Ivan Illich Quotes
Most people, throughout history, haven't learned one language to the exclusion of another. You learn to speak differently to a peasant and to a shoemaker. You speak differently to your mother, who comes from Burgundy, and to your father, who comes from Swabia.
The idea of Homo monolinguis - one-languaged man - the idea of children having to grow into one system before we confuse them with another mental system, is an idea with which, unfortunately, many people are brought up now.
I consider the indiscriminate propagation of self-help to be morally unacceptable... self-help is the opposite of autonomous or vernacular life.
Huge institutions producing costly services dominate the horizons of our inventiveness.
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.
The college and university systems, at least, have become like television. There's a bit of this and a bit of that and some compulsory program with its components connected in a way that only a planner could understand.
School divides life into two segments, which are increasingly of comparable length. As much as anything else, schooling implies custodial care for persons who are declared undesirable elsewhere by the simple fact that a school has been built to serve them.
We have become unable to think of better education except in terms of more complex schools and of teachers trained for ever longer periods.
By the early seventeenth century, a new consensus began to arise: the idea that man was born incompetent for society and remained so unless he was provided with 'education.'
Schools that are freely accessible allow the organization of certain specific learning tasks which a person might propose to himself. Schools, when they are compulsory - as we see at this moment in the United States - create a dazed population, a 'learned' population, a mentally pretentious population, such as we have never seen before.
So persuasive is the power of the institutions we have created that they shape not only our preferences but actually our sense of possibilities.
The telephone lets anybody say what he wants to the person of his choice; he can conduct business, express love, or pick a quarrel. It is impossible for bureaucrats to define what people say to each other on the phone, even though they can interfere with - or protect - the privacy of their exchange.
Healthy people are those who live in healthy homes on a healthy diet; in an environment equally fit for birth, growth work, healing, and dying... Healthy people need no bureaucratic interference to mate, give birth, share the human condition and die.
Up to now, economic development has always meant that people, instead of doing something, are enabled to buy it... Economic development has also meant that, after a time, people must buy the commodity because the conditions under which they could get along without it had disappeared from their physical, social, or cultural environment.
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