Technocracy

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The Technocratic Union (or Technocracy) is a world-wide conspiracy that employs a technological paradigm to pursue an agenda promoting safety over freedom; however, it claims amongst the lower echelons of its membership to pursue an agenda opposed to superstition and faith-based belief systems. Furthermore, it claims to champion science while rejecting any innovation not approved by its own leadership. In this way, its agenda prevents effective criticism as it can always claim its ideological opponents are themselves against the benefits of science, many of which the Technocracy itself opposes while claiming to uphold.

Overview

In place of mysticism, the Technocracy uses Enlightened Science as its way of describing magical phenomena. Its current tools are the advancement of scientific methods and principles (along with the technology this produces), the spread of capitalist market-forces, and the application of political power. While some Technocrats (being members of the Technocracy rather than pawns controlled by it) use magic, few accept that their actions are anything other than the successful application of a little-known scientific principle.

Not all Technocrats are mages (even at its height, at most one in ten could use true Enlightened Science in the form of reality-altering magic, and perhaps as many as half could use simple supernatural abilities such as psychic powers), and what defines a Technocrat is more a matter of the absolute belief in science, commerce, and politics as the foundations of a Utopian worldview. As a scientific meritocracy, however, the Technocracy's highest ranks used to be occupied entirely by mages. In addition to using Enlightened Science, the Technocracy makes use of hypertech, or technology that is not yet accepted by the Masses and is therefore subject to Paradox. Hypertech, in some respects, is no different from the creation of enchanted items by more traditional mages.

A central aspect of the Technocracy's mission is to define the rules by which reality operates, and their definitions (as a matter of principle) abhors the idea of consensual reality (but they believe in it). Individuals who violate the rules laid down by their scientists are labeled Reality Deviants, because they are both exceptions of the rules and defy consensual reality. Because of its strong stance against reality deviancy, the Technocracy is essentially at war with all supernatural beings, including vampires, werewolves, and other mages. In practice, this conflict has usually been a cold war, and the Technocracy has had far more success in proving to the Masses that supernatural beings do not exist rather than eliminating them. This success not entirely due to technocratic efforts; most supernatural creatures such as werewolves and vampires, expend considerable effort to keep themselves hidden.

During the late 20th century, the Technocracy essentially won the war against the Traditions. The victory has proven pyrrhic, in that a central tenet of the war (consensual reality) proved false. Magic still works as it always did, but the technocrats are losing contact with it, having moved their personal paradigm too far.

Principles

The Technocracy was founded on a central philosophy known as the Precepts of Damian. Though interpretation of the Precepts varies considerably, and some Technocrats privately (or secretly) dismiss specific subsections, they nevertheless offer the ideological backbone to the Technocratic Union and are the principles to which Technocracy leadership refer to determine policy.

The Precepts of Damian

  1. Bring stasis and order to the universe. Predictability brings safety. Once all is discovered and all is known, Unity will be won.
  2. Convince the Masses of the benevolence of science, commerce and politics, and of the power of rationality. Conflict and suffering will be eliminated in our Utopia.
  3. Preserve the Gauntlet and the Horizon. Chaotic individuals who open gateways with impunity threaten the stability of our world. Uncontrolled portals also allow outside forces, such as Nephandi, access to our world. This must never happen.
  4. Define the nature of the universe. Knowledge must be absolute or chaos will envelop all. The elemental forces of the universe must not be left to the caprices of the unknown.
  5. Destroy Reality Deviants. Their recklessness threatens our security and our progress toward Unity.
  6. Shepherd the Masses; protect them from themselves and others.

Organization

The Technocracy is divided into five Conventions defined by their philosophies toward science and their scientific specializations. Each Convention is further divided into any number of Methodologies, which represent further specializations. Each Convention is an independent hierarchy, and the five branches of the Technocracy are only unified by a central command authority known as the Inner Circle and their broader administrative based, Control. Control is responsible for the formation and direction of mixed teams of Technocrats from multiple Conventions called amalgams. Amalgams are the primary operational unit of Technocratic agents. In addition to the amalgams, each Convention maintains its own staff, scientists, and operatives who are beholden to Control but do not receive their orders from its offices. The ideological differences among Conventions, in addition to this compartmentalization, has led to some degree of behind-the-scenes conflict within the Technocracy, and several secret societies have resulted from these conflicts.

Conventions

  • Iteration X: Dedicated to the adoption of the precision, speed, and unity that Machines offer over Flesh.
  • The New World Order: Dedicated to covert concealment of the supernatural and the Technocracy from the eyes of the Masses.
  • The Progenitors: Dedicated to mastery of human control over biological processes.
  • The Syndicate: Dedicated to the total control of currency and commerce as a means of changing reality.
  • The Void Engineers: Dedicated to the study, colonization, and eventual control of realms beyond Earth.

Secret Societies

  • The Cassandra Complex: Dedicated to the use of arcane predictive models to foresee and avert crises within the Technocracy.
  • The Five Elemental Dragons: Not one but five societies that evolved separately from the Technocracy, but now conceal themselves within it in Asia.
    • Miao Guan: Dedicated to direct mental control of the self and of others to maintain peace and order.
    • Saensaeng: Dedicated to maintaining art, honor, and cultural purity in the face of globalization.
    • Taiping Tianguo: Dedicated to the pursuit of individual freedom and entertainments.
    • Zaibatsu: Dedicated to the absolute elimination of all supernatural entities.
    • Zi Guang: Dedicated to seeking the perfection of the human form.
  • The Friends of Courage: Lone operatives who fight as vigilantes against both corrupt Technocrats and Reality Deviants.
  • The Harbingers of Avalon: Dedicated to maintaining the original vision of the Order of Reason
  • The Pentex Conspiracy: A broad conspiracy based in the Syndicate's Special Projects Division involving collusion with the Wyrm-controlled corporation, Pentex.
  • Project Invictus: Dedicated to destroying the Pentex Conspiracy and its Reality Deviant sponsors without revealing this corruption to the rest of the Technocracy.

History

Officially founded under the banner of the Order of Reason in the 14th Century, the original Union was very different from the contemporary one. Also known as Daedalians, its original members at the time of ratification were as follows:

  • The Artificers: Pursuers of technological advancement.
  • The Cabal of Pure Thought (also called the Gabrielites): Advocates of a unified Christian church.
  • The Celestial Masters: Scholars of the heavens.
  • The Cosian Circle (also called the Hippocratic Circle): Pursuers of the advancement of medical science.
  • The Craftmasons: Pursuers of moral, spiritual, and physical perfection
  • The High Guild: Pursuers of a new trade-based system of commerce.
  • The Solificati: Pursuers of higher truth through alchemy.
  • The Void Seekers: Explorers of unknown places.

The Solificati were almost immediately purged for their over-reliance on alchemy, while the religious beliefs of the Gabrielites and Craftmasons led to their eventual elimination from the Order. In the meantime, a shadow faction called the Ksirafai developed, and worked behind the scenes to aid in these eliminations while shaping the Order of Reason into what would eventually become the Technocratic Union. The Artificers became Iteration X, the Cosians became the Progenitors, the High Guild became the Syndicate, and the Celestial Masters and Void Seekers unified to become the Void Engineers. The Ksirafai shaped policy until they arranged for their own disappearance, leaving the New World Order to take their place as masters of covert operations, espionage, and counter-intelligence.

With the advent of the industrial revolution and the information age, the Technocracy sought to adapt by allowing the formation of the Electrodyne Engineers (experts with electricity and ether) and the Difference Engineers (experts with electronics and information technology). Both, however, eventually rebelled against the Technocracy, becoming the Sons of Ether and the Virtual Adepts. These two groups now belong to the Traditions and are reviled by the Technocracy as Reality Deviants for having embraced Technomancy.

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