Dreaming about Jacques Ellul

From my diary, Wednesday 22 July, 1981:

“It’s early morning. I’m about to wake up, when I feel someone is standing by, or hanging above, the bed. I cannot see the face or shape. Then he (or she) is dissolved in a kind of weak explosion and disappears to the sound of a very loud voice screaming: ‘Jacques Ellul, Jacques Ellul’. I’m very upset.”

Says the Wikipedia article on Ellul:

“Jacques Ellul was a French philosopher, law professor, sociologist, lay theologian, and Christian anarchist. Ellul was a longtime Professor of History and the Sociology of Institutions on the Faculty of Law and Economic Sciences at the University of Bordeaux. A prolific writer, he authored 58 books and more than a thousand articles over his lifetime, many of which discussed propaganda, the impact of technology on society, and the interaction between religion and politics. The dominant theme of his work proved to be the threat to human freedom and religion created by modern technology. Among his most influential books are The Technological Society and Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes.”

Considered by many a philosopher, Ellul was by training a sociologist who approached the question of technology and human action from a dialectical viewpoint. His constant concern was the emergence of a technological tyranny over humanity. As a philosopher and theologian, he further explored the religiosity of the technological society.

Also published on Facebook (3 Nov 2015), this post elicited the following conversation with  Anders Dræby (in Danish):

Thomas Söderqvist: Anders Dræby: du som er psykoanalytisk interesseret, har du nogen kommentar til min post om Jacques Ellul igår?
Anders Dræby: Nu ved jeg ikke, hvilken betydning Jacques Ellul har for dig. Men der er jo noget særligt knyttet til selve opvågningsøjeblikket, som også Ludwig Binwanger har skrevet om, der hvor man bevæger sig fra den ene eksistensdimension til den anden. Ifølge Binswanger vågner man i selv samme øjeblik som man går fra at være givet af drømmens univers til selv at blive handlende. Kunne være at Jacques Ellul har noget med handling/handlingslammelse at gøre, som har relation til dit øvrige liv på det tidspunkt?”
Thomas Söderqvist: Intressant!! Oops, ja, jeg var snøret ind i et komplekst net af netop handling og handlingslammelse på det tidspunkt!
Thomas Söderqvist: Anders, I had been interested in Jacques Ellul for a year or so, and had read two of his articles the night before. I thought Ellul was maybe a way of synthesizing Marx and Weber.
Thomas Söderqvist: And he is interesting. As the Wikipedia article says, “Considered by many a philosopher, Ellul was by training a sociologist who approached the question of technology and human action from a dialectical viewpoint. His constant concern was the emergence of a technological tyranny over humanity. As a philosopher and theologian, he further explored the religiosity of the technological society.”
Anders Dræby: det teknologiske tyrranni, det er jo også i sig selv en slags lammelse, det er vel ikke så underligt, hvis det har sat nogle frustrationer i gang. For at lave en sammenligning. Da jeg var barn så jeg kong Salomons miner, hvor en gruppe mennesker bliver spærret inde i disse miner, og det havde jeg mareridt om i lang tid. En oplevelse af indespærrethed, der satte sig i mine drømme
Thomas Söderqvist: Jeg sad fast i en intellektuel saks: på den ene side følte jeg at jeg havde gennemskuet intelligentsians mediebaserede vej mot samfundshegemoni, på den anden side var /(og er jeg stadigvæk) en del af samme elite.
Anders Dræby: åhh, det giver jo god mening. Så derfor måtte Jacques Ellul opløse sig til stor frustration
Thomas Söderqvist: Tak for de gode synspunkter. Hvor i Binswangers forfatterskab kan jeg finde det der om opvågningsøjeblikket?
Anders Dræby: Traum und Existenz
Thomas Söderqvist: 1000 sider? Har du mon en mere præcis side- (eller i hvert fald kapitel-)henvisning?
Anders Dræby: det er en artikel og ikke an lang tekst. den findes også oversat til engelsk med forord af Michel Foucault
Thomas Söderqvist: Tak! Much appreciated!
Anders Dræby: Den tyske artikel er i Ludwig Binswanger (1994). Ausgewählte Werke, band 3, Assanger Verlag
Thomas Söderqvist: Fint, det burde KB kunne klare! Endnu en gang tak for din kommentar – det lyder spot-on.
Anders Dræby: men værd at have Foucaults forord med