A few overarching themes can explain and connect a lot of the core aims of technocrats.

Technocrats are driven by a quest to comprehensively apply science in order to engineer progress.

They accept no bounds with regard to this imperative.

In order to bring science to bear on every sphere and aspect of existence, technocrats must comprehensively “know.” 

They are motivated to construct systems and environments of surveillance in order to collect more and more data concerning every activity of humans, and all other phenomena.

Technocrats ultimately observe no bounds of privacy, because what remains private, remains unknown and accounted for. And what is unaccounted for cannot be improved and optimized according to their designs and dictats.

But their lack of bounds goes far beyond privacy. The technocratic quest accepts no bounds of any kind with respect to humans, or anything else.

Humans are considered as one more creature in flux through time to the forces of evolutionary nature, along with all living things.

Technocrats have no qualms concerning bringing innovations such as Heritable Genome Editing (HGE) to bear to “intelligently” design and improve humans, and other life forms.

Thus, they are fundamentally disposed to pursue transhumanism, and trans-life, including attempting to create sentient, autonomous Artificial General Intelligence (AGI).

Indeed, many technocrats see AI as not only inevitable, but better suited to carry on future “progress” than natural humans.

The Question of Power

Above are the fundamental tenets that define Technocracy. But there is one more force in play, that, while not confined to technocratic imperatives, nonetheless is bound up with its quest, as it is bound up with everything in this world: the drive to power.

Many technocrats may see themselves as having noble purposes and good intentions in designing and dictating far-flung solutions to “existential” crises of humanity. They may sincerely believe that they have humans’ best interests, or the earth’s best interests, at heart.

But their pursuits are no more immune to seductions of power, than any other pursuit of humans or other creatures.

With the tremendous power that the technocratic quest requires, comes tremendous corruption and danger that always accompanies the accrual and concentration of power.

The nature of power is the doom of technocracy, as it is the doom of any enterprise which embarks to siphon and more nobly wield the relative dispersal of power among the many.

The rule is brute simple: no great concentrated power can be wielded for good.

The nature of this reality is that power can only be constrained from its worst potentialities, through wide dispersal and diminution.

Power is a double edged sword. It can be used to create and flourish. But it can as easily be used to destroy and devolve. 

It turns out that dispersing power is the best way to socially benefit from its creative potentials, while limiting its destructiveness.

A million, or a billion humans living in a tolerable order, with decent respect for individual freedom and autonomy, is preferable to a regime of a privileged class ruling a mass of slaves.

But technocrats, like any other “enlightened” or self-perceived entitled group or individuals through history, at best mistake their own ability to wield power for good. 

And technocrats, if anything, have shown themselves more prone to smugly take the reins of power than even kings and emperors of old, who saw themselves as entitled by having the blood of the gods in their veins.

The certitude of scientism and its technological achievements, has given an unprecedented hubris to those who worship at its altar.

Degrowth and Unbridled Transhuman Advancement

How does the Climate Change agenda, the Degrowth movement, and Transhumanism fit into the technocratic picture?

All of these are variations of what influential technocrats have determined as future scenarios requiring technocratic intervention, either to beneficially realize, or avoid the worst ramifications of.

Any of these can be classed as pessimistic or optimistic visions of both the future, and the necessity of radical technocratic intervention.

Degrowth and Transhuman utopianism are the two primary visions. The climate change agenda may be seen as a subclass of the Degrowth vision.

The Pessimistic Vision: Degrowth

The Degrowth movement represents the generally more pessimistic technocratic assessment regarding the future, and what must be done to save earth and humanity from calamity.

It posits that the earth and its resources are finite, and that human population growth has outstripped the planet’s ability to sustain life in a benign stasis.

The past year has seen economic and population degrowth step more into mainstream expression by media and thought leaders.

The latest example? A 4 May opinion piece in Scientific American which argues degrowth—and not just a “green energy” transition—is needed to save the planet:

“Where our current model of endless growth and short-term profits sacrifices vulnerable people and the planet’s future, population decline could help create a future with more opportunity and a healthy, biologically rich world. We’re at a crossroads—and we decide what happens next. We can maintain the economic status quo and continue to pursue infinite growth on a finite planet. Or we can heed the warning signs of a planet pushed to its limits, put the brakes on environmental catastrophe, and choose a different way to define prosperity that’s grounded in equity and a thriving natural world.”

(“Population Decline Will Change the World for the Better,” 4 May 2023.)

But Degrowth has been influencing policy makers for a generation.

The Limits to Growth, the influential 1972 book that laid out the degrowth argument and launched the movement, argued thirteen different scenarios that could define either a more or less catastrophic future.

The authors recommended “degrowth,” or abandoning the pursuit of increased GDPs, higher material living standards, more material prosperity, and human population growth, as the fundamental solution to what it otherwise predicted would be various potential calamities.

In 1972, carbon emissions barely rated a mention in the book as a potential source of catastrophe. But subsequent editions of the book published in the 1990’s and in the early 2000’s gave increasing weight to the carbon emissions / greenhouse gas “climate change” scenario of doom.

Dennis Meadows, co-author of the The Limits to Growth, has never considered solving climate change as the key to ensuring a sustainable future, even as it became the most potent rallying cry to begin to implement de facto degrowth initiatives, from the 1990’s onward.

Meadows has argued that even if climate change were “solved,” some other calamity or deprivation spurred by an overpopulated planet would require action.

He has called “climate change” a symptom. The targeted “problem” that degrowth seeks to address is human overpopulation, as Meadows detailed in a 2016 interview:

“You are so far above the population and the consumption levels, which can be supported by this planet that I know in one way or another, it’s going to come back down. So I don’t hope to avoid that. Uh, I hope that it can occur in a, a civil way. And I mean civil in a peaceful way.  Peaceful doesn’t mean that everybody’s happy. But it means that conflict isn’t solved through violence, through, through force, but rather in other ways. And so, uh, that’s what I hope for, um, that we can… I mean, the planet can support something like a billion people, maybe 2 billion depending on how much liberty and how much material consumption you want to have. If you want more liberty and more consumption, you have to have fewer people. And conversely, you can have more people. I mean, we could even have 8 or 9 billion probably if we have a very strong dictatorship, which is smart. That’s, unfortunately, you never have smart dictatorships. They’re always stupid. So, but if you had a smart dictatorship and a low standard of living, you can have a…but we want to have freedom and we want to have a high standard. So we’re gonna have a billion people and we’re now at seven, so we have to get back down. I hope that this can be slow, relatively slow, and that it can be done in a way which is relatively equal. Uh, you know, so that people share, uh, the experience and they don’t have a few rich, you know, trying to force everybody else to, to deal with it. So those are my hopes. I mean, these are pretty pessimistic hopes, you know, but I mean, that’s, that’s what lies ahead.” 

Since 1820, the earth’s human population has gone from about 1 billion to more than eight billion. Given Meadow’s theories about population, how has world poverty fared over the last 200 years? Information compiled by shows that as population has increased, even faster rising productivity—otherwise known as economic growth—has more than kept pace, raising standards of living. (“The short history of global living conditions and why it matters that we know it,” updated 2020.)

Author Max Roser, who compiled various statistics concerning the actual historical record, had this to say regarding the achievements of economic growth in alleviating not only baseline poverty, but relative poverty, in the face of robustly growing population:

“The $1.90 poverty line is very low and focuses on the very poorest in the world. The world is also making progress against poverty relative to higher poverty lines. In fact, no matter what poverty line you choose, the share of people below that poverty line has declined globally.

“That is a huge achievement, for me as a researcher who focuses on growth and inequality maybe the biggest achievement of all in the last two centuries. It is particularly remarkable if we consider that the world population has increased 7-fold over the last two centuries – switch off the ‘Relative’ toggle in this visualization to see the number of people in and out of poverty. In a world without economic growth, a 7-fold increase of the population would have resulted in less and less income for everyone, it would have been enough to drive everyone into extreme poverty. Yet, the exact opposite happened. In a time of unprecedented population growth our world managed to give more prosperity to more people and to continuously lift more people out of the worst poverty.”

Part of the trick of The Limits to Growth is the way it conveniently classifies any negative event or phenomenon as a consequence of unsustainable population levels.

Thus, not only “climate change,” which wasn’t even on the authors’ radar in 1972, but things like wars, spiraling poverty, food and water shortages, poisoning levels of pollution, running out of oil, etc, were all predicated as inevitable consequences of population growth.

Even given the wide palette of potential calamities to blame on population growth, overall, none of them panned out.

Advances in technology have allowed economic growth to not only sustain, but improve the general living conditions of the world since 1820, by providing more sanitary living conditions, more abundant food, and decreased poverty.

As for pollution, success in mitigating the forms that concerned environmentalists in 1972 have been so successful, that today, the world’s primary pollution focus is C02, or atmospheric carbon, a natural element necessary to life on earth.

It’s worth noting that the original landmark Clean Air Act of 1970 does not even mention C02 in its long list of targeted pollutants.

An amendment to the Act in late 1970 titled the “Federal-Aid Hiffhwav Act

of 1970” also does not specify Carbon Dioxide as a pollutant, even as it cites carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, “oxides of nitrogen” and noise pollution as targets for mitigation.

Concerning the predictions of The Limits of Growth with regard to wars and population growth, its assertions again are not backed by the historical record. 

The most devastating wars of the period from 1820 to the present time occurred up to 1945, followed by 75 years of comparative peace and growing economic integration.

As for the present Russia-Ukraine conflict, that war is occuring in a Euro region that has been experiencing a pronounced demographic implosion—not explosion—accelerating since the early 1970’s, when The Limits of Growth debuted.

Despite the historically false and distorted premises and failed predictions of the Degrowth movement launched via The Limits of Growth, influential elitist organizations including the Club of Rome continue to reference the book as seminally important and relevant:

“Published 1972 – The message of this book still holds today: The earth’s interlocking resources – the global system of nature in which we all live – probably cannot support present rates of economic and population growth much beyond the year 2100, if that long, even with advanced technology.”

The Optimistic Vision: Transhuman Ascendance

Transhumanism focuses on how technological advances may allow humans to transcend the limits of their natural biology and genetics, to achieve any number of enhancements.

Some, like Ben Goertzel and Ray Kurzweil, have long predicted and worked to hasten a “Singularity,” a term used to describe the moment when Artificial Intelligence achieves a superiority to human capabilities in every respect.

Otherwise known as “strong AI” or AGI (Artificial General Intelligence), transhumanists focused on AI envision a future when humans and AI might merge to become synergistically better.

Bill Gates added his own thoughts in March regarding rapid advances of AI:

“Superintelligent AIs are in our future. Compared to a computer, our brains operate at a snail’s pace: An electrical signal in the brain moves at 1/100,000th the speed of the signal in a silicon chip! Once developers can generalize a learning algorithm and run it at the speed of a computer—an accomplishment that could be a decade away or a century away—we’ll have an incredibly powerful AGI. It will be able to do everything that a human brain can, but without any practical limits on the size of its memory or the speed at which it operates. This will be a profound change.

“These ‘strong’ AIs, as they’re known, will probably be able to establish their own goals. What will those goals be? What happens if they conflict with humanity’s interests? Should we try to prevent strong AI from ever being developed? These questions will get more pressing with time.”


Genomic Editing represents another avenue of technology driven transhumanism. Proponents point out that genetic therapies are already showing promise in correcting genetic maladies like sickle cell anemia, and in creating mRNA “vaccines.”  

They envision genetic engineering as a means of achieving life extension, and other physical and intellectual enhancements. At its furthest reaches, groups like “The Transhumanist Party” see humans eventually gaining god-like powers and near immortality, and advocate for limitless freedom of scientists and individuals to pursue transhuman technologies and “advancement.”

Other general advocates of AI and genetic technologies acknowledge dangers that may result from them. 

Some hypothesize that a superior AI intelligence might not be disposed to be friendly to humans. Others have noted the current race among world powers to develop and weaponize the most sophisticated possible AI, in order to gain strategic advantage over adversaries. 

Recently, many scientists and technologists in the field signed onto a letter which expressed concerns about AI advancing too quickly, and advocated for a “pause” in its development.

Similarly, some genetic scientists, while largely seeing great potential benefits in genetically designing humans and other organic life, have expressed concerns about things like “equity” and access to the technologies.

While some have cautioned about unforeseen ramifications of introducing genetic alterations to humans and other organic life, commercial research and introduction of gene editing technologies in the fields of agriculture and health sciences are currently booming.

Leading regulatory bodies, meanwhile, are successively moving toward loosening restrictions of gene editing, including the possibility of allowing Heritable Gene Editing (HGE), or edits that can be passed on to the next generation.

To sum up, transhumanists tend to focus on developing and implementing radical technologies to spur progress, though that progress by definition involves transcending—and effectively sunsetting—natural humanness.

Degrowth advocates tend to focus on technocratic interventions that will mitigate or reduce human impacts that supposedly threaten a benign stasis of supportable life on a finite planet. Over time, climate change has been taken up as the main proof that degrowth policies are required to avoid catastrophe and impel a more sustainable future.

Predictions Concerning Technocracy

Degrowth, with its goal of extreme depopulation and control of existing human populations, and Transhumanism, envisioning (some) humans as achieving god-like powers via various technologies, together can explain much about the current zeitgeist.  

They embody two main focuses of technocratic pursuit, and of course are by no means exclusive. Many elitists see the bulk of humanity as superfluous and harmful to earth, and also see themselves as part of the relative few deserving and destined to progress, via transhuman technologies, to a future of god-like mastery.

Many specific policies and measures advocated by governments, intelligentsia, media and corporate powers can be readily discerned via the technocratic worldview.

CBDCs, mass surveillance and social credit systems, radical Carbon War goals, crushing standards of living and consumption especially in developed countries, the drive to decimate the middle class and drive wealth and undemocratic power to elites, obsoleting human workers with AI, automation and robotics, experimenting with and mandating radical genetic technologies, shuttering the world’s most productive farming regions, and even bringing the world to the edge of a mass extinction event, can all be more cohesively understood in light of technocratic premises and objectives.

The Trends Journal has extensively covered many of these issues and trends. We’ve also forecasted technocracy related events and developments, some of which have already come to pass, and some which may be in store for humanity in the future:

In addition to the above, we have provided many specific trends forecasts regarding surveillance, CBDCs, the impact of crypto technologies, and geopolitics, related to technocrats and their objectives.

But this article should serve as a primer and review of what the technocratic mindset involves, and how it is impacting and will continue to impact the course of humanity.

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