On the Technocracy

I’ve often heard it said that the Technocracy are the real heroes of the old World of Darkness. It is true that the Technocracy is supposedly a protector of humanity against the Things outside… but in true dystopian style, they are a protector from whom humanity badly needs protection.

Yes, the Traditions grow from the mythic threads of ancient archmages that were basically arrogant douchebags and the Order of Reason rose up for entirely justified reasons (IE protecting humanity from those jerks)… but the road to Hell is, as ever, paved with good intentions.

I don’t buy the Technocracy as the hero of the oWoD. I don’t really truly buy there as actually being one group that is in fact the hero of the oWoD. The Garou and some of the other Fera try, but… yeah. The Traditions try, but…yeah. The Imbued? They’re crazy dupes working for renegade angels with a grudge. The Amenti are probably the best candidate, but they’re way too little too late.

Are individuals within all of the above groups undeniably heroes? Absolutely. Usually tragic heroes, but certainly individual members of the Technocracy, even fairly highly placed ones, sometimes do have the best interests of other people in mind and that try to be heroic. The same applies to all of these other groups as well.

Probably my biggest problem with the Technocracy (and note that I like them, I really do) as heroes is that they are an inherently and determinedly dishonest and manipulative entity.

They claim to be the defenders of science, scientific thought and the truths of reality. They are none of these things. They are the reverse. Science is about seeking truth objectively and replicably. The technocracy holds big meetings (the Symposia) of its top leadership whose intention is deciding what they want the truth to become (because these things are not yet the Truth), and then they set forth to “prove” their predetermined Truth. What items will become true are determined with an eye towards maintaining control over reality, protecting the Technocracy’s own power base and prosperity… oh, and keeping the proles safe while they’re at it.

The scientific method has little real place in this crafting of reality, because in Mage: the Ascension, reality is in fact subjective and not objective as the scientific method presumes. Thus the scientific method is inherently anathema to them, but is a convenient lie that they convince their own lower-echelon staff and the world at large of so that they will not look behind the curtain and find the wizard there.

The Technocracy does not seek to understand reality. They do not seek truth. They do not hold themselves and their theories up to scrutiny. They pick the outcome before the experiment, and build the experiment in order to arrange that outcome. They decide what truth is supposed to be and then forcibly cram it down the throat of the rest of the universe.

They seek control. They seek to crush wonder and magic from the world partially because those things are inherently somewhat dangerous… but also because they are unpredictable. Hard to control. They seek to crush humanity down to the lowest common denominator because they are Control.

Their objective is to make the universe safe and rational for rational minds like theirs, and if you don’t like it, well then you either need a bullet in the brain, to be thoroughly discredited, or to be shipped off to Room 101 until you agree that as a matter of fact the universe needs to be a safe and rational place for rational minds like yours.

That’s not heroic. The reasons for it are understandable, but it is not and never will be heroic.

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9 Responses to “On the Technocracy”

  1. Ana Mizuki Says:

    I have to agree with you on this.

    Although, as with the Inquisition, they see the monsters outside and they want to unmake them. Does it make them right? Noup. But they can offer a great foe that makes you think about the state of WoD.

    • casewerk Says:

      Yeah, they are very interesting either as antagonists or protagonists, and they function well in both capacities.

      • Ana Mizuki Says:

        Yeah.

        I think the ‘true heroes of WoD’ comes from the fact that their goals, unlike so many of the goals in oWoD, are focused on keeping humanity safe. Most supernaturals focus on their own issues and humanity often is either a foe or a tool. So it is easy to latch onto a faction that seems to care.

        I think the best use of technies in a Wta game is to gut the garou by using their human identities against them. Or, if you have Glass Walkers, just use their cyber fetishes ^^

      • casewerk Says:

        Well, that’s the thing. For the technocracy as an entity, humanity is a tool and something to be controlled and kept in line.

        Some of them seem to care, but the hierarchy seems more interested in control than anything else.

      • casewerk Says:

        oh, and as for WtA, I’m presently running a crossover MtA/WtA game. The technos haven’t really shown their faces much yet but they soon will.

  2. Ana Mizuki Says:

    The thing is that it’s easy for an unintiated fan to think that, especially if their only knowledge of the faction comes from IC.

    A scary note though, I’ve seen some players who are insanely pro-human, and would think technoes ARE good… because they support the human way.

    Oh, you are running it? I thought you just played Linda there O.o

    • casewerk Says:

      In the prior Chronicle (Overwatch) I just played Linda. When that chronicle fell apart, a couple of its players convinced me to pick up and run a spinoff with three of the PCs from the old one as the start of a new group (Steve, Odysseus and Linda). So yeah. Linda’s an STPC, but I remind my players to keep me honest with regards to her. Daniel (the ST of the former game) says I’m meaner to her than he ever was LOL.

      As for the scary note, yes. However… the technocracy does NOT support the human way. They support their own way, and have done a pretty good job of convincing humanity of the lie that their way and the human way are the same thing.

      • Ana Mizuki Says:

        Ah, that’s actually kind of cool. It’s sad when games fall apart, so I’m glad you guys are reviving the one you loved so much ^^

        And that’s what is scary about those players, they do not either. It is the ideal that white bread christian is better than anything else, not because of any morality, but because that is superior to anything else in their minds. Nothing about human rights, just what -should- be common x.x

      • casewerk Says:

        Well, the Technocracy is more about white-bread atheists, but yes on all points.

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