Jacques Ellul’s “Anti-Democratic Economy:” Persuading Citizens and Consumers in the Information Society
Jacques Ellul's thoughts on the increasingly conspicuous role of persuasion techniques bring to the fore the persuasive and normative effects of new communication techniques at the core of contemporary consumer/citizen culture, as well as the limits of that instrumental stance towards mediated human communication. By drawing insights from authors who shared some of Ellul's concerns, such as Frankfurt School theorists, Vance Packard and Ivan Illich, this paper explores this “normative invasion” of human life by technique as a feature of contemporary information technology politics, specifically in (1) the historical context of normative and material technological colonization, and (2) the intertwining of propaganda and information warfare in the current reshaping of information politics.
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