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Quotes of the day: Ivan Illich
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Published Monday, December 02, 2013 @ 12:02 AM EST
Dec 02 2013

Ivan Illich (September 4, 1926 - December 2, 2002) was an Austrian philosopher, Roman Catholic priest, and "maverick social critic" of the institutions of contemporary Western culture and their effects on the provenance and practice of education, medicine, work, energy use, transportation, and economic development. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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As enclosure by the lords increased national productivity by denying the individual peasant to keep a few sheep, so the encroachment of the loudspeaker has destroyed that silence which so far had given each man and woman his or her proper and equal voice. Unless you have access to a loudspeaker, you now are silenced.

At the moment of death I hope to be surprised.

Effective health care depends on self-care; this fact is currently heralded as if it were a discovery.

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.

Inevitably modern technology has polarized society. It has polluted the environment. It has disabled very simple native abilities and made people dependent on objects.

It is from your eye that I find myself.

It takes more time and effort and delicacy to learn the silence of a people than to learn its sounds.

Jesus was an anarchist savior. That's what the Gospels tell us.

Leadership does not depend on being right.

Machines which ape people are tending to encroach on every aspect of people's lives, and that such machines force people to behave like machines.

Man must choose whether to be rich in things or in the freedom to use them.

Modern medicine is a negation of health. It isn't organized to serve human health, but only itself, as an institution. It makes more people sick than it heals.

Most learning is not the result of instruction. It is rather the result of unhampered participation in a meaningful setting.

People need new tools to work with rather than new tools that work for them.

School has become the world religion of a modernized proletariat, and makes futile promises of salvation to the poor of the technological age.

School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.

Schooling, which we engage in and which supposedly creates equal opportunities, has become the unique, never-before-attempted way of dividing the whole society into classes. Everybody knows at which level of his twelve or sixteen years of schooling he has dropped out, and in addition knows what price tag is attached to the higher schooling he has gotten. It's a history of degrading the majority of people.

Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends on knowing that secret; that secrets can be known only in orderly successions; and that only teachers can properly reveal these secrets. An individual with a schooled mind conceives of the world as a pyramid of classified packages accessible only to those who carry the proper tags.

Societies in which most people depend for most of their goods and services on the personal whim, kindness, or skill of another are called underdeveloped, while those in which living has been transformed into a process of ordering from an all-encompassing store catalogue are called advanced.

To hell with the future. It's a man-eating idol.

Together we have come to realize that for most men the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school.

We must rediscover the distinction between hope and expectation.


Categories: Ivan Illich, Quotes of the day


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