Hacker/activist Jeff Lindsay was musing about what a technologist political party would look like (possibly inspired by today's idiot Thomas Friedman column which is best answered by this 50-year-old Jules Feiffer cartoon).
I mentioned the American technocracy movement, with its roots in Edward Bellamy's scary utopia and Thorsten Veblen's "soviet of technicians". But that's just me being retro; most technopolitics these days is larded up with libertarian ideology, so that the idea that scientists and engineers should actually run society is not even considered, because libs believe nobody should run society.
But I also accidentally learned today that almost all the leaders of China are engineers by training. The premier, Wen Jiabao is one of them -- he has a postgraduate degree from the Beijing Institute of Geology. He was on Fareed Zakaria's show today and despite being a ranking member of the Communist Party was recommending as his favorite books Adam Smith's Theory of the Moral Sentiments and Marcus Aurelius.
So, we're doomed. Not to extinction perhaps, but to eclipse. We're run by a combination of lawyers and lunatics; how could a society run by wise engineers not surpass us? Presumably a society run by engineers will at least not neglect to invest in infrastructure like we do.
The US still has a lot on the ball in its ability to do science, engineering, and innovation. But I worry about the macro-scale level of investment necessary to continue to do such things, particularly in education. The advantage of a strong, centralized, semi-authoritarian state is that it can easily decide to make such investments. The post-WWII US had that property; all the centralizing forces of the war were redeployed into a military-industrial-academic complex that gave us the computer industry and the Internet. But that was in economic good times; now that we've squandered our wealth it is hard to maintain that kind of machine.