Technology. It has driven human progress since Homo sapiens emerged in Africa. The development of fire kept us warm and safe. The development of language – a new paradigm of communication – allowed for unprecedented communication never seen before on this planet. Man’s mastery over plants and animals paved the way for civilization, and the rate of technological progress has only grown since then.
Yet, the use of technology in order to commit horrific evils is well documented. While our ancestors certainly used fire to keep warm, they most certainly used it as a weapon of war against other tribes. Iron-working allowed for our species to develop superior farming techniques – but that same metal was used to forge swords and spears. Chemistry and the development of fertilizer led to a vast increase in the carrying capacity of this planet – but the same process that is used to produce fertilizer can also be used to produce high explosives. Fusing and splitting atoms is among the most powerful processes that man has at his disposal – and these processes can either be used to generate vast prosperity through power, or incinerate entire cities in a single flash.
The combination of these two factors, combined with the actions of governments, forms history. A technologically backward, inept government crumbles in the face of an advanced, competent one. Governments and nations capable of developing and mastering new and powerful technologies succeed, while those who do not are swept into the dustbin of history. While there are other factors – alliances, demographics, culture, religion, etc – technology is ultimately the driving factor of human history and the evolution of nations.
In order to truly succeed, a government must have a mastery over science, technology, and engineering – and in fact, they must make dominance in these areas a goal of the state. Peter the Great is a prime example of this – his campaign to bring Russia into equivalence with Western Europe revolved around science. America, too, has experienced the raw power of science – the development of the atomic bomb during the Manhattan project made America the single most dominant power ever seen on Earth (until 1949, when the Soviets developed their own atomic weapon).
A government of lawyers may very well bring change. But a government of scientists and engineers will bring change – after all, it is these two professions that are responsible for bringing about change, either in our physical world or in the collective knowledge of mankind. While other forms of government may result in change, technocracy results in growth. The goal of a technocracy is to develop mastery over science and engineering – and a byproduct of this is the creation of new and better energy sources, more efficient methods of public transit, access to better means of healthcare, etc.
The technocrat has a broader vision than the lawyer or the populist demagogue. The technocrat is a logical creature, one who understands that the natural evolution of humanity revolves around the production of more energy, the manipulation of structures at ever-smaller scales, and the proliferation of the human race across more worlds. Whereas a typical elected official cannot afford to think in the long-term, the technocrat is oriented towards long-term thinking. And while a nation need not be entirely governed by technocrats, a government should have at least some technocratic elements, at the bare minimum, in order to succeed.
Technocracy is the most logical and effective method of governing a nation – because a nation is defined by, among other things, its mastery over technology, and history is defined by the evolution of technology. When technocratic ideals finally take power, the rewards will soon follow.