Arnold Toynbee in a footnote of the first volume of 'A Study of History' (1934-1939), proposed the notion that the "modern" period ended sometime between 1850 and 1875, and the "post-modern" period begins then.
Lest anyone be misled, Toynbee's sense of the "post-modern" has absolutely
nothing to do with certain pseudo-revolutionary tracts of so-called
Post-Modernists barking about Postmodernism and Protomodernism. Their
self-important claims are often nothing more than astute descriptions of the
early effects of electricity, and specifically television, upon the death
of the modern, the death of eighteenth-century Enlightenment philosophy and
practice, and nineteenth-century political and social institutions.
"Electrocracy" might be defined as a non-human, electromagnetized state of
global culture governed by the simultaneous effects and affects of
electrical and electronic instruments -- instruments ranging from
alternating-current generators to microwave ovens, to medical imagizers, to
advanced satellite telemetry. In this hyper-organic, hyper-abstract state of
the instantaneous, all previous conditions governing quantity and quality
are abolished and meaningful currency becomes the ephemeral bandwidths of
the electromagnetic spectrum. At present the major tutelary symbols and
determinants of electrocratic culture are, of course, American commercial television
and American digital computers, but they are about to be superseded by a nonlinguisticly based virtual reality technology.
Just for the public record, I do not claim to have coined the term "electrocracy" and I don't believe I ever used it again after the web discussion in which I posted this concept (one that was sent to me as unaccredited). I am sorry that I did not know the origin of the text and idea at the time (1996) - which I now am told is by F. Scott Taylor.