Sunday, November 26, 2017

Jacques Ellul

I read and liked Jacques Ellul decades ago. Money and Power may be the only thing I read, plus some magazine articles,* perhaps in Christianity Today. Something came up that I disagreed with strongly enough that I abandoned reading any more of him.  I forget what. It could be that I would like him again if I picked something up. I was wrong about a lot of things then.

David Foster over at Chicago Boyz mentioned a favorite CS Lewis quote of mine that it is the intelligentsia, not the hoi polloi, who are most easily misled. He mentioned also Andre Maurois making a related claim, that those who are highly intelligent but not creative in any way are especially susceptible to throwing themselves voraciously on such systems as they do encounter.

I recalled something of Ellul claiming that intellectuals were easier to manipulate and went looking for it.  I didn't find it, but Bing did pop up this article on propaganda summarising Ellul's 1965 book Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes. Quite something.

Ellul considered himself a Christian Anarchist.  Perhaps I need a dose of that now.

*Remember magazine articles?  Yes, children, these were a real thing once.

1 comment:

Dave said...

I enjoyed Ellul's book, The Technological Society, mostly because through it I was introduced to the study of the philosophy of technology. Regarding Christian anarchism, there is this famous essay: