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Jacques Ellul

Geburtstag: 6. Januar 1912
Todesdatum: 19. Mai 1994
Andere Namen: ז'ק אלול, 雅克·埃呂爾

Jacques Ellul war ein französischer Soziologe und Theologe.

Zitate 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

Quelle: The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974), p. 398
Kontext: 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.

„I cannot think that choices of this kind are unimportant.“

—  Jacques Ellul

Ce que je crois (1987) [What I Believe] translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (1989), p. 140
Kontext: This is why there is such an incredible stress on information in our schools.
The important thing is to prepare young people to enter the world of information, able to handle computers, but knowing only the reasoning, the language, the combinations, and the connections between computers.
This movement is invading the whole intellectual domain and also that of conscience. … What is at issue here is evaluating the danger of what might happen to our humanity in the present half-century, and distinguishing between what we want to keep and what we are ready to lose, between what we can welcome as legitimate human development and what we should reject with our last ounce of strength as dehumanization. I cannot think that choices of this kind are unimportant.

„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

Quelle: The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974), p. 397
Kontext: 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.

„People think that they have no right to judge a fact — all they have to do is to accept it.“

—  Jacques Ellul

Quelle: The Presence of the Kingdom (1948), p. 37
Kontext: 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.

„On the other hand, it seems to me that an anarchist attitude is the only one that is sufficiently radical in the face of a general statist system.“

—  Jacques Ellul

Quelle: The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974), p. 396
Kontext: No society can last in conditions of anarchy. This is self-evident and I am in full agreement. But my aim is not the establishment of an anarchist society or the total destruction of the state. Here I differ from anarchists. I do not believe that it is possible to destroy the modern state. It is pure imagination to think that some day this power will be overthrown. From a pragmatic standpoint there is no chance of success. Furthermore, I do not believe that anarchist doctrine is the solution to the problem of organization in society and government. I do not think that if anarchism were to succeed we should have a better or more livable society. Hence I am not fighting for the triumph of this doctrine.
On the other hand, it seems to me that an anarchist attitude is the only one that is sufficiently radical in the face of a general statist system.

„Technique is totally irrelevant to this notion and pursues no end, professed or unprofessed.“

—  Jacques Ellul, buch The Technological Society

Quelle: The Technological Society (1954), p. 97
Kontext: A principal characteristic of technique … is its refusal to tolerate moral judgments. It is absolutely independent of them and eliminates them from its domain. Technique never observes the distinction between moral and immoral use. It tends on the contrary, to create a completely independent technical morality.
Here, then, is one of the elements of weakness of this point of view. It does not perceive technique's rigorous autonomy with respect to morals; it does not see that the infusion of some more or less vague sentiment of human welfare cannot alter it. Not even the moral conversion of the technicians could make a difference. At best, they would cease to be good technicians. This attitude supposes further that technique evolves with some end in view, and that this end is human good. Technique is totally irrelevant to this notion and pursues no end, professed or unprofessed.

„A principal characteristic of technique … is its refusal to tolerate moral judgments. It is absolutely independent of them and eliminates them from its domain.“

—  Jacques Ellul, buch The Technological Society

Quelle: The Technological Society (1954), p. 97
Kontext: A principal characteristic of technique … is its refusal to tolerate moral judgments. It is absolutely independent of them and eliminates them from its domain. Technique never observes the distinction between moral and immoral use. It tends on the contrary, to create a completely independent technical morality.
Here, then, is one of the elements of weakness of this point of view. It does not perceive technique's rigorous autonomy with respect to morals; it does not see that the infusion of some more or less vague sentiment of human welfare cannot alter it. Not even the moral conversion of the technicians could make a difference. At best, they would cease to be good technicians. This attitude supposes further that technique evolves with some end in view, and that this end is human good. Technique is totally irrelevant to this notion and pursues no end, professed or unprofessed.

„This movement is invading the whole intellectual domain and also that of conscience.“

—  Jacques Ellul

Ce que je crois (1987) [What I Believe] translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (1989), p. 140
Kontext: This is why there is such an incredible stress on information in our schools.
The important thing is to prepare young people to enter the world of information, able to handle computers, but knowing only the reasoning, the language, the combinations, and the connections between computers.
This movement is invading the whole intellectual domain and also that of conscience. … What is at issue here is evaluating the danger of what might happen to our humanity in the present half-century, and distinguishing between what we want to keep and what we are ready to lose, between what we can welcome as legitimate human development and what we should reject with our last ounce of strength as dehumanization. I cannot think that choices of this kind are unimportant.

„The most favorable moment to seize a man and influence him is when he is alone in the mass.“

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

Vintage, p. 9
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965)
Kontext: The most favorable moment to seize a man and influence him is when he is alone in the mass. It is at this point that propaganda can be most effective.

„There are different forms of anarchy and different currents in it.“

—  Jacques Ellul

Anarchy and Christianity [Anarchie et Christianisme] (1988) as translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (1991), p. 11
Kontext: 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.

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„What seems to be one of the disasters of our time is that we all appear to agree that the nation-state is the norm.“

—  Jacques Ellul

Anarchy and Christianity [Anarchie et Christianisme] (1988) as translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (1991), pp.104–5
Kontext: Anarchism can teach Christian thinkers to see the realities of our societies from a different standpoint than the dominant one of the state. What seems to be one of the disasters of our time is that we all appear to agree that the nation-state is the norm. … Whether the state be Marxist or capitalist, it makes no difference. The dominant ideology is that of sovereignty.

„I believe that the biblical teaching is clear. It always contests political power.“

—  Jacques Ellul

Quelle: The Subversion of Christianity (1984), p. 116
Kontext: I believe that the biblical teaching is clear. It always contests political power. It incites to "counterpower," to "positive" criticism, to an irreducible dialogue (like that between king and prophet in Israel), to antistatism, to a decentralizing of the relation, to an extreme relativizing of everything political, to an anti-ideology, to a questioning of all that claims either power or dominion (in other words, of all things political), and finally, if we may use a modern term, to a kind of "anarchism" (so long as we do not relate the term to the anarchist teaching of the nineteenth century).

„It tends on the contrary, to create a completely independent technical morality.“

—  Jacques Ellul, buch The Technological Society

Quelle: The Technological Society (1954), p. 97
Kontext: A principal characteristic of technique … is its refusal to tolerate moral judgments. It is absolutely independent of them and eliminates them from its domain. Technique never observes the distinction between moral and immoral use. It tends on the contrary, to create a completely independent technical morality.
Here, then, is one of the elements of weakness of this point of view. It does not perceive technique's rigorous autonomy with respect to morals; it does not see that the infusion of some more or less vague sentiment of human welfare cannot alter it. Not even the moral conversion of the technicians could make a difference. At best, they would cease to be good technicians. This attitude supposes further that technique evolves with some end in view, and that this end is human good. Technique is totally irrelevant to this notion and pursues no end, professed or unprofessed.

„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

Quelle: The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974), p. 397
Kontext: 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.

„Revelation … unavoidably challenges the institution and established power, no matter what form this may take. But the adulteration by political power has changed all this. Christianity has become a religion of conformity“

—  Jacques Ellul

Quelle: The Subversion of Christianity (1984), p. 133
Kontext: Revelation … unavoidably challenges the institution and established power, no matter what form this may take. But the adulteration by political power has changed all this. Christianity has become a religion of conformity, of integration into the social body. It has come to be regarded as useful for social cohesion (the exact opposite of what it is in its source and truth). Alternatively, it has become a flight from political or concrete reality, a flight into the spiritual world, into the cultivation of the inner life, into mysticism, and hence an evasion of the present world.

„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, buch Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes

From the Vintage paperback (1973), p. xvii
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965)
Kontext: 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.

„The church lets itself be seduced, invaded, dominated by the ease with which it can now spread the gospel by force (another force than that of God) and use its influence to make the state, too, Christian. It is great acquiescence to the temptation Jesus himself resisted, for when Satan offers to give him all the kingdoms of the earth, Jesus refuses, but the church accepts.“

—  Jacques Ellul

Quelle: The Subversion of Christianity (1984), p. 124
Kontext: After his victory at the Milvian Bridge, faithful to his promise, Constantine favors the church from which he has received support. Catholic Christianity becomes the state religion and an exchange takes place: the church is invested with political power, and it invests the emperor with religious power. We have here the same perversion, for how can Jesus manifest himself in the power of domination and constraint? We have to say here very forcefully that we see here the perversion of revelation by participation in politics, by the seeking of power. The church lets itself be seduced, invaded, dominated by the ease with which it can now spread the gospel by force (another force than that of God) and use its influence to make the state, too, Christian. It is great acquiescence to the temptation Jesus himself resisted, for when Satan offers to give him all the kingdoms of the earth, Jesus refuses, but the church accepts.

„This is why I decide for anarchy.“

—  Jacques Ellul

Quelle: The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974), p. 396
Kontext: Every modern state is totalitarian. It recognizes no limit either factual or legal. This is why I maintain that no state in the modern world is legitimate. No present-day authority can claim to be instructed by God, for all authority is set in the framework of a totalitarian state. This is why I decide for anarchy.

„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.“

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

Vintage, p. xviii
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965)
Kontext: 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.

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

—  Jacques Ellul

The Betrayal by Technology (1993 film)
Kontext: 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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