Frases de Jacques Ellul

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Jacques Ellul

Data de nascimento: 6. Janeiro 1912
Data de falecimento: 19. Maio 1994
Outros nomes: ז'ק אלול, 雅克·埃呂爾

Jacques Ellul foi filósofo, sociólogo, teólogo e um notável anarquista cristão francês. Nasceu em Bordeaux, na França, e foi educado nas universidades de Bordeaux e Paris. Ellul foi professor de História e Sociologia das Instituições na Faculdade de Direito e Ciências Econômicas da Universidade de Bordéus. Escritor prolífico, ele escreveu 58 livros e mais de mil artigos ao longo de sua vida, abordando, sobretudo a propaganda, o impacto da tecnologia sobre a sociedade e a interação entre religião e política. O tema dominante de seu trabalho foi a ameaça à liberdade humana e religião provocada pela tecnologia moderna.

Foi um dos líderes da resistência francesa durante a 2ª Guerra Mundial e destacado teólogo no movimento ecumênico. Por seus esforços para salvar judeus, o Memorial do Holocausto o agraciou com o título de Justo entre as Nações, em 1981. Converteu-se ao cristianismo protestante neoortodoxo aos 22 anos. Nos seus trabalhos sobre a tecnologia tem uma aproximação determinista e fatalista. Suas preocupações apontavam para a emergência de uma tirania tecnológica sobre a humanidade.

Dentre suas obras sobre tecnologia e cristianismo, destaca-se Anarchie et christianisme em que argumenta que o anarquismo e o cristianismo têm as mesmas perspectivas sociais.

Citações Jacques Ellul

„Men have never been so oppressed as in societies which set man at the pinnacle of values and exalt his greatness or make him the measure of all things. For in such societies freedom is detached from its purpose, which is, we affirm, the glory of God.“

—  Jacques Ellul
The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974), Context: Man himself is exalted, and paradoxical though it may seem to be, this means the crushing of man. Man's enslavement is the reverse side of the glory, value, and importance that are ascribed to him. The more a society magnifies human greatness, the more one will see men alienated, enslaved, imprisoned, and tortured, in it. Humanism prepares the ground for the anti-human. We do not say that this is an intellectual paradox. All one need do is read history. Men have never been so oppressed as in societies which set man at the pinnacle of values and exalt his greatness or make him the measure of all things. For in such societies freedom is detached from its purpose, which is, we affirm, the glory of God. p. 251

„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
The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974), Context: 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. p. 397

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

—  Jacques Ellul
The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974), Context: 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

„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
The Presence of the Kingdom (1948), Context: 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. p. 37

„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, livro Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965), Context: 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.

„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, livro Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965), Context: 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

„This is why I decide for anarchy.“

—  Jacques Ellul
The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974), Context: 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. p. 396

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

—  Jacques Ellul, livro The Technological Society
The Technological Society (1954), Context: 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. p. 97

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

—  Jacques Ellul, livro The Technological Society
The Technological Society (1954), Context: 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. p. 97

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„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, livro The Technological Society
The Technological Society (1954), Context: 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. p. 97

„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, livro Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965), Context: 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.

„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, livro Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965), Context: 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 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, livro Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965), Context: 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. Vintage, p. 61

„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.“

—  Jacques Ellul
The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974), Context: 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. p. 396

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

—  Jacques Ellul
The Betrayal by Technology (1993 film), Context: 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.

„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
The Subversion of Christianity (1984), Context: 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. p. 133

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

—  Jacques Ellul
The Presence of the Kingdom (1948), Context: 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. p. 37

„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
The Ethics of Freedom (1973 - 1974), Context: 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, livro Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes
Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes (1965), Context: 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. Vintage, p. 4

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