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Noocracy (// or //), or "aristocracy of the wise", as defined by Plato, is a social and political system that is "based on the priority of human mind", according to Vladimir Vernadsky. It was also further developed in the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
One of the first attempts to implement such a political system was perhaps Pythagoras' "city of the wise" that he planned to build in Italy together with his followers, the order of "mathematikoi". In modern history, similar concepts were introduced by Vladimir Vernadsky, who did not use this term, but the term "noosphere".
As defined by Plato, noocracy is considered to be the future political system for the entire human race, replacing democracy ("the authority of the crowd") and other forms of government.
Mikhail Epstein defined noocracy as "the thinking matter increases its mass in nature and geo- and biosphere grow into noosphere, the future of the humanity can be envisioned as noocracy—that is the power of the collective brain rather than separate individuals representing certain social groups or society as whole".
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In the European Commission Community Research publication, Art & Scientific Research are Free: Towards a Culture of Life, it states several commentaries by Hans Jonas and especially Ladislav Kovác about Noocracy.
"If Plato called his conception of governments a "sophocracy," then a political system characterized by social experimentation with a scientific institutionalized base could be called a "noocracy." Noocracy would not be the reign of the philosopher-king as seen in Plato. Nor would it be governed by science or the scientists. Power, a power acquired and maintained according to the laws of competition, would remain in the hands of the political elites but with these elites being professionally trained, making the most of the analysis, the forecasts and the propositions emanating from a vast array of advisory groups made up of experts from all areas of science, and setting up fieldwork experiments."
Take for example the current controversy about genetically modified food or GMO, a textbook case about setting up such a policy.
"Within a noocracy in its own right, GMO would be tested in one or several areas or nations and scientifically monitored by all, under the aegis of a main administration body. With, at the end of the day, the costs and profits equitably shared by all. The principle of precaution, highly controversial at the present time, would then be applied, without slowing-down nor impeding the implementation of scientific inventions."
Noocracies, like technocracies, have been criticized for meritocratic failings, such as upholding of a non-egalitarian aristocratic ruling class. Others have upheld more democratic ideals as better epistemic models of law and policy.