Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ellul on Politics

A key passage on Ellul's thinking, from the article "A Synopsis and Analysis
of the Thought and Writings of Jacques Ellul," by James A. Fowler:

A primary agent for the propagandizing of technique in modern society is the involvement of people in participatory politics, especially in democratic societies where people are led to believe that it is "governance by the people for the people." Politics gives the individuals within society the illusion of freedom by having a sense of effectual participation. The "political illusion" of popular participation, popular control by the people, and collective problem-solving of social problems, falsely fulfills the need that individuals have for meaning, importance, effectiveness and security, leading them to surrender themselves all the more to the politicized state and the technicized system.

When all values are cast in political form, and all hopes are directed toward political solutions, believed to be on the verge of realization, politics becomes the "supreme religion of this age," propagating its "myth of the solution" for all social problems, despite the inability of politics to deal with good and evil, personal character, or the meaning and quality of life.


Keith Soreng said...

Thanks for the insight.


Beth Hunter said...

Wow. I can't believe it took me this long in life to discover Jacques Ellul. I am veritably gobsmacked by his pronouncements about politics as an illusion. I have traveled on the road to truth for many a moon, and I am weary--weary. A person with the insight, the curiosity, the sheer investigative prowess that I have is a danger unto themselves in light of the world we live in today. I guess my last straw was deducing that the Seth Rich story is actually a psyop, that Assange is a's ALL a psyop. I think the Protocols of the Elders of Zion actually mentioned that success would obtain when everything we know is false. (I'm Jewish, by the way, so I get the irony there.) But as I say--the very last straw. I have nothing more to cling to. Everything is one big, fat joke, with the irony being that the audience for this particular joke is the butt of it.

I've just started to read Illul's 'The Political Illusion,' and I am already married to the Foreword. This is the Holy Grail that I have been seeking. It reminds me of 'The Matrix.' I already AM Alice; I already HAVE tumbled down the rabbit hole. And I found everything that was down there--all the twisted avenues that have any possibility of providing a piece to the big puzzle I now call The Joke.

And now I'm here, commenting on your blog. And you could well say to me, "Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain. But you feel it. You felt it your entire life--that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad." Etc., etc.

I used to be so interested in "conspiracy theories" and believed or disbelieved this news source or that news source, this alt site, that alt site. But I'm done. I'm broken down. I think I get the joke now. And Ellul is actually pretty comforting to read, because he just confirms what I now know.

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