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By Jacques Ellul

"What is politization? . . . (It is that) all difficulties have, in our time, turn into political" -J. Ellul, from the creation Jacques Ellul, the writer of The Technological Society and Propaganda, right here examines glossy man's ardour for politics, the jobs he performs in them, and his position within the glossy nation. He holds that every thing having now been "politized" whatever in a roundabout way political fails to arouse common curiosity between modern men-and in reality will be stated to not exist. He indicates that political task is now a kaleidoscope of interlocking illusions, between which the main simple and destructive are these of renowned participation in executive, well known regulate of elected and different officers, and well known resolution of public difficulties. This domination via the political phantasm, Ellul demonstrates, explains why males now flip to the country for the answer of all problems-most of them difficulties that the nation couldn't resolve if it attempted. This close-reasoned, outstanding prognosis and diagnosis is, like Jacques Ellul's previous books, an alarming research of present-day lifestyles.

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The political illusion

"What is politization? . . . (It is that) all difficulties have, in our time, develop into political" -J. Ellul, from the creation Jacques Ellul, the writer of The Technological Society and Propaganda, the following examines smooth man's ardour for politics, the jobs he performs in them, and his position within the sleek kingdom.

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To be The Necessary sure, political decisions are still being made. But these are really pseudo-decisions because they are so rigorously de- termined as to give their I am initiators neither latitude nor choice. not speaking here of the doctrine of predetermined history. Everybody is familiar with the collective belief, springing Marxism, that there is a particular direction to history, a rigor- ous mechanism of historical socialism. from movement necessarily leading to What really seems remarkable about this belief is that the most fervent adherents to this doctrine of historical necessity are inevitably effect that the ones acting with the greatest vigor to very history!

But while this is century there was corollary 4 is generally admitted little (before the eighteenth such participation in the West), the generally omitted: except on rare occasions, political Jacques EUul: Propaganda (New York: Alfred A. Knopf; 1964), Chap. iv. 1 2 INTRODUCTION— POLITIZATION ) and by themselves, and in the eyes of man, formerly importance. In view of the fact that we judge everything in relation to political affairs, this seems unbelievable. How can we admit that in those past centuries political affairs were not a subject of interest, of passion— that lack of public participation was much less the result of the autocratic character of the prevailing regimes than of great indifference on the part of the public itself?

Finally the ulti- mate condemnation of our day and age is hurled at him: he must be a reactionary. This shows us that man in his entirety is being judged today in relation to political affairs, which are invested with ultimate value. In our judgment everything has become political and political affairs are the ultimate guidepost. Beyond them there is nothing. And political affairs can be judged only by political considerations. One may say, of course, that politics should be in the service of man or of the economy, but that does not detract from the fact that the greatness of the state, its power to organize, and man's participation in the collective via political channels are the ultimate value symbols and criteria of our time, substituted for the religious symbols and criteria of the past.

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