Modern discussion about politics, the future, culture, etc. paralyze me. Mass media and the internet facilitate the adoption of easy slogans. Healthca...moreModern discussion about politics, the future, culture, etc. paralyze me. Mass media and the internet facilitate the adoption of easy slogans. Healthcare is a 'right' and we should get as much of it as we want the second we want it.
But who defines what healthcare is, or what goal it should work towards? Who draws up the balance sheet that includes the poisonous chemicals the medical complex produces, the waste, the populace unable to provide any degree of self-care, the elderly abandoned by their families in old-age homes? Who asks what is lost by forcing modern treatment upon third world people, while their own medicines are patented up and forbidden them? They protest, and we don't listen - the medical-industrial complex is a 'right' we will force upon them!
I don't think anyone needs to, or should, agree with every single statement in this book to realize that it's a perspective desperately, badly missing at the table of our current debates. Illich is the counterbalance we need if we're to remember what words mean, what we want to be working towards, the kind of world we'd like to live in, and what makes up a good life.
That's not something the corporate state wants us to think about. So, all the more reason I urge everyone to read this; it would be nice to have the whole story, rather than just parroting the fashions our bloggers and talking heads care about this minute.(less)
Okay, let's just all agree, if there is any justice among gods or men, that this book will sweep The Wealth of Nations out of its spot in history, and...moreOkay, let's just all agree, if there is any justice among gods or men, that this book will sweep The Wealth of Nations out of its spot in history, and will go on to influence how we think about economics for the next 5,000 years. That is all.(less)
Egad, this killed me, because there are so many interesting things in this book, lots of little factoids and p...moreMen. Men DID IT ALL, ALL THE BAD THINGS!
Egad, this killed me, because there are so many interesting things in this book, lots of little factoids and perspectives I was tremendously curious about. And I would have enjoyed it a lot more, if she could have quit finding different ways to say how the "witchy, twitchy blood flow of the she-goddess moon" was repressed by The Men. Bloody fucking hell. Around page 130 I just gave up and started writing notes in the margins for the next lucky reader. You're welcome, whoever you are!
Also, Jay, I get your bone with Christianity. I was raised by a pagan mother. But a day came when I realized the worldview I'd been presented with was a little one-sided. To say it was "Christianity that did it!" neglects the fact that the Butler/Christianity was just once piece in a larger puzzle. It made you miss how revolutionary the early Church was, and it also made you miss a really good opportunity to point out how The Patriarchy and Empire took over the Church and messed it up. It would have been nice to see you discuss how The Truce of God in the Calendar year protected peasants and women from the ravages of the aristocracy. There are multiple forces at work in history, for good and ill, and I would say the destruction of other ways of looking at time came (and comes about - the new Calendar of Reason thing freaks me out) from those eternal sources the wise have warned about through the centuries - Power, Greed, Empire, the Will to Dominate and Control. Women can be as susceptible to them as men. And as much as I love a good Beltane celebration, I find a better explanation of why those urges exist inside humans from Christianity and the ancient philosophers. (less)
Today I came across an article about how during the Cold War the US gov't had plans to blow up the moon to display American military superiority. It w...moreToday I came across an article about how during the Cold War the US gov't had plans to blow up the moon to display American military superiority. It was a severe blow to my faith in moral sanity. Carl Sagan was involved! Our leaders are lunatics. And so, with distraught hands, I turned back to Kohak's great work.
It'd be fairest to quote the entire book in full, but alas, I cannot. I can only highly, highly recommend this beautiful, generous, profound piece. Kohak stands back from the world and weighs its beauty and pain, reflects on the philosophies which have hurt men and their world as well as aided them, and evaluates the destructive pathologies which threaten our ability to exist. His enormous breadth of knowledge enables him to see clearly and explain connections which are oft overlooked. There's space for hope, though, just as importantly, there's a condemnation of all that prevents us from communion and stewardship with the world. It's very wonderful, and also, full of small moments where a man stands outside on a winter's night and gazes at the moon. Our poor, fragile moon.(less)
I'm not an economist. I liked a lot of his thoughts, but I didn't need eight pages of details to illustrate every point, especially when his points se...moreI'm not an economist. I liked a lot of his thoughts, but I didn't need eight pages of details to illustrate every point, especially when his points seemed obvious already. Nonetheless, pretty good stuff here.(less)
I agreed with much of it, but ultimately it doesn't go far enough. Patel provides good arguments against the free market, but personally, I'm past tha...moreI agreed with much of it, but ultimately it doesn't go far enough. Patel provides good arguments against the free market, but personally, I'm past that. I understand we can feed everyone on the planet now and we're choosing not to; but the most important fact right is that we are very literally killing the planet and ourselves. I'm not interested in debating the free market. I'm interested in what the fuck are we going to do about the melting of glaciers, collapse of ecosystems, the destruction of thousands of species, and the possible extinction of all life on Earth. Of course Ayn Rand was crazy as shit, and John Locke was a parasite. But we need more than that, more even than a charming peek at the Zapatista Juntas. We need to call each other to dismantle our corporate tyrannies immediately, and figure out how we can save our planet. Still, though, I like where Patel's head is at, and for the fence-sitters, I recommend it.(less)
Oh, this was just very, very good. I loved his ideas and his prose. It may sound strange, but after some of the other things I've been reading, I actu...moreOh, this was just very, very good. I loved his ideas and his prose. It may sound strange, but after some of the other things I've been reading, I actually found this more uplifting. He likes people, and he sympathizes with how we got into this mess, while still being very clear about: hey, yeah, this is an enormous fucking disaster. I liked the guy. (less)