Frasi di Jacques Ellul

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Jacques Ellul

Data di nascita: 6. Gennaio 1912
Data di morte: 19. Maggio 1994
Altri nomi: ז'ק אלול, 雅克·埃呂爾

Jacques Ellul è stato un sociologo e teologo francese, autore di svariati saggi sulla cosiddetta "società tecnologica", sul Cristianesimo e sulla politica; fu sostenitore dell'idea che l'anarchismo e il cristianesimo si prefiggono lo stesso obiettivo sociale; fu al contempo sostenitore di politiche ecologiche e tra i precursori dell'attuale idea di decrescita economica.

Frasi Jacques Ellul

„It seems to me that the free man, i.e., the man freed in Christ, ought to take parts in all movements that aim at human freedom.“

—  Jacques Ellul

Origine: The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974), p. 398
Contesto: It seems to me that the free man, i. e., the man freed in Christ, ought to take parts in all movements that aim at human freedom. He obviously ought to oppose all dictatorship and oppression and all the fatalities which crush man. The Christian cannot bear it that others should be slaves. His great passion in the world ought to be a passion for the liberation of men.

„The point is not to enforce a particular view of society but to establish a counterbalance, a protest, a sign of cleavage. In face of an absolute power only a total confrontation has any meaning.“

—  Jacques Ellul

Origine: The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974), p. 397
Contesto: The system absorbs those who think they can utilize it. Nor can there be any question of finding a modus vivendi or achieving attenuations. It has been demonstrated how the liberals state becomes an authoritarian state. The course is set and no accommodation will be either lasting or sufficient.
In face of this absolute power, only an absolutely negative position is viable. What we have in mind is the attitude that conscientous objectors take on a specific point, and not without good reason. In the present set-up the anarchist attitude of a total refusal of validity or legitimacy to any authority of any kind seems to me to be the only valid and viable one. The point is not to enforce a particular view of society but to establish a counterbalance, a protest, a sign of cleavage. In face of an absolute power only a total confrontation has any meaning.

„It is true that discussion is allowed within the system. But the quarrels between right and left seem to me completely futile, for in every possible way they simply lead to an enhancement of the power of the state.“

—  Jacques Ellul

Origine: The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974), p. 397
Contesto: When we speak of dialogue with the sovereign, it seems to me that this can be definitely initiated only on the basis of the greatest possible intransigence, for power today is completely alien to any real discussion. It is true that discussion is allowed within the system. But the quarrels between right and left seem to me completely futile, for in every possible way they simply lead to an enhancement of the power of the state.
Democracy is a mere trap with the party system as it is and a bureaucracy that cannot be altered. Discussion may go on about taxes and the improvement of social services. But power is totally deaf to the individual, indifferent to the interests of freedom, and ignorant of the true concerns of the nation. Only a radical opposition, i. e., an attack on the root of the situation, can engage it in authentic dialogue.

„Through the myth it creates, propaganda imposes a complete range of intuitive knowledge, susceptible of only one interpretation, unique and one-sided, and precluding any divergence. This myth becomes so powerful that it invades every arena of consciousness, leaving no faculty or motivation intact. It stimulates in the individual a feeling of exclusiveness, and produces a biased attitude.“

—  Jacques Ellul, libro Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965)
Contesto: Propaganda tries to surround man by all possible routes in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or on his needs, through his conscious and his unconscious, assailing him in both his private and his public life. It furnishes him with a complete system for explaining the world, and provides immediate incentives to action. We are here in the presence of an organized myth that tries to take hold of the entire person. Through the myth it creates, propaganda imposes a complete range of intuitive knowledge, susceptible of only one interpretation, unique and one-sided, and precluding any divergence. This myth becomes so powerful that it invades every arena of consciousness, leaving no faculty or motivation intact. It stimulates in the individual a feeling of exclusiveness, and produces a biased attitude.

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„The civic and technological good will and the enthusiasm for the right social myths — both created by propaganda — will finally have solved the problem of man.“

—  Jacques Ellul, libro Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965)
Contesto: In the midst of increasing mechanization and technological organization, propaganda is simply the means used to prevent these things from being felt as too oppressive and to persuade man to submit with good grace. When man will be fully adapted to this technological society, when he will end by obeying with enthusiasm, convinced of the excellence of what he is forced to do, the constraint of the organization will no longer be felt by him; the truth is, it will no longer be a constraint, and the police will have nothing to do. The civic and technological good will and the enthusiasm for the right social myths — both created by propaganda — will finally have solved the problem of man.

Vintage, p. xviii

„Propaganda is called upon to solve problems created by technology, to play on maladjustments, and to integrate the individual into a technological world.“

—  Jacques Ellul, libro Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes

From the Vintage paperback (1973), p. xvii
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965)
Contesto: Again I want to emphasize that the study of propaganda must be conducted within the context of a technological society. Propaganda is called upon to solve problems created by technology, to play on maladjustments, and to integrate the individual into a technological world.

„By anarchy I mean first an absolute rejection of violence.“

—  Jacques Ellul

Anarchy and Christianity [Anarchie et Christianisme] (1988) as translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (1991), p. 11
Contesto: There are different forms of anarchy and different currents in it. I must, first say very simply what anarchy I have in view. By anarchy I mean first an absolute rejection of violence. Hence I cannot accept either nihilists or anar­chists who choose violence as a means of action.

„That is the classic example of an irresponsible person. He carries out his technical task and isn’t interested in anything else.“

—  Jacques Ellul

The Betrayal by Technology (1993 film)
Contesto: In a society such as ours, it is almost impossible for a person to be responsible. A simple example: a dam has been built somewhere, and it bursts. Who is responsible for that? Geologists worked out. They examined the terrain. Engineers drew up the construction plans. Workmen constructed it. And the politicians decided that the dam had to be in that spot. Who is responsible? No one. There is never anyone responsible. Anywhere. In the whole of our technological society the work is so fragmented and broken up into small pieces that no one is responsible. But no one is free either. Everyone has his own, specific task. And that's all he has to do.
Just consider, for example, that atrocious excuse… It was one of the most horrible things I have ever heard. The director of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was asked at the Nuremburg trials, “But didn’t you find it horrible? All those corpses?” He replied, “What could I do? I couldn’t process all those corpses. The capacity of the ovens was too small. It caused me many problems. I had no time to think about these people. I was too busy with the technical problem of my ovens.” That is the classic example of an irresponsible person. He carries out his technical task and isn’t interested in anything else.

„Propaganda tries to surround man by all possible routes in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or on his needs, through his conscious and his unconscious, assailing him in both his private and his public life.“

—  Jacques Ellul, libro Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes

Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965)
Contesto: Propaganda tries to surround man by all possible routes in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or on his needs, through his conscious and his unconscious, assailing him in both his private and his public life. It furnishes him with a complete system for explaining the world, and provides immediate incentives to action. We are here in the presence of an organized myth that tries to take hold of the entire person. Through the myth it creates, propaganda imposes a complete range of intuitive knowledge, susceptible of only one interpretation, unique and one-sided, and precluding any divergence. This myth becomes so powerful that it invades every arena of consciousness, leaving no faculty or motivation intact. It stimulates in the individual a feeling of exclusiveness, and produces a biased attitude.

„His great passion in the world ought to be a passion for the liberation of men.“

—  Jacques Ellul

The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974)
Contesto: It seems to me that the free man, i. e., the man freed in Christ, ought to take parts in all movements that aim at human freedom. He obviously ought to oppose all dictatorship and oppression and all the fatalities which crush man. The Christian cannot bear it that others should be slaves. His great passion in the world ought to be a passion for the liberation of men.

p. 398

„Without the scientific research of modern psychology and sociology there would be no propaganda, or rather we still would be in the primitive stages of propaganda that existed in the time of Pericles or Augustus.“

—  Jacques Ellul, libro Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes

Vintage, p. 4
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965)
Contesto: First of all, modern propaganda is based on scientific analyses of psychology and sociology. Step by step, the propagandist builds his techniques on the basis of his knowledge of man, his tendencies, his desires, his needs, his psychic mechanisms, his conditioning — and as much on social psychology as on depth psychology. He shapes his procedures on the basis of our knowledge of groups and their laws of formation and dissolution, of mass influences, and of environmental limitations. Without the scientific research of modern psychology and sociology there would be no propaganda, or rather we still would be in the primitive stages of propaganda that existed in the time of Pericles or Augustus.

„Propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated in an organization.“

—  Jacques Ellul, libro Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes

Vintage, p. 61
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965)
Contesto: Having analyzed these traits, we can now advance a definition of propaganda — not an exhaustive definition, unique and exclusive of all others, but at least a partial one: Propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring about the active or passive participation in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulations and incorporated in an organization.

„This is the very heart of modern religion, the religion of the established fact, the religion on which depend the lesser religions of the dollar, race, or the proletariat, which are only expressions of the great modern divinity, the Moloch of fact.“

—  Jacques Ellul

Origine: The Presence of the Kingdom (1948), p. 37
Contesto: People think that they have no right to judge a fact — all they have to do is to accept it. Thus from the moment that technics, the State, or production, are facts, we must worship them as facts, and we must try to adapt ourselves to them. This is the very heart of modern religion, the religion of the established fact, the religion on which depend the lesser religions of the dollar, race, or the proletariat, which are only expressions of the great modern divinity, the Moloch of fact.

„In a society such as ours, it is almost impossible for a person to be responsible.“

—  Jacques Ellul

The Betrayal by Technology (1993 film)
Contesto: In a society such as ours, it is almost impossible for a person to be responsible. A simple example: a dam has been built somewhere, and it bursts. Who is responsible for that? Geologists worked out. They examined the terrain. Engineers drew up the construction plans. Workmen constructed it. And the politicians decided that the dam had to be in that spot. Who is responsible? No one. There is never anyone responsible. Anywhere. In the whole of our technological society the work is so fragmented and broken up into small pieces that no one is responsible. But no one is free either. Everyone has his own, specific task. And that's all he has to do.
Just consider, for example, that atrocious excuse… It was one of the most horrible things I have ever heard. The director of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was asked at the Nuremburg trials, “But didn’t you find it horrible? All those corpses?” He replied, “What could I do? I couldn’t process all those corpses. The capacity of the ovens was too small. It caused me many problems. I had no time to think about these people. I was too busy with the technical problem of my ovens.” That is the classic example of an irresponsible person. He carries out his technical task and isn’t interested in anything else.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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