There Is No Preview Available For This Item. This item does not appear to have any files that can be experienced on kaz-news.info Jacque* EJluTs view of propaganda and his approach to the study of propaganda are new. The principal difference between his thought c-iJifk-r- And i other. “The Ethics of Propaganda” (Jacques Ellul); “Problems in Ellul's Treatment of ( Jay Black); Re-Viewing Jacques Ellul's Histoire de la Propagande (Randal.
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Jacques Ellul was a French philosopher, sociologist, lay theologian, and professor who was a .. Also within Propaganda Ellul claims that "it is a fact that excessive data do not enlighten the . Histoire de la propagande. . "Righteous Among the Nations Recognized by Yad Vashem as of 1 January – France" (PDF). Keywords: Jacques Ellul, Ivan Illich, Vance Packard, propaganda, consumer, citizen, ICT, cyber-politics, This paper will couple the contemporary role of propaganda with the struggle to control Histoire de la Propagande. . kaz-news.info pdf. The Technological Society copies, 2 reviews; Propaganda: The 9 copies; Histoire de la propagande 8 copies; A critique of the new commonplaces 8 copies 4 copies; Jacques Ellul on Religion, Technology, and Politics 4 copies Testament (15) outubro (34) own (51) pdf (14) philosophy () political science.
As a philosopher and lay theologian, he further explored the religiosity of the technological society. Contents [ show ] Life Ellul was born in Bordeaux , France , and was educated at the universities of Bordeaux and Paris.
For his efforts to save Jews he was awarded the title Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem in However, he was no friendlier in his assessment of those of the Right , either; he fashioned an explicitly anti-political stance as an alternative to both see below. Ellul was best friends with Bernard Charbonneau , who wrote on similar themes. Ellul studied Karl Marx and became a prolific exegete of his theories. Ellul converted to Christianity at age The influence of these ideologies has alternately earned him devoted followers and vicious enemies.
In large measure and especially in those of his books concerned with theological matters, Ellul restates the viewpoints held by the great Protestant theologian Karl Barth , who was a leader of the resistance against the German state church in World War II. Barth's polar dialectic of the Word of God , in which the Gospel both judges and renews the world, helped to shape Ellul's theological perspective. Ellul went beyond Barth in one particular observation: "That which desacralizes a given reality, itself in turn becomes the new sacred reality".
The sacred is then, as classically defined, the object of both hope and fear, both fascination and dread. Once nature was the all-encompassing environment and power upon which human beings were dependent in life and death, and so was experienced as sacred. The Reformation desacralized the church in the name of the Bible , and the Bible became the sacred book. Science through Charles Darwin 's theory of evolution and reason higher criticism and liberal theology desacralized the scriptures; subsequent decades have seen science, particularly those in the applied categories amenable to the aims of collective economic production whether capitalist , socialist , or communist , elevated to the position of sacred in Western culture.
Today, argued Ellul, it is the technological society that modern-day humans generally hold sacred. Ellul defined technique as "the totality of methods rationally arrived at, and having absolute efficiency for a given stage of development in every field of human activity.
At best, they would cease to be good technicians. The characteristics of technique which serve to make efficiency a necessity are rationality , artificiality, automatism of technical choice, self-augmentation, monism , universalism , and autonomy. And it creates an artificial system which "eliminates or subordinates the natural world. As people begin to question the value of learning ancient languages and history, they question those things which, on the surface, do little to advance their financial and technical state.
According to Ellul, this misplaced emphasis is one of the problems with modern education. This, according to Ellul, produces a situation where an incredible stress is placed on information in our schools. The focus in those schools is to prepare young people to enter the world of information, able to handle computers, but knowing only the reasoning, the language, the combinations, and the connections between computers.
This movement is invading the whole intellectual domain and also that of conscience. I cannot think that choices of this kind are unimportant. Although a son of the minority French Reformed tradition and thus a spiritual heir of thinkers like John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli , Ellul departed substantially from Reformed doctrinal traditions, but unlike other European Protestant thinkers, utterly rejected the influence of philosophical idealism or romanticism upon his beliefs about God and human faith.
This made him one of the more ardent expositors of neo-orthodoxy , which was in decline elsewhere in the Western theological scene during Ellul's heyday. The latter was a standpoint shaped, again, by his membership in a tradition historically persecuted by Catholic clergy and state officials. One particular theological movement that aroused his ire was that of secular theology , based on notions that traditional Christian conceptions of God and humanity are based upon a primitive consciousness, one that most civilized people have quite overcome.
This line of thought affirmed the ethical teachings of Jesus but rejected the idea that he represented anything more than a highly accomplished human being.
Ellul attacked this school, and practitioners of it such as Harvey Cox , as out of accord not with Christian doctrinal traditions, but reality itself, namely what he perceived as the irreducible religiosity of the human race, a devotion that has worshiped idols such as rulers, nations, and, in more recent times, technology and economics. To Ellul, people use such fallen images, or powers, as a substitute for God, and are, in turn, used by them, with no possible appeal to innocence or neutrality, which, although possible theoretically, does not in fact exist.
Ellul thus renovates in a non-legalistic manner the traditional Christian understanding of original sin and espouses a thoroughgoing pessimism about human capabilities, a view most sharply evidenced in his Meaning of the City see bibliography below. Ellul espouses views on salvation , the sovereignty of God, and ethical action that appear to take a deliberately contrarian stance toward established, "mainstream" opinion.
For instance, in the book What I Believe, he declared himself to be a Christian Universalist , writing "that all people from the beginning of time are saved by God in Jesus Christ , that they have all been recipients of His grace no matter what they have done.
Any attempts to modify that freedom from merely human standards of righteousness and justice amount to sin , to putting oneself in God's place, which is precisely what Adam and Eve sought to do in the creation stories in Genesis. This highly unusual juxtaposition of original sin and universal salvation has repelled liberal and conservative critics and commentators alike, who charge that such views amount to antinomianism , denying that God's laws are binding upon human beings.
In most of his theologically-oriented writings, Ellul effectively dismisses those charges as stemming from a radical confusion between religions as human phenomena and the unique claims of the Christian faith, which are not predicated upon human achievement or moral integrity whatsoever.
Political philosophy Ellul identified himself as a "Christian Anarchist. To him, human government is irrelevant in that the law contained in Scripture is sufficient and exclusive.
That is, being a Christian means pledging absolute allegiance to Christ, which makes other laws redundant at best or counter to the Law of God. Despite the initial attraction of some evangelicals to his thinking because of his high view of Biblical texts i. Later, he would attract a following among adherents of more ethically-compatible traditions such as the Anabaptists and the house church movement.
Similar political ideas to Ellul's appear in the writings of a corresponding friend of his, the American William Stringfellow. On media and propaganda Ellul saw the power of the media as another example of technology exerting control over human destiny.
As a mechanism of change, the media are almost invariably manipulated by special interests , whether of the market or the state. 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.
Mass media provides the essential link between the individual and the demands of the technological society. This allowed Ellul to propose a more explicit alternative to the technology of the technician than those provided by some of his contemporaries, such as Martin Heidegger.
To throw this wager or secular faith into the boldest possible relief, Ellul places it in dialectical contrast with Biblical faith. As a dialectical contrast to "La Technique," for instance, Ellul writes Sans feu ni lieu published in , although written much earlier.
Whereas technology is the attempt of human beings to create their home in this world, the Bible denies that people, the children of a Creator God, can ever be truly at home here. Ellul adhered to the maxim "Think globally, act locally" throughout his life.
For the Critique of Technological Civilization
He often said that he was born in Bordeaux by chance, but that it was by choice that he spent almost all his academic career there. After a long illness, he died in his house in Pessac , just a mile or two from the University of Bordeaux campus, surrounded by those closest to him. Not long before his death, the treatment for this illness illustrated to him once again one of his favourite themes - the ambivalence of technological progress.
Bordeaux: Delmas, The Theological Foundation of Law. Marguerite Wieser. Garden City NY: Doubleday, London: SCM, New York: Seabury, Geneva: Roulet, Lausanne: Presses Bibliques Universitaires, The Presence of the Kingdom.
Olive Wyon. Philadelphia: Westminster, Colorado Springs: Helmers and Howard, Le livre de Jonas. Paris: Cahiers Bibliques de Foi et Vie, The Judgment of Jonah. Geoffrey W. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, L'homme et l'argent Nova et vetera. Money and Power. LaVonne Neff. Basingstoke, England: Marshall Pickering, Paris: Armand Colin, The Technological Society. John Wilkinson.
New York: Knopf, London: Jonathan Cape, Merton professor of sociology, Columbia University.
This may be his best-known work; Aldous Huxley brought the French edition to the attention of an English publisher, and thus brought it to English readers. It belongs to one of those closed and impenetrable areas where ethics loses its rights.
To declare that "to make propaganda" is wrong is irrelevant: the propagandist does not concern himself with such judgments and the propagandee lives with the fact that what his leader or his group says is not propaganda. Ethics in a moral or philosophical sense is strictly without power in this politicosocial activity, and a positive or negative judgment can in no way change this fact. Yet, one can quickly enough realize that this very fact raises a certain number of difficulties.
Propaganda does indeed obey a certain ethic, not taken in the moral sense, but rather as a rule of behavior. Moreover, it, itself, in short constitutes a morality for crowds, for peoples, for groups, for classes, for nations. Finally, and this is the most important fact, it appears more and more that what propaganda builds in man cannot be destroyed by the experience of facts, contrary to what has been normally believed or falsely proven.
All this leads me to unveil the ethical criteria which I myself use to underscore the amorality of propaganda. Propaganda Is a Morality Propaganda obviously obeys a certain number of working rules. I have studied it as a technique. But as is the case each time one is dealing with a technique affecting men, it can no longer be a question of purely abstract and mechanical rules as if one were dealing in techniques to change a physical or chemical environment.
One has to take into account the specific reactions of its being on the one hand and of the human being on the other.
In other words, even though for the propagandist or the publicist it is simply a question of applying seemingly rigorous and technical methods, this whole procedure must take on an ideologicomoral appearance, because man does not react in a neutral manner: he cannot admit to being or consider himself simply a manipulated object: in order for him to believe, to follow the desired path, he must receive a satisfaction which is moral in nature.
Thus, in itself, propaganda doesn't follow an ethic, but it is obliged to use one and to build one. As a system of intervention, it is purely practico-formal; as an integrated part of social reality, it needs to have a content of a moral nature, which in no way means that it obeys its content.
But it must carry it and have it assimilated. Nor can it be only an ideological content. It is not only a question of the person who is being swayed receiving ideas, an interpretation of the world: in addition, he must be convinced that he himself, his party, his class, his nation are right, that they represent Good and Justice. It is this conviction that is decisive and which effectively sways man into the field of propaganda.
We are, in this situation, in the presence of one of the conditions required for the efficacy of propaganda, and there is no recurrence of this "good" to propaganda itself. Consequently we must now eliminate a prior question: propaganda seems therefore to be, as is the case for most technical elements, a purely neutral instrument in itself, and one which therefore can be used for any kind of causea "good cause" such as peace or the reconciliation of classes or Christianity, an "evil cause" such as militarism, revolution, or atheism.
No technical instrument is neutral; it carries its own logic within itself, and I have already shown in Propaganda that the most beautiful ideal, once it is carried by propaganda, is modified in its very essence and nature. In reality, a positive "ideal" has no meaning unless man personally accedes, conquers, and adheres to it through deep conviction and becomes himself a germ of this truth.
Otherwise, he is nothing more than a robot, "beyond dignity and freedom," which removes all positive value to this adherence, and by this very fact, to the ideal to which one adheres. For if one adheres to an ideal in such a manner, this means that one could accept any other content, and could uphold, with the same conviction, the opposite ideal.
If, therefore, we are sure that a cause is just, not by measuring it against an infinite ideal, or against some absolute reigning in an Empyrean, but rather in the exact measure in which its supporters themselves are just, and where their own justice renders the cause itself just and not the reverse , then all propaganda action, which tends to make man act without even being aware of his actions and aware he has chosen, destroys in itself justice and good.
But we are obviously here at a crossroads: 1 Either we consider humanity as a simple means to a superior action, and it is therefore legitimate to manipulate it, to modify the human brain, to artificially produce behavior but this means that one obeys some sort of in-human truth, which is in no way a guarantee that this truth is super-human and if it is super-human we have but two choices: either it is unknown to us, and this is what was called the way of negative theology, or it has come down to our level of comprehension, and that is what biblical theology calls the Word of God and incarnation ; 2 Or one considers that truth can only be human, but in this case, it implies that the 4 particular truth in question cannot be transmitted by means of manipulation, nor by treating man as a pure object, but only by a voluntary adherence.
In other words, one can in no way disassociate the means of propaganda from what it claims to carry. It is a particular example of the great debate over "the ends justifies the means," or "the means corrupt the end," a debate accentuated by the fact that, here, the object upon which the means act is man. I am certainly not going to take up the entire problem again here, but rather point out the conclusion I reached a long time ago in Presence of the Kingdom : that is to say, that the end never justifies the means because there isn't a differentiation in nature between the two, but, on the contrary, a continuity: that is to say, that no abyss exists between the means and the point to which these means lead us, but rather that the end is the exact result of the means used.
In other words, violent means will produce a violent situation and never one of peace. Unjust means will produce an unjust regime and never one capable of exercising justice, and corrupt means will bring about corruption of the final result.
There is, therefore, no distinction to be made between the instrument, that would be neutral, and the cause, which would be good or not good. The instrument participates in the cause, and the latter is shaped by the instrument. To the extent that propaganda rests on a contempt for man viewed as an object to shape and not as a person to respect, this signifies that the cause defended by propaganda implies a de-gradation of man, the impossibility of his acceding to his majority, to his personal responsibility, and that propaganda is evidently a negation of a freedom, either natural, acquired, or to.
Now, propaganda cannot be anything other than what it is: an instrument of manipulation to obtain an objectively conforming behavior orthopraxy.
That is to say, that it obeys, exclusively, principles of efficacy, technical rules of a psychological or sociological nature, the usage of instruments which are themselves techniques.
It is, therefore, necessarily part of the means that corrupt the ends. It cannot be subordinated to anything but its own end, which is efficacy. Propaganda, in reality, includes in itself both the "apparatus" and "techniques" of propaganda and the message which is transmitted. For it is very evident that in addressing men, it carries a message. It is not merely a signal although at times it can be reduced to this! But this message can only be chosen, calculated, combined in relation to and with respect to the efficacy of the complex apparatus.
In other words, even if the message is apparently noble and generous, it is integrated into a whole which rests on the one and only concept of "man as object. It is nothing less than its end integrated into its means. And that is why there is no way to make an ethical judgment on it, and those that one could formulate have no common measure with its reality.
Propaganda Creates An Ethic But here we touch upon a new dimension of the problem: propaganda itself creates a morality, an ethic, a certain type of wished-for behavior. It furnishes man with a criterion for good and evil. This is therefore a rather new situation with respect to traditional societies. We are out of the normal framework of reflection on morality, both the one suggested by Bergson as well as that of Max Weber, the "morality of responsibilitythe morality of conviction.
It is indeed a question of morality, since, based upon this infusion, man is going to judge what is good and evil; he is going to choose his conduct but it is simply a question of a choice programmed by his conviction which allows no hesitation on the behavior to be followed, the whole concept having been integrated.
But it is a morality with roots neither in personal experience, nor in the past, nor in thought; it is a purely artificial morality, created and diffused outside any context of conviction. The conviction is produced by the system. And it is an ideological morality insofar as the behaviors demanded result from ideological choice.
There is a comparison with religion to be made here. A religion supposes a faithful adherence to certain truths, and this adherence brings with it certain actions, a certain practice. These are narrowly determined by the ideology one was successful in implanting. There are no choices, there is no distance, much less than in the religious domain, where, even in non-liberating and inveigling religions, the distance between God and the faithful brings about the possibility for the latter to choose certain behavior patterns rather than others.
In propaganda, the exact identity of the group ideology and of its behavior excludes any deviations. And we arrive thus at the conclusion announced in the beginning: it is by nature impossible to render a significant moral judgment from the outside on the work of propaganda which is itself a creator of a new type ethics.
We are, therefore, in the presence of a dilemma comparable to the one in which Kautsky had trapped Bernstein, when the latter was making a critique of Marx: Marx created a new Weltanschauung, a global conception. To be able to make a useful criticism of it, one has to situate oneself within the system or vision. It is in applying Marx's method that one can criticize it; it is by using its own premises and its own system as a point of departure that the criticism can become meaningful and efficacious.
If not, if one situates one-self in a different perspective, for example religious or liberal or idealist, one can say what one wants to, it would in no way begin to touch Marx's system. That is why philosophical objections based on a dualist or idealist perspective could in no way modify Marx's thought, just as criticism based on a liberal economy as a starting point simply had no common measure with the goal of a socialist economy: therefore, the entire procedure was useless.
It is exactly the same in this case for propaganda: it constitutes a psycho-political universe, it unleashes an "imaginary" in the strongest meaning of modern thought producer of myths and a reconstitution of the universe for whomever adheres to it, which means that if one situates one's self in this universe for example, in the consumer world, when it is a question of that commercial propaganda known as advertising and the criticisms that one can make will surely be heard and efficacious, but they will simply add to the reproduction, the reinforcement, and the growth of propaganda.
They will bring about a greater interiorization of the imperatives and the rules of conduct, but, of course, no revision of the morality of the propaganda. On the other hand, if one situates oneself on the outside, one can make a very accurate, judicious, and exact moral or intellectual critique but which will never begin to touch any structure erected by propaganda, whether on the psychological or sociological level.
Morality and ethics have no power over the results of propaganda action because the latter makes the propagandee live in an ethical rather than in a political or economic universe; these indeed are the realities of the matter, but propaganda has as its goal to hide this reality within an ideological discourse which acts as a justifier because it is moral.
To the democrats, Hitler affirmed unceasingly that national-socialism permitted access to a superior type of democracy, one that was more total, more egalitarian, etc. And reciprocally, a "capitalistic" morality has never touched a Soviet.
We have witnessed religious conversions which are of another kind. And if there is at the moment a challenge to the universe of Soviet propaganda, this can happen only through the intermediary of those who, having been in this universe, have left it by conversion and can speak the exact language which is appropriate, but which has nothing to do with an ethical language: it isn't starting with morality, but rather, on the one hand, with the facts that were revealed a typically Marxist process!
Zinoviev, Yuli Daniel, Sinyaysky, etc. The Useless Experience There is an affirmation often proposed in these domains, namely, that faced with the facts, propaganda is useless, and that its results are quickly destroyed.
It suffices to make known the facts. But it is precisely propaganda that prevents the facts from being perceived as such. The unveiling to which I alluded can only be brought about by those who have been through this universe.
But there is another aspect of the problem which I would like to discuss: that is the renewal of those who are 5 taken in by propaganda, the continual apparition of new generations for whom the experience of their elders is of absolutely no use. And this is a moral problem; in a universe which tends towards anomie, no values are passed from one generation to the other, and by this very fact no experience of the preceding generation is validated in the eyes of the succeeding generation.
We have made political mistakes and would like to have our sons profit from the lesson learned from our mistakes. That is impossible; our discourse goes unheard because it is not inscribed in a commensurate ethical universe, and we see them going down the same paths we did. We can't spare them their mistakes. Popular wisdom has long said: each generation must experience things for themselves. But in a traditional society, this is limited. In our society of global and accelerated changes, this attitude is disastrous, and yet now it is even more widespread than before.
I shall take an example relative to propaganda bearing on this triple phenomenon: confrontation of propaganda and factthe impossibility of transmitting experience to a new generationthe innocence of this new generation given over to propaganda.
The example is the relation of the young people in France to communist propaganda. The young people of my generation, in the years around , were extremely seduced by marxism, by the success of the revolution, by the fantastic accomplishments of the USSR, by the criticisms leveled against the weaknesses of democracy and the injustices of capitalism, and finally by the fact that communism seemed to be the only valid answer to fascism.
We were completely sensitive to the communist propaganda and an entire generation drew nearer to the Party.
Then a number of experiences frightened us. First of all, there were the Moscow trials of the trials in which we saw the great ones whom we had learned to admire, Zinoviev, Kamenev, and subsequently Bukharin himself, condemned to death in trials which immediately appeared to us as scandalous and deceitful.
It was absolutely unbelievable to have accused these men of complicity with capitalism, and to have brought them to the point of accusing themselves. Now during the same period, we experienced other events just as upsetting: the frightening attitude of the Spanish communists toward the anarchists during the Spanish war.
It has been said, but it can never be said enough, that Franco's best ally was the Spanish communist party. For the true resistance by the Republic was lead by the anarchists. But the communists have such a hatred of the anarchists and also of the socialists that, during the war, they preferred to attack the anarchists from behind and resolve the differences between them by violence, rather than help them fight against the fascist rebellion.
Now, all those who took part in the republican resistance were able to see this. We came out of these experiences desperate and hostile toward communism. One last experience: the German-Soviet treaty of by which, in reality, Stalin left Hitler free to attack Europe.
Curiously, there was a progression in the influence of these facts: the trials left the communist mass indifferent; it, in fact, accepted the explanations and believed the propaganda. The anti-anarchist activity upset only those who 6 participated in the war; on the other hand the "pact" provoked a great crisis in the entire party, and countless members left.
Be that as it may, the men of my generation, after this triple experience, could be lucid and would never again be entrapped by communist propaganda. This wasn't to be, for everything was renewed: the war and the Resistance, the fraternal cooperation with the communist resistors, their heroic actions, the admiration. Older people such as myself remained more distrustful, but powerless; we saw the young people in their twenties enter into an entirely new relationship with the Communist Party: to speak to them of our experience in meant nothing to them.
Buried memories: what could these do against an all new and fresh propaganda, both by word and ex-ample; we were making moral judgments, and if one had to draw the line, we were the ones who were not to be trusted.
We suspected these pure heroes of sinister designs. When the Liberation came, these young people, moralized by the propaganda and the actions, refused to see the "mistakes" the communists were guilty of massive executions without trials, liquidation of the rightist under-ground by the communist underground , and, when Tito committed the abominable treason of having the real leader of the Yugoslav resistance, Mihailovic who was clearly anti-communist , arrested and shot, the young people accepted without flinching the idea that this man, who had reorganized the Yugoslav army as early as , and engaged in the resistance a year before Tito, was a traitor and was in the pay of the imperialists.
One had to be forewarned as we were to see, simply to see, what was happening. Now this young generation of the resistance knew in turn some psychological shocks which, for many, led them to abandon the illusions of their youth and of the resistance: the worker's revolt in Berlin in against the Soviet regime, the Hungarian and Polish revolts of , and finally the revelations of Khrushchev to the XXth congress.
What shocks, what disillusions. Many in turn dropped out of the party. The astonishing thing was that it wasn't a complete rout. That shows the weakness of fact against the morality acquired by propaganda, for in all these cases it is a question of a recuperation by morality: communism committed errors, but it was the only one to defend the poor and oppressed, to want liberation of peoples; therefore all that was critical of the party was a betrayal of these poor.
Reflections on Music and Propaganda
This propaganda argument, apparently superficial, but playing on the moral sentiment also created by propaganda, reached even intellectuals such as J. Sartre; and one can find the same explanations that were given in on the legitimacy of the proletarian revolution, on the threat of imperialism which is the true menace to mankind, and which is responsible for the riots in Berlin and Hungary: the USSR having done nothing more than to limit itself to respond and to protect peoples who had been wronged by a handful of traitors.
It is remarkable to see how little propaganda renews itself. It is exactly the same moral and justifying discourse which was used in , in , in morality and virtue are integrated in the propaganda which appears simply to make them explicit. And all will soon be erased by a new generation, for those who were twenty in , for example, the events of the last ten years were totally unknown to them; the only thing left, for example, in France was the evidence of the Algerian war where the Communist Party became once again the protector of the poor, of the colonized, the evidence that the theory of Lenin on imperialism was correct, and that the only abomination was capitalism: propaganda had digested the facts.
But in turn, this new generation of pure and innocent militants, who saw everything through images furnished by the party, received a profound and double shock: the revolt of the young people in and the invasion of Czechoslovakia. Faced with the young people's revolt, the French Communist Party took an attitude of extreme harshness, of condemnation, and this was in perfect conformity with the attitude it had always held with respect to anything which might have an anarchist orientation.
The Communist Party fears being overwhelmed from the left; it prefers to ally itself with the reactionary right than to allow a leftist and spontaneous revolution to take place.
Lenin always condemned leftist tendencies a childhood disease of communism and worker spontaneity, for which he had a profound distrust.
But it was difficult for the hard-core militants of the French Communist Party not to be sensitive to the call of the revolution, to the vigor of the slogans and to the authenticity of youth in the streets, who seemed capable of overthrowing the power structure. There was at that point a very strong tension, and the discipline of the party had a most difficult time imposing itself, exactly as in or in And even more so, since at the same time the hope of a "socialism with a more humane appearance" was suddenly shattered by the Soviet invasion.
It seemed totally unjust to prevent Czechoslovakia from choosing its own way and the argument of a "menacing imperialism" seemed to be miscarrying. However, in spite of many criticisms and a few rejections, the Communist Party remained stable, and in no way changed its line and propaganda, and decided in favor of a purely formal "disapproval" of the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia.
These "disapprovals" are part and parcel of the "integrated propaganda" to valorize morally the subsequent resumption of contact. The French Communist Party continues to affirm itself in the "general line" with a purely formal divergence.
But the militants are disturbed. Nevertheless, from on, there is no more discussion; the whole affair is dead. Except for the appearance of Solzhenitsyn. And here we are in the presence of a moral phenomenon of great importance: we have just shown that facts change nothing in the attitude produced by propaganda. The most evident facts submitted to a moral judgment, contrary to all moral norms, are completely helpless faced with their reinterpretation by propaganda. Or more exactly, on the one hand, for adults, we note a certain instantaneous puzzlement, certain questions which arise, which for an insignificant minority mean a rejection and an abandoning of the party; but for the majority, the explanation will produce a situation of moral justification and of sufficient satisfaction.
On the other hand, we are dealing here particularly with the new levels, the new generation, and the problem here is simply to obliterate, to have disappear into a continuous history, without contradiction, the facts which had caused the scandal and the moral judgment.
Propaganda has, therefore, as its essential task, to reproduce innocence from generation to generation in both meanings of the word: ignorance and non-moral culpability. And it can do this precisely insofar as the generations succeed each other, while the apparatus of the party, which makes the propaganda work, remains constant and the party, as in the USSR, believes that communism has eternity in front of it to win the battle.
What will bring about the real crisis of the intellectuals and of the leaders of the French Communist Party will not be the fact itself, but the publication of books whose time has arrived contrary to Kravehenko's , in a favorable climate, and, especially, supported by a remarkable propaganda, which is going to require certain moral questions, heretofore completely hidden by propaganda.
In other words, it is the apparition of a "credible" propaganda which is going to arouse the good moral conscience. It was made "credible" by the personality of the witness. Solzhenitsyn's analysis and testimonial are going to brusquely provoke a crisis of moral conscience among communist intellectuals. But it isn't the discovery of the fact itself the fact of the existence of Soviet concentration camps has been very well known ever since at least ; it is the impact of the propaganda on a humanitarian and moral base.
Communist intellectuals who have been examining moral problems since are going to make a critique of what they have lived and believed for more than twenty years. But it is that very generation that experienced the period of the resistance: the innocents of Their departure from the party, their criticisms, are going to have great repercussions and are going to cause great discussions, but only insofar as it is a question of intellectuals using the media.
Their departure is spectacular. But there are large factions of the party which disappear thusly at each crisis. It is estimated that about 70, members of the French Communist Party leave it each year. And in times of crisis, such as we have previously mentioned, the figures reach , We don't speak about these defectors because they are ordinary people, obscure people; they hold no rank, and they are immediately replaced by new adherents, ardent and innocent militants, young people who discover the universe through the truth of communism, and they ignore everything, the trials, the Pact, the Hungarian revolt, and the crushing of Czechoslovakia.
And now they ignore everything about Solzhenitsyn: the whole matter is settled.
The moral shock caused by his books is over. The party had to become a little more liberal, in appearance, for a few years, and the new intellectuals who now adhere to the party no longer feel the need to critique it; the generation of Garaudy, P.
Daix, etc. I have just seen a television program on the Communist Youth Congress. I saw the young innocent faces that I have always seen there, the same enthusiasm, the same absolute confidence in the words of the leaders, the same certitude about the revolution and about the excellence of the USSR, and the same admiration for the revolution of 7 Everything has disappeared.
So much so that the Afghanistan invasion raises for these neophytes, once again, an agonizing problem: how can the country of justice, of the struggle against imperialism, of anticapitalism, conduct itself thusly? A stupor seizes the world: "Never before has this been seen. And we find anew exactly the same laborious explanations: it's the fault of the Americans who occupy Pakistan; it's the fault of the Pakistanis who are the true aggressors; it's the fault of the rebel minorities; it's the Afghan "people" who have called to the USSR for help.
Why bother to make a correct analysis and to invent new arguments since experience shows that this propaganda, in the long run, snuffs out all moral indignation and erases the facts?
Yes, there will be a few thousand defectors from the party.
Histoire De La Propagande Jacques Ellul Epub
And a new generation will appear; they will ignore Afghanistan as well as the rest. In other words, propaganda being strictly anti-moral, spread out over the years, is at the same time creator of a new morality and of a new mental universe founded on instantaneousness, and on the absence of the past.
From Ethics to the Amorality of Propaganda It is evident that to judge the amorality of propaganda, and the incompatibility between ethics and propaganda, one must admit to the existence of an ethic founded on values; one must construct a certain type of human existence; one must have a certain idea of man. That is why I could say earlier that propaganda is also a conferrer of morality, while at the same time being essentially amoral.
To go back to the Marxist-Leninist example, it is evident that if one adopts Lenin's criteria for behavior, one builds a certain morality. Criteria: "All that is favorable to the proletariat in the struggle between classes is good, and all that is unfavorable to it is evil" the State and the Revolution.
And it will justify propaganda favorable to the proletariat, but what we have here is a utilitarianism without values. I am certainly not going to furnish a catalogue of the values by which I was able to appreciate the amorality of propaganda, but rather present the existential attitudes in which I situated myself. First of all, there is the question of autojustification.
Propaganda functions in the following manner: it represents the passage from "there is power" to "it is right and just that there be this power. In other words, it has, in effect, a justifying moral content. Always, even when it is revolutionary and contestant, all propaganda is a process of autojustification by the denunciation of the other as being evil.
It offers justification to the individual adherent as well as being the justification of the group which organizes and diffuses it.
But by this very fact, it leads inevitably towards totalitarianism, because, from the moment it is granted that "it is just and good that there be this power," one passes immediately to: "therefore there can only be this power, and all others are consequently unacceptable and to be eliminated. Now, it appeals to a need, to a request, to a desire of modern man who is looking first and foremost to justify himself, to be justified, to be declared just precisely because he lives in a universe which is very 8 disputed, because he feels himself being drawn into unjust acts and also because he no longer has the resource of a religious reference, for example Christianity, which was precisely a religion of justification.
But the great difference is due to the fact that Christianity never gives a justification as such; it never declares to man that he is just, but only saved, pardoned, justified; and that this is not something acquired but a gift.
But modern man, the modern parties, want to be declared just. A Threefold Critique I would say that therein lies my first element of appraisal: All processes of autojustification, at whatever level they might be, appear to me to be false, dangerous, and entrapping. It's the gateway to all the present destruction of values and of ethics. All ethical behavior seems to me to imply a questioning of self, a reassessment, and the acceptance of one's values being questioned by others.
It is the price that must be paid both to measure oneself to the value, and to have a possible relation in truth. Here, it is neither a question of auto-criticism as it can be practiced in the communist party in the Middle Ages it was in the Church nor of culpability as understood in psychoanalysis.
One can very well recognize oneself as a liar or as being vain without living in some sort of morbid culpability. But the self-examination, the examination of conscience as it was called in the old Christian vocabulary , the acknowledgment of one's faults, and the refusal to search at any cost to be just, seem to me to be constituent elements of any ethical life, of any relationship.
It was first of all based upon my objection to autojustification that I was brought to view propaganda as amoral and leading the propagandee to a dangerous behavior which fact was verified for all propaganda, included among these advertising, which developed consumer bulimia as a being's justification, with all the dangers that carried at all levels, and which are revealing themselves now, in the area of hygiene or in the economy!
The second axis of my ethical reflection is closely related to my description of the second paragraph of this article: there is no moral existence unless it be rooted in the past, situated in a continuitythe continuity of one's own life just as much as that of one's group or of the history of one's country.
There is no morality of instantaneousness. It is false to think that man is in a zero stage and that at each moment he must choose and make decisions. It would be a freedom like that of Buridan's ass.
Man has no moral existence except with reference to the totality of his experiences, or of those which were handed down to him and from which a "lesson" is drawn; and the "Widsom of nations" is a sort of composite of these reflections. This supposes, therefore, a historical continuity, a recall, a recapitulation, an anamnesis, as the experience occurs, an explanation of what has taken place. I'm not speaking here of the great moral principles and values, but of moral existence.
And in the area of faith Christian , ethical existence supposes "repetition" in the Kierkegaardian sense of the term. No morality exists when one pre-tends to situate one's self simply in the present, in the instantaneous. This was clearly evident when around the 's the idea of a morality of "successive sincerities" was spread by Andre Gide, for example, but also by T. This is the very negation at one and the same time of ethics and or moral existence. Yet, it is precisely in this state of actuality, of the immediate present, of the obliteration of the words and acts of the past, that propaganda places us.
There is no greater obstacle to propaganda than history continuity of generations and philosophy explicative reflection on the experience of events.
Propaganda is, therefore, destructive of the possibilities, of the foundations, of the basic premises of ethics. But if I judge it thusly, it is, evidently, because I believe that morality exists only in this process already mentioned of rootedness and of reflection or anamnesis.He states that his intention is not to establish an anarchist society or the total destruction of the state.
The work of humanity is glorified and worshiped, while simultaneously enslaving humankind. New York: Seabury, , Helen Weaver. I have studied it as a technique.