Quotes from Ivan Illich

A (so far) random selection of Ivan's formulae summing up his thoughts

L'obsession de la santé parfaite
"il est temps de renoncer ŕ toute guérison de la vieillesse"
"l’art de célébrer le présent est paralysé par ... la recherche de la santé parfaite"
"il faut comprendre la recherche de la santé comme l’inverse de celle du salut"

A Constitution For Cultural Revolution
"A perfect meritocracy, in which there would be no excuses ... would be hell"
"the production of ... useful things results in ... useless people" (Marx)

Energy and Equity
"The model American puts in 1,600 hours to get 7,500 miles: less than five miles per hour"
"vehicles become the means for effecting a net transfer of life-time"


"transport can enhance freedom of movement only within the limits in which one can renounce it."

Ivan Illich in conversation with Majid Rahnema (1997)
"During a decade or more, my criticism focused on the procedures used in the attempt to reach goals that I did not then question. I objected to compulsory schooling as an inappropriate means to pursue universal education -- which I then approved (Deschooling Society). I rejected speedy transportation as a method of increased egalitarian access (Energy and Equity). In the next step, I became both more radical and more realistic. I began to question the goals of development more than the agencies, education more than the schools, health more than the hospitals. My eyes moved from the process toward its orientation, from the investment toward the vector's direction, toward the assumed purpose. In Medical Nemesis, my main concern was the destruction of the cultural matrix that supported an art of living characteristic of a time and place. Later, I increasingly questioned the pursuit of an abstract and ever more remote ideal called health."

Das Evangelium und der Blick (Flüssen nördlich der Zukunft 2006) p. 132 "bei den Griechen wurde das Sehen aufgefasst... als eine Erektion, eine Emanation,... so liebend wie andere Erektionen auch".

Philosophy... Artifacts... Friendship (1996)
"prolonged educational treatment"

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