Are all governments--east and west, Muslim and secular, authoritarian and constitutional, Republican and Democratic--fundamentally the same, all of them under the extraordinary, growing power of ""technique"" and bureaucracy? Is all politics, then, just an illusory affair of lies, deception, propaganda, partisan passions, and chaos on the surface of government and party? In his vast and penetrating writings, Bordeaux sociologist Jacques Ellul (1912-1994) points in those directions. Political Illusion and Reality is a collection of twenty-three essays on Ellul's political thought. Veteran as well as younger Ellul scholars, political leaders, activists, and pastors, discuss aspects of Ellul's thought as they relate to their own fields of study and political experience. Beginning with his 1936 essay ""Fascism, Son of Liberalism,"" translated and published here in English for the first time, Ellul and these authors will provoke readers to think some new thoughts about politics and government, and think more deeply about the main issues we face in our politically divided and troubled times. ""If for Jacques Ellul 'La Technique' was already 'the wager of the century' in 1954, when he wrote his famous book, in the 21st century it has become a nightmare More than ever, the thought of Ellul helps us to analyze, understand, and act in the face of the propaganda for efficiency at any price, the political illusion, and the ecological and climate change threats. By their contributions, the authors in this collection allow a new generation to discover what for me was an awakening of conscience and a guide for my activism."" --Jose Bove, ecologist, social activist, and former student of Jacques Ellul ""No two readers understand an author in exactly the same way. A few authors, like Jacques Ellul, who write existentially, push us to confront our various beliefs, ideas, and lives. This stimulating collection of essays demonstrates this point. No one will agree with each essay, but everyone will discover new insights into and new applications of Ellul's thought."" --Richard Stivers, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Illinois State University ""The essays in this international collection can only help Jacques Ellul to be recognized, at last, as one of the great thinkers of our time. They do real justice to someone who anticipated the political and philosophical crises today ranging across the so-called developed world . . . This book, from an International Jacques Ellul Society colloquium at Berkeley, California, will help everyone to better grasp the universal relevance of Ellul's thought."" --Noel Mamere, Former mayor of Begles, France, Former student of Jacques Ellul ""Once Ellul teaches you to see, you can never see the world the same again. We are, therefore, fortunate to have Political Illusion & Reality to help us see Ellul for the extraordinary sociological and theological thinker he was. Be warned, however--seeing the way Ellul sees will not make your life easy."" --Stanley Hauerwas, Emeritus Professor of Ethics, Duke University David W. Gill recently retired after forty years as a business school and seminary professor of ethics. He is the author of seven books and the founding president of the International Jacques Ellul Society. David Lovekin is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Hastings College (Nebraska). He is author of Technique, Discourse, and Consciousness: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Jacques Ellul.
David W. Gill recently retired after forty years as a business school and seminary professor of ethics. He is the author of seven books and the founding president of the International Jacques Ellul Society. David Lovekin is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Hastings College (Nebraska). He is author of Technique, Discourse, and Consciousness: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Jacques Ellul.