracy's design and social consequences. We received far greater recognition abroad and more serious study by scientists, technologists and engineers in other lands. They even proposed to extend our energy determinants to a world basis as suggested by the title of one engineering publication of Czechoslavakia, ``Der Welt Energie.'' Technocracy can be applied to other Continents, but as the soil, water, climate, geographical conformation and natural resources differ with each continental area, the social resultants, while they would be enormously advanced over anything today, would not be all equal or the same. The differences would occur because of the differences of the physical constituents of the continent and their energy factors. In other words, Technocracy is applicable to any continental area of the world, but, as stated distinctly, socially they wouldn't have the same returns, nor would they all have pink cheeks.
We regret that the By-Laws and General Regulations of Technocracy Inc., and the policies in general prevent us from giving you any figures on membership of any period of Technocracy's history. This has always been the policy of Technocracy. We hope that the preceding will give a satisfactory response to your questions and enable you to complete your dissertation in a more extensive way.
Very truly yours,