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Jacques Ellul’s Ideas on the Domination of Technology

On the importance of critique in modern society.

Lance Baker
7 min readJan 5, 2023

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Jacques Ellul was a French philosopher, sociologist, and theologian who is best known for his work on the philosophy of technology and its impact on society. He was born in Bordeaux, France in 1912 and received a degree in law and political science before going on to study theology at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris. Ellul is known for his critical analysis of modern technology and its effects on human society, arguing that it has led to the loss of individuality and autonomy and has contributed to the erosion of traditional values and social structures. His work has had a significant influence on the fields of sociology, political theory, and theology, and he has written many books on these subjects, including “The Technological Society” and “The Political Illusion”.

Some of his other philosophical ideas include:

  1. The Technological Society: Ellul argued that modern society is characterized by the domination of technology and that this has significant implications for the way we live and think. He believed that technology has become a dominant force in society, shaping and determining our values, beliefs, and behaviors.
  2. The Tyranny of Technique: Ellul argued that the pursuit of efficiency and effectiveness has led to the proliferation of techniques in all areas of life. He believed that these techniques have become an end in themselves, rather than a means to an end, and that they have led to a dehumanization of society.
  3. The Propaganda Society: Ellul argued that propaganda has become a dominant force in modern society and that it is used to manipulate and control people’s attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. He believed that propaganda is a tool used by governments, businesses, and other organizations to shape public opinion and to control the way people think.
  4. The Illusion of Progress: Ellul argued that the belief in progress is a fundamental part of modern society, but that it is an illusion. He believed that the pursuit of progress has led to the destruction of the natural world and to the dehumanization of society.
  5. The Importance of Critique: Ellul argued that it is important to…

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Lance Baker

A fellow observer on the journey through life. Trying to cultivate a deeper way of being in the world.