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Reception of The New Deal
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The Technocrats's Magazine, 1933
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The Technocrats's Magazine, 1933
The Technocrats's Magazine, 1933 (cover art by Norman Saunders)
Technocracy was a progressive engineering movement founded by Howard Scott and Walter Rautenstrauch and centered at Columbia University School of Engineering. The movement believed that engineers were better suited to running society than were businessmen. Wall Street's continued focus on modern mass production was seen as evidence that they lacked the skill to efficiently direct modern technology. Technocrats wanted to do away with the capitalist price system in favor of one that used an energy theory of value. Scott argued that energy certificates equal to the amount of power available for production should be issued to each citizen, who would then be required to spend them in the free market. Saving energy would be discouraged in the belief that it created an undesirable imbalance between production and consumption. The technocracy movement spawned numerous discussion groups around the country, but Scott's temperament and failure to develop a political action plan to support his theories (in addition to the revelation that he had overstated his credentials) deflated the movement. Nevertheless, Technocracy added to an ongoing discussion about the proper control of technology. It warned of a split between American culture and industrial civilization, and an imbalance between man and nature, production and consumption. Technocracy also influenced future thinking about the role of energy in economic recovery.
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Last modified July 14, 2012