Jacques Ellul's Article on Techniques Integrates Machines with Society

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This article by Jacques Ellul on Techniques is very fascinating. The writer discusses of machines and its relationship with technique which has been described nicely. Technique is a way of doing something that fulfills a goal or an aim, in an organized manner. It is an art to do the work in a very meaningful and efficient way to reach the best results. Early civilizations have seen the man growing up in many aspects, this approach and ability to invent new things is called ‘technique’.
The term Techniques is greatly confused with either science or machines. Both rely on the term Technique for their existence and to some extent depend on it. But technique itself is independent and is not referred only to machines and science. Today we
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Technical activity is the most primitive activity of man. For example: activities like hunting, fishing, clothing, food gathering, building shelters, and weapons making all used technique. How did man started domesticating animal or chose certain plants to cultivate is a mystery not explained. Who motivated man for this? Is it some divine power or magic? Maybe there was a spiritual power to guide the man to use such techniques. Such things can be explained from the life of our ancestors. Be it Greeks and Romans using new techniques for building new arms for military or inventing Archimedes principle. Or be it people from East making finest silks. The decline of technical aspect occurred due to Christians who revolted against anything that was technical. Christians believed anything that is technical is against nature and so there were public burning of books which had explained techniques and anyone who supported new techniques was labeled as a traitor.

But during the industrial revolution why there was a sudden emergence of technical progress and why it had not occurred before is a question which can be answered by relating it to scientific progress. It was the close connection in technical invention and scientific research which was responsible for the research that was done primarily in areas where technically it
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