Monday, September 17, 2012


Machines which ape people are tending to encroach on every aspect of people's lives, and that such machines force people to behave like machines.  The new electronic devices do indeed have the power to force people to "communicate" with them and with each other on the terms of the machine.  Whatever structurally does not fit the logic of machines is effectively filtered from a culture dominated by their use.  The machine-like behaviour of people chained to electronics constitutes a degradation of their well-being and of their dignity which, for most people in the long run, becomes intolerable.  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.

-- Ivan Illich (1926-2002), Austrian-born Christian anarchist & author, Silence Is A Commons (1982)

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