The portion of Ike’s [President Dwight D. Eisenhower] Farewell Speech warning of the necessity for a military/industrial complex. But, carefully watched over, is often cited. The portion warning of the growth of the technocrats is rarely quoted.Is that not where we are now?
The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system-ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.
We have a technical elite who aren’t elected and who believe they are not answerable to the public, telling us who we can and cannot read, listen to, watch, or correspond with. They define what is and is not acceptable speech, regardless of the First Amendment. They have also been trying to tell us how we should live (and I expect that may change to how they will force us to live whether we want to or not). It will reach the point where they do not answer to government, but government will answer to them, assuming we haven’t already reached that point, appearances notwithstanding.
Unless things change, will we soon be living in the world of John Brunner’s The Shockwave Rider where the only free people were the hackers who could rewrite their identities as needed and delete their old ones at will. Or worse, we’ll be living in a real-life version of The Hunger Games.