Ellul’s Propaganda

Jacques Ellul’s Propaganda was published in France as Propagandes (plural) in 1962. The English translation was issued in 1965. Passages from it will be given here in a post which will be updated regularly.


  • To study anything properly, one must put aside ethical judgments. Perhaps an objective study will lead us back to them, but only later, and with full cognizance of the facts.
  • The reader should know that he is (…) dealing with (…) a work that (…) endeavors to bring contemporary man a step closer to an awareness of propaganda — the very phenomenon that conditions and regulates him. 1
  1. The great question that lies in the background to much of McLuhan’s work is how perception aka insight aka learning is possible at all.  For if experience is always conditioned and regulated, how can something new originate in it?  And yet humans beings do learn new things, beginning with language when they are still infants. How is that humans can and do cross this gap “where the action is”?

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