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Energy and Equity

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  87 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A junkie without access to his stash is in a state of crisis. The 'energy crisis' that exists intermittently when the flow of fuel from unstable countries is cut off or threatened, is a crisis in the same sense. In this essay, Illich examines the question of whether or not humans need any more energy than is their natural birthright. Along the way he gives a startling anal ...more
Paperback, 84 pages
Published by Harper & Row (first published 1973)
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David Rush
I read the essay over 30 years ago and remembered being amazed. I remembered the idea of a Radical Monopoly where the societal structure is so pervasive in one approach that it, by its very structure, blocks any competition. Back in the 1980's riding a bicycle around Dallas was a pretty scary thing if you were doing anything other than hanging out in your own neighborhood. At least that is how I interpreted his idea of Radical Monopoly, especially he makes the claim in the book that the bicycle ...more
letto per non sentirmi più un matto, quando dico che le piste ciclabili sono una scusa per ghettizzare le biciclette, per lasciare le auto libere di impossessarsi dello spazio e del tempo, e dell'anima delle persone. l'ho capito qualche sera fa, a pioltello, vedendo la difficoltà di un ciclista nel passare una rotonda. le rotonde sono fatte per le auto, non per i ciclisti. sempre più spazi sono fatti solo per le auto, e solo per le auto veloci. è lo stesso processo per cui da milano a roma ora s ...more
El socialismo puede llegar solo en bicicleta.” Jose Antonio Viera-Gallo, Assistant Secretary of Justice in the government of Salvador Allende. And so goes Illich’s argument for the bicycle. Thick, dense stuff, but the main point of his argument is that once a mode of transportation reaches a certain threshold (say 15-20 mph), the social structure is rearranged to accommodate the transport at the expense of free time and freedom of mobility. He also raises the concept of a “radical monopoly” wher ...more
il testo di Illich, che in realtà ho letto sotto il titolo (ben più pertinente) di "energia ed equità", soffre meno gli anni sulle spalle di quel che credevo, ma resta un testo strano.
con alcuni spunti interessanti, ma col paragrafo che sta in copertina che rimane forse l'unico veramente interessante. il resto è una teoria affascinante che però mi pare portata sempre troppo alle estreme conseguenze per avere un riscontro concreto nel mondo reale. pare quasi un manifesto futurista al contrario, u
Great reading on radical transportation/transit ideas. The whole thing makes sense. Beyond a certain threshold of speed (25mph or so), the gap widens between the haves and the have-nots, and it actually degrades society. Illich argues that equity can be restored to society by limiting vehicular speed to about the speed of a bicycle, and actually that everyone should have a bicycle instead of a car or using public transportation. The transportation industry, of course, will hear none of it.

I lik
Illich presents a very unique argument in Energy and Equity; basically, he contends that not only is energy unevenly distributed throughout the world and between the social classes, but that the availability of abundant and cheap energy in any given society necessarily leads to increases in social inequality. Although he offers no realistic solutions to this dilemma, his understanding of affluence and the ability to travel at high velocities is one aspect of his line-of-reasoning that I will nev ...more
Geschwindigkeiten >25km/h (Fahrrad) sind schlecht für Mensch und Natur. So könnte man das Buch in ganz kurz zusammenfassen. Autos brauchen Platz, stehlen uns Zeit und teilen die Gesellschaft in arm und reich. Erkannte Herr Illich schon 1974. Dem habe ich erst mal nichts hinzuzufügen.

Das Buch liest sich an manchen Stellen etwas mühsam, der Autor ist ausgebildeter Theologe und Philosoph. Das merkt man gelegentlich.
Summary: the evil motor enslaves society and causes inequality, but only when transportation surpasses the speed of a bicycle. Oh, come to find out Vietnam was a war between the motor and the bicycle also. Even as somebody who commutes by bike first and public transit second, I found this book useless.
Pesante, interessante ma evitabile. Metà libro è un introduzione con linguaggio intricato alla realtà del consumo energetico. Finale critica sull'auto.
a very solid and short book, radical perspective on energy.
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Ivan Illich was an Austrian philosopher, Roman Catholic priest and critic of the institutions of contemporary western culture and their effects of the provenance and practice of education, medicine, work, energy use, and economic development.
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