In Perspectives on Our Age (1981), Jacques Ellul points out that our newfound devotion to Vulcan had broad unforeseen consequences.
First intellectuals, then everyone else, began to rationally analyze every aspect of human life, society, culture, and creation to discover ways of improving efficiency.
New social groups needed to be organized to use newly discovered efficiencies and invented machines (p. 42). Factories were built to exploit both.
Culture needed to change too. Previously neglected aspects of life needed to be given new value in support of efficiency and rationalism. Work became valued rather than leisure (42). To create what would become, in our day, the Global Technological System (GTS), every possible effort of every human needed to be mobilized. Not even children were to be spared.
Happiness had been understood as the fruit of a close relationship with Jesus or perhaps meaningful intellectual development. No more. Vulcan taught us that happiness really meant becoming enthusiastic consumers of various industrial products (43). Bacchus, god of consumption, was so pleased when we agreed.
If today people are being put out of work, that’s only because universal exertion is no longer as important to Vulcan in his drive for a GTS that is as intensive, extensive, and pure as possible. To Vulcan and his human minions, the GTS matters most. If he and they can make do without people, fine! The purpose of the GTS is not to enhance the vitality of people. It’s to enhance that of Vulcan!
To Vulcan and his human minions, the GTS matters more than people, cultures, societies, and creation. That is why the GTS cannot be introduced anywhere without subordinating everything to its own well-being (44) to the glory of Vulcan. Everyone’s personality must be restructured in technological terms. Old beliefs, values, norms, goals, and stories must be abandoned. Traditional social groups and customary relationships must be shattered. Creation must be flattened.
A note here to churches and seminaries who want to boost membership and relevance by getting technologically sophisticated. Forget it. To use technology as a means to is to abandon Jesus for Vulcan. As Jesus warned us regarding Pluto, god of money, we can’t serve two masters. That goes for Vulcan too.