Shackled: forty years ago, a shrewd theologian saw how needing more energy created less freedom.(THE ENERGY MATRIX)(Ivan Illich).
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IVAN ILLICH, the maverick Catholic theologian, spent most of his life dissecting modern society’s obsession with never-ending consumption. It was a thankless task that the Viennese-born cleric practiced with wit and grace.
Little escaped his critical eye. To Illich, modern compulsory schooling operated as a corrupt monopoly that bred conformity. In the mid-1970s, he famously documented that the medical establishment actually made people sick with all its drugs and pretense of care. He also observed that most modern institutions had grown so big that they had lost their conviviality. On and on he admonished, until cancer silenced his voice in 2002.
But Illich wrote about energy as well, and he did so most prophetically In a small essay published in Le Moride at…
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