What exactly is technism?
It is a system defined by automation, particularly the pursuit of maximal automation. The more faculties of society that are automated, the more technist that society becomes.
technist is a person who seeks a highly/fully automated society. The logical endpoint of this philosophy is a point where humanity is disenfranchised from all processes, instead living only to profit from the labor of machines.
In that regard, technism is the opposite of neo-Luddism and primitivism.
The economic philosophy behind technism is known as Vyrdism, which is the belief that humanity should actively exploit the labor of machines, with the common agreement being that we should pursue cooperative ownership. Vyrdists, in the short amount of time they’ve been around, have already sprouted a few branches.
Market Vyrdism describes a society that fuses free market ideals with technism and/or Vyrdism. It bears most resemblance to mutualism and syndicalism. Private property is protected. Humans may no longer be the dominant laborers of society, but they remain in near full control of political and economic matters.
Marxism-Vyrdism describes a society that fuses the ideals of Marxism (perhaps even Marxism-Leninism) with Vyrdism— all automation is collectively owned, with a state apparatus (usually consisting of artificial intelligence, a la Cybersyn) existing to centrally plan the economy. Private property is non-existent. Despite this, humans remain in near full control of political and economic matters.
Pure Technism describes a society that fuses the concept of the dictatorship of the proletariat and replaces the proletariat with the technotariat— automata, both hardware and software, which displace the traditional productive roles of the proletariat. In this case, humanity is completely or almost completely disenfranchised from political and economic matters as automata develops full ownership of society.

Dictatorship of the Technotariat

This is a term I’ve already seen being passed around. This works off pure-technism and can be defined in a very simple and slightly ominous way— the means of production own themselves. This doesn’t mean that hammers become sadistic foremen whipping their abused human slaves— it refers to a state of affairs when synthetic intelligences possess ownership over society and direct social, political, and economic matters. In such a state, humanity would no longer have meaningful ownership over private property, even though private property itself may not have actually been abolished.
AI simply commanding and controlling an economy doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve arrived at this new dictatorship. AI has to own the means of production (essentially, itself).
Unlike Vyrdism, where society is set up similar to an Athenian slave state (with humans and sapient AI existing at the top and sub-sapient or even non-sentient technotarians acting as slave laborers beneath us), a pure-technist society sees humanity exist purely at the whims of synthetic intelligence. It is the logical endpoint of universal basic income, where we do not own anything but are given some capital to live as we please.

To recap: technism is the pursuit of automation, especially full automation. Capitalist and socialist societies ever since the Industrial Revolution could be described as, in some manner, technist. However, technists seek to fully replace the working class with automata known as “technotarians”, whereas most capitalists and socialists seek to use automata to supplement human labor. Vyrdism is a partial fusion of technism with capitalism and socialism (moreso one way or the other depending on if you’re a Market or a Marxist Vyrdist), that’s only possible when technology reaches a point where humans do not need to be directly involved in the economy itself. Pure technism is the full secession of the ownership of the means of production to the means of production themselves, which is only possible if the means are artificially intelligent to a particular point I’ve defined as being “artilectual.” The difference between an AI/AGI and an artilect is that a general AI is an ultra-versatile tool while an artilect is a synthetic person. Of course, when I say “an artilect”, that implies that one would be a physically defined person as we would recognize it— with a tiny primate-esque body and a limited brain, with very-much human aspirations and flaws. In fact, an artilect could be an entire collective of AI that exists across the planet, that has control over nearly all robots.

A pure-technist society is not the same as a Vyrdist society. Not even a “Marxist-Vyrdist” society. Vyrdism involves human ownership over the means of production when the means are capable of working without any human interaction or involvement. Pure-technism is when humans do not own the means of production, rendering us dependent upon the generosity of the machines.

Because of these qualifiers, it is not wrong to say that any automation-based economic system is technist. This includes Resource-Based Economies as well as the Venus Project. If you take Marxism-Vyrdism to its logical conclusion, you will arrive at Fully Automated Luxury Communism. All of which are considered “post-scarcity economics“. All of which are technist.

Joint Economy vs. Mixed Economy

So let me take a minute to discuss the difference between a “joint economy” and a “mixed economy.”

Back when I was doing the technostist wiki (“technostism” being a poor precursor to the current term “technism”), I pointed out the difference between market socialism and mutualism, and mixed economies that claimed to fuse “capitalism and socialism.” Mixed economies fuse state socialism and free-market capitalism. I’ve yet to see a mixed economy be used to describe a place that fuses market socialism and free-market capitalism. So I decided to take the initiative and create a new term myself: “joint economy.”

A joint economy is one that fuses capitalist and worker (and, eventually, automata) ownership of the means of production to some great degree. It has nothing to do with the government— the “socialist” aspects in this case are purely economic. When a nation has a joint economy, that means it has a healthy mixture of purely traditional/authoritarian enterprises and worker cooperatives and democratic businesses (owned and/or managed), perhaps even a cooperative federation or syndicate. You’d still have powerful corporations, but it wouldn’t be a given that all corporations are authoritarian in nature. Something like the Basque Country in Spain is a good example— Mondragon is an absolutely massive corporation, but it’s entirely worker-owned. This means the Basque Country has a “joint economy”. A joint mixed economy is one where you have market socialism and market capitalism alongside state regulations.

This is naturally important in a technist society because we’re fast approaching a time when there’s a third fundamental owner of the means of production, and defining their relationship to the means and to society at large is necessary.
Just as present-day joint economies are the freest possible, an economy where businesses are commonly owned by individuals, collectives, and machines rather than solely one of the three will see the greatest prosperity.

In a future post, I will detail why radical decentralization and ultra-strong encryption must be a goal for any budding technist, as well as how totalitarianism becomes perfected in a degenerated technist society.



In review: technism is the pursuit of capital imbued with intelligence. The logical endpoint is the point where intelligent capital owns society and all property, thus marking a state of absolute automation.

The Life and Times of Barry the ASIMO

I bought a droid. His name is Barry, and he’s quite the shocking bit of technology — presets included such joys as ‘litter cleaning’ and ‘sandwich crafting.’ Yeah, he’s good with some bread and mayonnaise; even better with a pooper-scooper. Thank God for Barry.

They truly are the Apple II of domestic droids

When I bought him, I had only a few minutes before class started, so my fellow collegians got to meet their first droid. You know, that was actually a good thing. He got some social interaction.

Now, I was nauseous with the flu so I was so eager to get home and eat something. Something good. Something like fried rice and potstickers. What better day to try my hand at a new dish, what with having an artificially intelligent droid at my side? Barry watched as I made magic, what was possibly my favorite dish of the year.

Then came his first test. My pet dog, Coco, decided that the best time to demonstrate the result of her bowel movements was right as I began eating. This was it — moment of truth!

As I looked away, I waved to my droid friend and said, “Barry, clean that up.”

He stood there, gazing upon the turd as if it were something from Tibet. Then, right before I spewed more words and rice his way, he moved. Such grace! Curvaceous moves! A bard couldn’t have described his waste-handling so well. In that moment, I realized the fantastic choice I had made — as well as the possibilities lain before me.

I needed only to teach him how to recognize the warning signs of an impending asteroid flurry so he would act quickly to take the dog outside. Once I did that, I could rest easy and enjoy having a perfect dog-walker. But I also realized this could apply to anything. Not just mundane household chores, but even harder things such as cleaning the outside of the house, and filling out the drive-way. If I could obtain a strong stream of resources, Barry could keep fixing and building onto my house forever, making sure it never falls into disrepair. Imagine that: a prole who lives in a mansion!

But hold on… I’m a writer, what one would call an ‘intellectual.’ Ignore the ratty trailer, damn it! Point is, if this were the 1760s, I’d be wearing a (bare) frock coat and culottes. I shouldn’t sully my artisan hands with, gasp, manual labor! Barry should also be the one who procures said resource stream.

“Where could Barry work?” First thought was McDonalds and similar fast food joints. However, I doubted his reflexes were up to speed. I needed somewhere slower paced, more suited to a newborn droid.

Wait! Why not a supermarket clerk? There’s an Albertson’s about ten minutes from my house, and better yet, my mother worked there. She could teach Barry all the basics.

I spent a few weeks training him to be a housedroid first before sending him off to the store, and then we spent a week more practicing the ins and outs of supermarketeering.

He became a valued member of the household

First day on the job! Better be ready, droid. I dropped him off at Albertson’s and met with my mother to exchange anxieties. She wouldn’t be at her second job clerkin’ for a few more hours, so she would be just as ignorant as me. It was all Barry.

You have to realize, this was a new frontier for humanity. A droid working in a very people-centric environment? I was surprised there weren’t news cameras everywhere.

Actually, Pepper got there first. And there were cameras.

Maybe I worried too much (which is about right for a GDSA, general-depressive-social-anxiety millennial), because his first day went off without a fraction of a hitch. I hugged the thing, I was so happy. I could… do some other things to it, but never mind that. And like I said, maybe I worried too much. All he had to do was exchange money and put things in bags. Yeah, simple for us, but simple things have a bad habit of escaping the capabilities of machines.

Then, two weeks later, something even more magical happened — Barry got a paycheck. It was payed out to him, but delivered to my mother (who gave it to me, don’t fret). $490! What was I gonna do with myself that night, I wondered? Maybe buy a taco? No, two tacos! Oh, so wealthy… I swear, I took Barry out with me to the nearest Mexican restaurant and partied till the wee hours of the early evening.

Whoa. I just earned money without actually earning money. Everyone knew this was a shady little thing, as the manager wasn’t exactly sure if Barry should be paid or not. Do you pay a droid? Legally, he was tied to me, so they’d potentially have a lawsuit on their hands if they didn’t pay him/me, but surely that would incentivize them to automate away their cashiers and clerks.

How would their ex-employees be paid, then? They’d just have to get new jobs, right? Well wait a sec — what if other businesses automate their labour? That squeezes the workforce down to a bare minimum. No one can pay for anything if no one’s earning anything…

Wait! These machines will eventually break down eventually, or at least require repairs and maintenance in some form. The new jobs can be all about — Whoops, sorry, what was that? I just upgraded Barry to feature some self-repair programming. He can even repair other droids!


We’re not at that point yet. I just have a check, and it may be the most important check in human history. In a manner, it’s both the problem and the solution. It’s a problem in that it’s proof of the changing times. But how is it a solution? Surely it shouldn’t be that much of a stretch…

So what if Albertson’s fires Barry and replaces him with their own droid? Or skips the droid entirely and automates the whole process? That puts my mother in a bind more than me, since she’s entirely dependent upon her own labor. I can always sell Barry’s labor to someone else, and he’ll fast learn what he needs to learn. My ma? It’s different for her. She can only learn so quickly, and she has needs of her own. She can’t just get any job out there and expect to be productive. Luckily she’s skilled in social work, something I feel Barry’s about a generation or two away from mastering by his very design. Still. That’s not very long of a time.

Barry’s an ASIMO. They typically release new iterations every four to five years. Artificial intelligence progresses even more quickly than that. Fact is, there’s no guarantee she’ll be employed in a decade.

What should be done? Well there are quite a few options to consider. I know many Statists who desire to implement a Unconditional Basic Income. It seems like a great idea to pursue, but I just have one fear — who exactly decides to distribute the money? Undoubtedly the people who are going to be taxed will be the ones paying for said UBI. What, you think poor working people run the government?

So I’m sitting here with Barry, thinking about my ma, wondering how much she’s worth to the bourgeois bureaucrats. And even ifthey decide she’s worth enough of their coffers to let her live comfortably, will they actually let her live comfortably or will they raise the prices of their goods to offset any benefit a UBI could bear?

Don’t get me wrong, I want that sweet UBI implemented ASAP. Completely wipe away all welfare and replace it with a simple UBI. Seems fine? Yeah, it kinda collapses in a post-labour society since that basic income becomes one’s only income. Unless you think droids will create new jobs we can’t imagine (which is a stupid assumption considering the nature of artificial general intelligence), you’re gonna realize we have a societal problem.

Artificial general intelligence (AGI) is the intelligence of a (hypothetical) machine that could successfully perform any intellectual task that a human being can.

Barry’s caused a bit of a problem, hasn’t he? What started with him cleaning up minpin poop has resulted in societal meltdown. Fitting.

Well society hasn’t actually collapsed; we’re just tense. But everyone knows I’m the freak who keeps screaming about ‘technostism.’ What is technostism? Basically, I’m saying we should profit from droid labour. Do as I do, not as I say — get a droid and let it do your work.

A blue and white ripoff of the technocracy monad

Sounds nice, but there are so many problems with that, it isn’t even amusing. For one: what work? What if all the existing businesses automate first? We could always create new businesses, but doing what? I just don’t have an answer. Two: how do we get droids? With what capital? Three: what kind of droid? General purpose droids like Barry are nice, but some jobs need specialized robots. Droids like Baxter sometimes just aren’t as good as factorybots.

It sounds good, though. If you factor in swarm intelligence, we could create a society free from slums and poverty with robots catering to humanity’s every need and desire. Remember my prole mansion? I could have twenty Barrys constantly touching up any imperfection that arises, or building onto my house as I see fit. They’ll learn from their own experiences as well as each others’. If my drive-way and yard happens to contain issues, they can address those as well. Any trash that comes onto my property (likely through my own laziness), they’ll remove. Imagine that on a society-wide scale.

But again, there’s no explanation of how I got twenty Barrys. Sure, the first Barry could work until I could afford nineteen more, but what if he’s fired before then? I’d need access to the raw materials to create more ASIMOs.

It’s all so very confusing! And while I do have some possible answers for a few things (automated worker cooperatives!), I don’t have all possible answers for everything.

But in the end, I’m still happy — after all, I bought a droid. I just need to realize I opened Pandora’s box.