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Journal Article

Politics or Technique? A Defense of Jacques Ellul

David Menninger
Polity
Vol. 14, No. 1 (Autumn, 1981), pp. 110-127
DOI: 10.2307/3234498
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3234498
Page Count: 18
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Politics or Technique? A Defense of Jacques Ellul
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Abstract

Jacques Ellul is known for his critique of modern technological society, but Professor Menninger maintains that this critique has often been misrepresented and important components of Ellul's thought left out. By "technique" Ellul meant not just technology but the larger, impersonal methods and "systems" by which our family, social, and political lives are ordered. Where "technique" rules, Ellul argues, politics is superfluous. While realistically recognizing that technology's impact cannot be reversed, Ellul urges continued struggle for democratic and humane values, which in his case are embedded in a Christian conception. Professor Menninger helps correct misperceptions of Ellul's ideas, while also bringing out new facets of this complex contemporary thinker.

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