Defining Technocratic Socialism

Technocratic Socialism is a political philosophy in the liberal-enlightenment tradition centred around the ideas of technocracy and socialism.

Technocracy is a style of governance and activism focused around policy and expertise. An insight from technocracy is that the grand ideas around which a civilisation is ordered are less important, for most practical effects, than the quality of the specific policies used to implement those ideas, and the competency and institutional cultures of the people and organisations that implement those policies. A technocrat is not averse to activism or discussions of values, as these help set the basic priorities around which good governance organises, but the technocrat swiftly moves to a historically aware investigation of the policies that can produce good results by all of the values they hold, with a focus on workability and (usually) smooth transitions. Technocrats prefer study and history over passion, and typically reject populism. Seeking advice from experts (often from academia), or directly appointing them to administrative positions (rather than career politicians or a "common person") is a technocratic priority.

Socialism, as envisioned by the TS philosophy, is an economic and labour philosophy whereby ownership and management of the means of production (normally meaning companies, co-ops, and similar) are not owned by proprietors and run by management, but instead are owned partially by society at large but also significantly by their workers, and which likewise have an inner democracy of those workers. After a full implementation of socialism in a society, these collectives would entirely replace private corporations and other private industry, but would remain in competition with each other, exploring varieties of policies and methods to produce their goods or services and retaining that aspect of distributed judgement that capitalist market systems have. These collectives would also have salary information for all members that are public; with consent of the collectives (which have broad discretion on compensation), some members may be paid more based on their work hours, their skills, and other factors, and this may be changed at any time.

TS includes a commitment to reasonable political and value-pluralism within society. There is the notion of a pale; the boundaries of acceptable politics beyond which political candidates cannot stand for office, although this may be changed with a supermajority vote. Some example initial boundaries for this would include political parties that are specific for an ethnic group, a religion, or which advocate different gender-roles for men and women. However, Technocratic Socialism rejects the idea of Democratic Centralism, and also rejects the idea of squashing expression of different perspectives; these views may be expressed in private advocacy, and political dissent is strongly protected. The state does not demand dignity, and mockery of all groups in society, the government, and political figures is treasured rather than persecuted. Diverse news media and advocacy groups covering a variety of perspectives, including those that act as a constant thorn in the side of the state or which some identities find do great symbolic harm, are cultivated. Frequent transfers of power between a multitude of political parties and perspectives, even with the hope that all such parties would have a commitment to some form of the ideas of TS, is more desirable than a single (or even few) party state, and avoiding a two-party system as well as avoiding easy capture of the mechanisms of the state by groups that can be involved in all political parties is seen as a strong social good.

TS prizes education for all members of society, and prefers academic, secular approaches to truth. In the courts, schools, and other institutions of society, it takes a hardheaded approach to reality, treating a lack of gods or afterlives as fact, having a hostility to traditional medicines that have not been shown to be effective, and teaching a variety of humanist and other secular-philosophic perspectives in schools and other programmes. Some citizens will no doubt have different perspectives and they may teach these in homes as well as religious and social organisations that they set up on their own; no special privileges may exist for the religious (and no special provisions are made to give leniency should their practices require them to do things not generally permitted), but the state is generally disinterested in their beliefs within this framework. The general value-commitment to education drives a central tenet of the TS notion of the public good: lifelong access to educational opportunities and participation in them is a strong guarantee within society; the education that people acquire up until adulthood is entirely covered (and largely mandatory) through the general tax burden (presuming funding works that way), but is also just a first step; people are encouraged and expected to continue their education, at a slower pace, over the rest of their lives. University and continuing education programmes are to be structured to make this practical.

Broadly, TS includes a commitment to create a society where the power of wealth is limited (there are stronger guarantees offered under this system that are not tied to one's income, such as guaranteed healthcare), and where compensation is broadly arranged (either directly or approximated through a tax system) so as to understand income as providing these levels of comfort in order: