Although Jaques Ellul wrote this text in the 1980’s, it could have been today… in times of the coronavirus.
Originally published by Ausnahmezustand 2020. Translated by Enough 14.
Of course nuclear power plants are absolutely reliable. It goes without saying that the piled up rockets, the submarines and fighter planes, the neutron and hydrogen bombs, the toxic products aside from war, the barrels and containers with radioactive waste and dioxin, the piles of lead and quicksilver, the ever thicker layer of carbon dioxide, all this is not dangerous. Just as little, we will be told, as in 1850, the luminous gases or the first railways were not dangerous.
Poor knuckleheads, we traitors to progress, we have understood nothing. No one will ever fight the last of the last wars. They will never sink the 500,000-tonne tankers, nor will they irreparably drill offshore probes three thousand metres deep. Genetic engineering will never prrl off to create monsters or creatures that perfectly fit the fixed model. Downers, tranquilizers, anxiolytics will never be a generalized chemical straitjacket. Artificial food produced by ” intelligent ” bacteria will never be decayed. Informatics will never be an instrument of a police force which is present everywhere. The cameras that will be set up in every street will never be the eyes of those who want to illuminate even the last corner and not the eye of a god who was otherwise only a fantasy.
The state will never become totalitarian. The gulag will never expand.
Just trust. So trust only the scientists, the laboratories, the statesmen, the technicians, the administrators, the city planners, who all only want the well-being of mankind, who remain in control and know the right direction. Trust only the analysts, the computer scientists, the hygienists, the economists, the guardians of the city (oh Plato, now we have you!). Just trust them, because their trust is essential for this witchcraft.
La foi au prix du doute, 1980 (English: Faith at the price of doubt)
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