Download e-book for iPad: A critique of the new commonplaces. by Jacques Ellul

By Jacques Ellul

Jacques Ellul-much much less solemn in temper than usual-here cracks open political and sociological commonplaces, destructively and wittily demonstrating how our unthinking recognition of them encourages hypocrisy, smugness, and psychological inertia. one of the stereotypes of concept and speech hence exploded are such words as "You cannot act with no getting your palms soiled" "Work is freedom" "We needs to stick with the present of heritage" and "Women locate their freedom (dignity) in paintings" a definite variety of those previous saws preside over our everyday life. they allow us to appreciate each other and to swim within the traditional present of society. they're authorized as so yes that we virtually by no means query them. They serve straight away as enough reasons for every little thing and as "clinchers" in too many arguments. Ellul explores the ways that such clichés deceive us and stop us from having self sustaining thoughts-and in truth retain us from dealing with the issues to which they're theoretically addressed. they're the "new commonplaces" simply because the 19th century introduced forth many such commonplaces (they are enshrined in Leon Bloy's Exégése and Flaubert's Dictionnaire des idées reçues), so our century has been busy growing its personal. What Ellul has performed is to face nonetheless lengthy adequate to examine them rigorously, assault them with cool cause, and go away them nakedly uncovered. during this notable rfile, Ellul's caustic fearlessness is on the carrier of truths that frequently are merciless, yet regularly are lucid and impassioned. He represents the voice of intelligence, and whereas doing so is usually hilarious and regularly healing approximately concerns of first value.

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Is only that price I all of reality! I give A Critique of the New Commonplaces that all? humble What am I forced to do by 37 [ my condition as man, employee, product of psychological forces, citizen, hemmed by a network of social, administrative, and legal regulations and political imperatives what I am forced to do turns out to be all I need do television viewer, in close — to assure myself of the goddess's favor. How could overcome with gratitude? What's more, when when the mystery, am I I I not be enter into initiated into the esoteric ( Marxist or existentialist) explanation of the current of history, I discover that history!

By what right does anyone tell me that I am going against the course of history, if it is I who create it from one moment to the next? A simple- 36 JACQUES ELLUL ] minded contradiction? In spite of the profusion and confusion of existentialists and communists I have read, I have found nobody who has resolved it except by semantic games and intellectual puzzles. The thread of history is fatality reinstated, readmitted, and revered under cover of scientific parabolas and politiBut it is the very persons who judge everything on the basis of this commonplace who claim to be free men.

Duty, as well as that of the belong. All contradictions are re- myself in harmony with goodness and truth I my can see which collectivity to 29 [ , racked their brains over when this chaos, the solution was within their reach! All that was necessary was to reduce everything to history tory into a linear vector. and to transform his- Whether the operation corre- sponds to truth or reality does not matter, as long as satisfying and soothing. Everything is it is suddenly resolved. " "History which correspond commonplace in different milieux.

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A critique of the new commonplaces. by Jacques Ellul


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