Timeline of the technocracy movement

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Time period Development summary More details
1930s During the Great Depression, Engineer Howard Scott revives the idea of a technological society.[1]

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Year Event type Details
1919 William Henry Smyth, an inventor and social reformer from California, first coins the term "technocracy".[1]
1919 Organization Howard Scott, who would be called the "founder of the technocracy movement"[2], starts the Technical Alliance in New York, with mostly scientists and engineers as members. The Technical Alliance started an Energy Survey of North America, which aims to provide a scientific background from which ideas about a new social structure could be developed.[3] However the group would break up in 1921[4] before the survey is completed.[5]
1921 Thorstein Veblen publishes Engineers And The Price System.
1931–1932 M. King Hubbert, a young geophysicist, moves from Chicago to be an instructor at Columbia University. Hubbert meets Howard Scott in New York, becomes most impressed by his ideas and seeks to give them a more firm scientific basis. Hubbert pays Scott's back rent, moves in with him, and sets about reestablishing something like the old Technical Alliance, an attempt that would culminate in the Energy Survey of 1932.[6]
1932 By late year, various groups across the United States call themselves technocrats and propose reforms.[7]
1933 The Continental Congress organizes a technocratic conference in Chicago at the World's Fair.
1933 The Technocracy Movement essentially ends.[1]
1933 Hugo Gernsback, the author of the term "science-fiction", and publisher of Science Wonder Stories, publishes the Technocracy Review for a short time during this year.[8]
1933 The Technocrats report that "Technology has now advanced to a point where it has substituted energy for man-hours on an equal basis".[6]
1934 (September) A mimeographed bulletin called the Technocracy Digest starts publication.[8]
1934 Literature Technocracy inc. produces Science Versus Chaos by Howard Scott, which is the text of his concluding speech at the ill-fated Continental Convention on Technocracy. This pamphlet is distributed by Scott on his continent-wide tour, and would go through several printings.[8]
1934 Literature The Technocracy Study Guide is produced by Technocracy Inc. Initially a mimeograph form and later in a hardcover volume, it would be reprinted a number of times. Technocracy: Some Questions Answered, is another important piece of literature by the group.[8]
1937 Technocracy, Inc. releases further details on its plan to replace money with energy certificates. Energy certificates would be issued, the total amount of which would "represent the total amount of net energy converted in the making of goods and provision of services."[6]
1939 Scott tell his audiences that Technocracy is expanding so fast, "...that before long neither Canada nor the U.S. could discuss war without permission of this organization."[8]
1970 Howard Scott dies, and is succeeded as Continental Director by John T. Spitler.[6]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Technocracy Movement | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 31 August 2022. 
  2. Peter J. Taylor. Technocratic Optimism, H.T. Odum, and the Partial Transformation of Ecological Metaphor after World War II Journal of the History of Biology, Vol. 21, No. 2, June 1988, p. 213.
  3. "Questioning of M. King Hubbert, Division of Supply and Resources, before the Board of Economic Warfare" (PDF). 1943-04-14. Retrieved 2008-05-04. p8-9 (p18-9 of PDF)
  4. William E. Akin (1977). Technocracy and the American Dream: The Technocracy Movement 1900-1941, University of California Press, p. 37.
  5. William E. Akin (1977). Technocracy and the American Dream: The Technocracy Movement 1900-1941, University of California Press, pp. 61-62.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Berndt, Ernst R. "From technocracy to net energy analysis" (PDF). dspace.mit.edu. Retrieved 31 August 2022. 
  7. Beverly H. Burris (1993). Technocracy at work State University of New York Press, p. 30.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 "The technocrats 1919-1967 - Summit Research Repository" (PDF). summit.sfu.ca. Retrieved 31 August 2022.