Merton (1964). Foreword. (The Technological Society.)

Merton, R. K. (1964). Foreword. In J. Ellul, The Technological Society (pp. v–viii). New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

“_The Technological Society_ requires us to examine anew what the author describes as the essential tragedy of a civilization increasingly dominated by technique.” (p v)

“By technique, for example, he means far more than machine technology. Technique refers to any complex of standardized means for attaining a predetermined result.” (p vi)

“Ours is a progressively technical civilization: by this Ellul means that the ever-expanding and irreversible rule of technique is extended to all domains of life. It is a civilization committed to the quest for continually improved means to carelessly examined ends.” (p vi)

“Politics in turn becomes an arena for contention among rival techniques. … Political doctrine revolves around what is useful rather than what is good.” (p vii)

“The technological society requires men to be content with what they are required to like; for those who are not content, it provides distractions — escape into absorption with technically dominated media of popular culture and communication. … Progress then consists in progressive dehumanization — a busy, pointless, and, in the end, suicidal submission to technique.” (p viii)

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