Daniel Seifert's Reviews > Tools for Conviviality

Tools for Conviviality by Ivan Illich
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's review
Apr 13, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: gentle-cynicism, social-criticism, a-re-read, ethics
Read from April 13 to May 01, 2011

Having read this again in my mid-life and after seeing with more open eyes the manipulative and oppressive state and culture of government, institutions and corporations, while experiencing a more intentional simple life by choosing the harder way (e.g., gardening, a using a bike as alternative transportation) I am beginning to parse services and products on a continuum between convivial and manipulative while tracking aspects that give them their place on the range of these two terms. This exercise is helping to see more fully the choices I have and setting boundaries to the “tools” that have greater promise of conviviality.

“I intend it to mean the autonomous and creative intercourse among persons, and the intercourse of persons with their environment; and this in contrast with the conditioned response of persons to the demands made upon them by others, and by a man-made environment. I consider conviviality to be individual freedom realized in personal interdependence and, as such, an intrinsic ethical value.” (Illich, Ivan (1975). Tools for Conviviality. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, Inc., 11).

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