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Monday, January 30, 2023
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EditorialTechnocracy in democracy

Technocracy in democracy

The idea of technocracy is making rounds in the media. Some are suggesting bringing a technocratic solution to the problems of Pakistan, while others are deeming it as the failure of the current government in handling the crisis.

The point at which Pakistan is currently standing, a technocratic form of government may seem attractive to many. The previous government and the current one have not been able to work positively towards economic development in the country, and there is an ever-increasing unrest due to bad policies and a lack of implementation. A technocratic government will be able to solve the first part of the problem. By bringing in experts to look after various ministries of the government, many problems may be solved. Economically, Pakistan is currently standing on an extremely thin thread, and with the risk of default looming right over its head, it is essential for the policy-makers to work on the problems.

In a democratic government, while the political parties have the interest of the country at heart, another goal of theirs is also the need to remain relevant and gain power in the next term. With this agenda, governments do not implement the correct policies and are usually interested in finding short term solutions that are more likely to do more harm than good in the long run.

However, the shortfalls of a democracy do not justify a technocracy, which may give power to people who are likely to work in order to protect their own interests only. This gives rise to rent-seeking, high risk of self-dealing, collusion, corruption, and cronyism. Moreover, the acts and decisions of technocrats can come into conflict with the will, rights, and interests of the people whom they rule over.

The most obvious criticism of a democratic society is that technocracy and democracy are inherently at odds with one another. Technocrats frequently do not always adhere to the wishes of the people because, by definition, they may possess specialized knowledge that the general public does not. Technocrats may or may not be accountable to the will of the people for such decisions, and they may attempt to infringe on citizens’ rights.

While the solution of technocracy sounds simple and sweet considering the current condition of Pakistan, it may not be the best one. Pakistan has finally been able to establish a democracy after multiple decades of direct military rule. It is imperative that this democracy follow through and establish itself. The solution to Pakistan’s problems is to bring in experts who work under the democratic government and for the government to let go of short term solutions that are only ruining the country further. Offering such outrageous solutions is not the way to deal with the crisis.

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