Frases de Jacques Ellul

Jacques Ellul Foto
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Jacques Ellul

Fecha de nacimiento: 6. Enero 1912
Fecha de muerte: 19. Mayo 1994
Otros nombres:ז'ק אלול, 雅克·埃呂爾

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Jacques Ellul nació y vivió en Burdeos, Francia, fue un filósofo, sociólogo, teólogo, y anarquista cristiano francés. Educado en las universidades de Burdeos y París, fue profesor de historia de la ley e historia social en Burdeos y miembro relevante de la comunidad protestante francesa. Escribió varios libros contra la sociedad tecnológica, y algunos sobre la relación entre el cristianismo y la política, tal como “Anarquía y Cristianismo” argumentando que el anarquismo y el cristianismo compartían los mismos fines sociales.

Es considerado, junto a sus amigos Iván Illich y Bernard Charbonneau, uno de los padres de las ideas sobre el post-desarrollo, de . 0 de decrecimiento y de simplicidad voluntaria; es decir de la ecología política.

Ellul considera que vivimos en una sociedad tecnológica, que denomina sistema técnico, cuyo modelo de racionalidad es la eficacia. El hombre es un ser constituido por una gran diversidad de dimensiones pero, según el autor, la tecnológica ha desplazado a todas las demás para centrarse en la potencia y en la eficacia. Ante esta situación propone una ética del no-poder, que se caracteriza por no colaborar con el sistema técnico. El no-poder es lo contrario de la impotencia y se caracteriza por la frase puedo pero no quiero.

Durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, fue un líder en la resistencia francesa.

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Frases Jacques Ellul

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

— Jacques Ellul
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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„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
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
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

„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
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

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

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

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

— Jacques Ellul
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.

„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
Context: 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. p. 397

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„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
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

„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
Context: 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. Anarchy and Christianity [Anarchie et Christianisme] (1988) as translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (1991), pp.104–5

„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
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.

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

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

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

— Jacques Ellul
Context: 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). p. 116

„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
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

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

— Jacques Ellul
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

„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
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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