Ivan Illich Quotes.
The medicalization of early diagnosis not only hampers and discourages preventative health-care but it also trains the patient-to-be to function in the meantime as an acolyte to his doctor. He learns to depend on the physician in sickness and in health. He turns into a life-long patient.
I didn’t want to go into the papal bureaucracy, so I thought of doing a postdoctoral thesis, which they call a ‘Habilitation’ in German universities, on alchemy in the work of Albert the Great.
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.
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.
Carry a candle in the dark, be a candle in the dark, know that you’re a flame in the dark.
The medical establishment has become the major threat to health.
Huge institutions producing costly services dominate the horizons of our inventiveness.
Leadership does not depend on being right.
The public school has become the established church of secular society.
Modern medicine is a negation of health. It isn’t organised to serve human health, but only itself, as an institution. It makes more people sick than it heals.
We cannot go beyond the consumer society unless we first understand that obligatory public schools inevitably reproduce such a society, no matter what is taught in them.
School is an institution built on the axiom that learning is the result of teaching. And institutional wisdom continues to accept this axiom, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
We must rediscover the distinction between hope and expectation.
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.
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.
Schools teach the need to be taught.
School has become the world religion of a modernized proletariat, and makes futile promises of salvation to the poor of the technological age.
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.
We can only live changes: we cannot think our way to humanity. Every one of us, every group, must become the model of that which we desire to create.
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.’
The most important thing you learn at school is that learning only happens by being taught.
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.
The pupil’s imagination is ‘schooled’ to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work.
At the moment of death I hope to be surprised.
I consider the indiscriminate propagation of self-help to be morally unacceptable… self-help is the opposite of autonomous or vernacular life.
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 true miracle of modern medicine is diabolical. It consists in making not only individuals but whole populations survive on inhumanly low levels of personal health.
I’ve nothing against schools! I’m against compulsory schooling.
School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.
The compulsion to do good is an innate American trait. Only North Americans seem to believe that they always should, may, and actually can choose somebody with whom to share their blessings. Ultimately this attitude leads to bombing people into the acceptance of gifts.
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.
Observations of the sickening effect of programmed environments show that people in them become indolent, impotent, narcissistic and apolitical. The political process breaks down, because people cease to be able to govern themselves; they demand to be managed.