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Jacques Ellul Quotes


A French philosopher, law professor, sociologist, lay theologian, and Christian anarchist.
(1912 - 1994)

All human language draws its nature and value from the fact that it both comes from the Word of God and is chosen by God to manifest himself. But this relationship is secret and incomprehensible, beyond the bounds of reason and analysis.
 

For the word is dialectical in itself and at the same time is integrated into the whole of existence. By this I mean that the word is intended to be lived.
 

In sum, thought and reflection have been rendered thoroughly pointless by the circumstances in which modern men and women live and act.
 

It is the emergence of mass media which makes possible the use of propaganda techniques on a societal scale.
 

Mass media provides the essential link between the individual and the demands of the technological society.
 

Modern technology has become a total phenomenon for civilization, the defining force of a new social order in which efficiency is no longer an option but a necessity imposed on all human activity.
 

Prayer holds together the shattered fragments of the creation. It makes history possible.
[Prayer]
 

The fact of knowing how to read is nothing, the whole point is knowing what to read.
 

The goal of modern propaganda is no longer to transform opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief.
[Active]
 

The Holy Spirit alone can do this, the Holy Spirit alone can establish this link with one's neighbor.
 

The intellectual who wants to do her work properly must today go back to the starting point: the woman whom she knows, and first of all to herself. It is at that level, and at no other, that she ought to begin to think about the world situation.
 

The orchestration of press, radio and television to create a continuous, lasting and total environment renders the influence of propaganda virtually unnoticed precisely because it creates a constant environment.
 

Thinking has become a superfluous exercise... purely internal, without compelling force, more or less a game.