Jacques Ellul argued that modernity's nearly exclusive reliance on science and technology to design society would threaten hunan freedom. Of particular concern for Ellul was the prospect of the technical milieu overwhelming culture. The commodification of the Volta River in order to modernize Ghana illustrates the Ellulian dilemma of the autonomy of technique. Displacing a commons way of life, the Volta River Project has imposed an energy commodity regime and a technocratic management scheme to rule the basin, which now includes modern aluminum manufacturing. But after 50 years of modernization, there is little evidence of poverty alleviation or an advance of freedom.
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DOI 10.1177/0270467604273821
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