History is made up of gains as well as losses. Sometimes it is easy to say which is which. Sometimes it depends on where you’re sitting.
What is different today is that living to grow old has become a reasonable expectation, something we can almost take for granted, rather than a matter of luck.
Wherever you look, to the left or to the right, you will have a hard time finding a politician who doesn’t want to create more jobs. They may argue over the best means to do so, but they would hardly think of asking whether employment as we know it is a good thing.
From his rise to prominence in the late 1960s to the last conversations with David Cayley, published as The Rivers North of the Future, Ivan Illich sought to uncover the hidden assumptions on which modern industrial societies had been built.
The walls of the house on the Antešić land at Rab were built in the last years of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, but three generations would go by, and two wars, before it came to have a roof. They were a metre thick, those walls, made of local stone, the openings in places no architect would think to put them. It was the brothers Stjepan and Mile Antešić who began the building. On the island, the...
Would Ivan Illich have been better understood if the book for which he was best known had been titled, instead, Rehoming Society? For our school systems were not his particular obsession: rather, he saw them as a graphic example of a deeply and damagingly counterproductive way of organising our lives.
In the opening pages of The Spell of the Sensuous, David Abram stands in the night outside his hut in Bali, the stars spread across the sky, mirrored from below in the water of the rice paddies, and countless fireflies dancing in between. This disorientating abundance of wonder is close to what many of his readers have felt on encountering Abram’s words and his way of making sense of the world.
Published in Dark Mountain: Issue 2. I am retracing my steps, trying to work out where I last saw it. In the north of Moscow, there is a park called VDNKh. It was built in the1930s, under Stalin, and then rebuilt in the 1950s as an Exhibition of the Achievements of the National Economy. An enormous site, full of gilded statues, fountains and pavilions dedicated to different industries and...