Beyond Economics and Ecology: The Radical Thought of Ivan Illich

Beyond Economics and Ecology: The Radical Thought of Ivan Illich

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Overview

Each of the four essays reprinted here was written for a specific occasion and together comprise only the smallest selection from a larger corpus questioning commodity and energy-intensive economies. The essays are presented thematically instead of chronologically to offer a better view of the sweep of Illich's argument. In the first two, “War against Subsistence” and “Shadow Work,” Illich reveals both the ruins on which the economy is built and the blindness of economics which cannot but fail to see it. The second two essays, “Energy and Equity” and “The Social Construction of Energy,” unearth the nineteenth century invention and subsequent consequences of 'energy' thought of as the unseen cause of all 'work' whether done by steam engines, humans, or trees. The science of ecology relies on this assumption and, as Illich explained, unwittingly fuels the addiction to energy. The close dance of energy consumption and economic growth is characteristic of not just industrially geared societies. After all, energy consumption steadily increases even in so-called post-industrial societies, fueling the fortunes of Google and Apple no less than Wal-Mart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780714523606
Publisher: Boyars, Marion Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/08/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 128
File size: 166 KB

About the Author


Ivan Illich (1926-2002) was an Austrian philosopher, Roman Catholic priest, and critic of technological society and the unacknowledged axioms of the modern mind. He was appointed vice-rector of the Catholic University in Puerto Rico in 1956. In 1961, Illich founded the Centro Intercultural de Documentacion (CIDOC) at Cuernavaca, Mexico, where he developed many of his ideas. He is the author of many books including Limits to Medicine, Deschooling Society, Disabling Professions, Celebration of Awareness, Tools for Conviviality, Energy and Equity, Shadow Work, Gender, H2O and the Waters of Forgetfulness and ABC: The Alphabetization of the Popular Mind.

Sajay Samuel is Associate Professor of Accounting at Pennsylvania State University, and lives in the USA.

Jerry Brown is Governor of the State of California, and lives in Oakland, CA.

Table of Contents

Preface, by Jerry Brown, Governor of California
Introduction, by Sajay Samuel
The War against Subsistence, by Ivan Illich (from Shadow Work)
Shadow Work, by Ivan Illich (from Shadow Work)
Energy and Equity, by Ivan Illich
The Social Construction of Energy, by Ivan Illich

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The Serious Game 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
wandering_star on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's summer in the Swedish archipelago at the very end of the nineteenth century, and a student and a young girl are in love. However, he is unable to commit himself to her, and they lose contact. Many years later, when both are in loveless marriages, they meet again by chance. But have they changed too much to rekindle their early romance? Well, actually, he hasn't changed all that much - he still dislikes the idea of promising himself to anybody, and he still needs her to be the innocent thing of his youthful dreams. But of course, if she were still so innocent, they would not be able to embark on a love affair. And so this time around, it's much more dark and bitter. There's clearly a theme of morality running through the book. The student grows up to be a journalist, and with his friends and colleagues they talk about theories of morality and truth. There are many references to famous lies, frauds and scandals of the period, from La Grande Therese to the Dreyfus affair. And the story itself is seems to me to be deliberately 'immoral' - characters have adulterous affairs, illegitimate children, divorces, and this is all presented as absolutely normal, which I am sure was scandalous at the time the book was written. It wasn't clear to me, though, how this theme fitted with the main story. At one point, Arvid (the student) muses on how he always saw himself as an upstanding, moral person, but now his life is full of lies and hypocrisy. I suppose this might be more effective if there had been any other evidence that his life was upstanding and moral rather than a constant search for the easiest way out of things. Actually I found him a rather tiresomely juvenile figure, and if I was Lydia (the girl) I would have got pretty fed up with being constantly questioned about my spiritual purity...
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