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Illich Quotations

A good educational system should have three purposes: it should provide all who want to learn with access to available resources at anytime in their lives; empower all who want to share what they know to find those who want to learn it from them; and finally, furnish all who want to present an issue to the public with the opportunity to make their challenge known. (Deschooling Society)

In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy. (Tools for Conviviality)

The necessary matrix for the accumulation of economic value, the very character of a successful modern society, is the principled devaluation of traditional cultures. (Beauty and the Junkyard)

Now at the end of the twentieth century, the time has come to recognise another community that, like the poor souls, is marginalised in a unique way: the captive souls whom science and technology, welfare and biocracy glue to their bodies, preventing their departure. (Posthumous Longevity).

We must understand that unnecessary articles and goods that people possess reduce their power to imbibe happiness from the surroundings. (The Message of Gandhiís Hut)

I see in modern sickness and dying occasions for finding oneself. (Health as oneís own responsibility: No thank you!)

Feet, given us for a pilgrimage on earth, atrophy into appendages of the accelerator and brake. (The Passing of a Prophet, tribute to Jacques Ellul).

I demand certain liberties for those who would celebrate living rather than
preserve ëlifeí:
- the liberty to declare myself sick;
- the liberty to refuse any and all medical treatment at any time;
- the liberty to take any drug or treatment of my own choosing;
- the liberty to be treated by the person of my choice, that is, by anyone in the community who feels called to the practice of healing, whether that person be an acupuncturist, a homeopathic physician, a neurosurgeon, an astrologer, a witch doctor, or someone else.
- the liberty to die without diagnosis. (Health).

Schools impeded learning; transportation contrived to make feet redundant; communications warped conversation. (Death undefeated).

I think if I had to choose one word to which hope can be tied, it is hospitality. (Land of Found Friends).

Social responsibility, we now know, is but the soft underbelly of a weird sense of power through which we think ourselves capable of making the world better. We thus distract ourselves from becoming fully present to those close enough to touch. (Conversation with Majid Rahnema)

I examined the history of hospitality and care, and discovered that the Church initiated the sterilisation of charity through its institutionalisation as service. (Philosophy, Artifacts, Friendship)