From the Critical Engineering Manifesto by Oliver, Savičić, and Vasiliev, "The Critical Engineer raises awareness that with each technological advance our techno-political literacy is challenged."

A Critical Engineer needs to pay attention to how a technological advance changes the way politics and technology must be understood and examined. Every time there was a large technological shift, people's role in society changed greatly. The industrial revolution put people to work in factories, shifting society to being massively city-focused, rather than rurally focused. In another example, the influx of automated work coupled with globalization has proven to be a massive challenge to modern American society. While the society continues to have the techno-political literacy of an older America, it is incapable of facing the reality of the shrinking job market.