Science: Technocracy's Week

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It still rode bulbously about the land last week. It created hundreds of miscellaneous news items. In Chicago Patrolman John Shannon arrested two men as "Reds" when he heard them argue about it. In Roseland, Manhattan dance hall, a new dance was named after it. In Chicago was formed the Technocratic Party of the U. S., sponsored by the sponsors of the Anti-Rodeo League and the Mental Patients Defenders' Association. But more importantly:

¶It, together with 400 bankers, industrialists, artists and economists, was dined at the smart, beautiful and bankrupt Hotel Pierre in Manhattan. It delivered a broadcast speech through its Howard Scott, bragging that: "Months ago we were a quiet, unknown, non-profit organization. . . . We have written 14,000 words. Those 14,000 words, to judge from the results, are the most potent 14,000 words that have been written up to date, if action and interest and curiosity are any judge of results." Having spoken, it scowled fiercely at questioners, refused to answer. Earlier in the evening its Scott had said: "We do not have to answer our critics. Time will tell."

¶It has secretly enlisted approximately 2,000 engineers, research and laboratory workers, scientists in universities, private, industrial and Government research laboratories (United Press).

¶It made publishing houses squabble. Harper's, dignified for 100 years, thought its ABC of Technocracy the last word on the subject. John Day was banking on Stuart Chase's "interpretation." The Angelus Press published Towards Technocracy by Graham A. Laing of Caltech, with an introduction by Charles A. Beard. Viking dashed out Life in a Technocracy by Harold Loeb.

¶It was seized upon by editors of the Literary Digest, who put big ads about it in the newspapers, as a circulation booster. It could not make copy fast enough for the gaping maws of newspaper "feature" sections.

¶It made a newsreel, ballyhooed thus: "Will it make you a $20,000-a-year man?"

¶It was cartooned. Funniest: a technocratic hen laying an "erg."

¶It elicited scorn: "Cleverest pseudo-scientific hoax yet perpetrated" (American Engineering Council). "Intellectual mah jong . . . Greenwich Village economics" (University of Chicago).

¶It moved the London Weekend Review to a puzzled analysis of U. S. character: "What sort of revolution can America expect? Not a Communistic or Socialist putsch . . . nor in a nation so uninterested in politics is a Fascist type of movement possible. . . . The chances of Technocracy must not be underrated. That it is radical and mechanistic enough to appeal to American slump Psychology is clear."

In Sweden, it was confused with the ideas of the late Ivar Kreuger (see p. 46).

¶It caused a store in Monrovia, Calif. to stick this sign in its window: "Pre-Technocracy Clearance Sale."