Ellul’s Lectures on Planning and Forecasting

The article, “Jacques Ellul’s Lectures on Forecasting and Planning,” was first
published in Futures Research Quarterly,” Winter 1985, Volume 1, Number 4.

by Randal Marlin, Adjunct Research Professor, Department of Philosophy, Carleton
University, Ottawa.





I had attended lectures from Jacques Ellul in 1979-80 at the Institut d’Etudes
Politiques, Université de Bordeaux, France, taking notes on his remarks about
planning and forecasting. Following my return to Canada, I had many discussions
with Keith Wilde, who was with the Strategic Planning Division, Canadian
Department of Agriculture. He was also on the editorial board of a new publication,
Futures Research Quarterly, by the World Future Society, Bethesda, Maryland, and
encouraged me to write a synopsis of Ellul’s lectures on the subject and submit it as
an article for that publication. Before submitting it I sent my synopsis to Jacques
Ellul who gave his approval for publication.

Read the PDF: Randal Marlin Article on Ellul Lectures

Note: the Introduction to the article is by Randal Marlin. The following three main sections are paraphrased writings by Marlin of Ellul’s lectures. This adaptation is “intended to be read as if listening to Ellul.”  These sections are:

  1. The Social Phenomenon of Technique
  2. Techniques as the Impetus for the Study of the Future
  3. Advice on Forecasting and Planning