"I eventually concluded that the best way to understand Illich's work is as a detailed study of the myriad and varied barriers to friendship that exist in modern life."
- Eugene J. Burkart, in The Challenges of Ivan Illich (2002)
"The modern state could be interpreted as an employment agency with a gun to protect the fuel pump."
- Ivan Illich, "The Social Construction of Energy" (1983)
"The ability to die one's own death depends on the depth of one's embodiment. Medicalisation spelled dependence, not disembodiment. Disembodied people are those who now think of themselves as lives in managed states--like the RAM drive on their personal computer. Lives do not die; they break down. You can prepare to die--as a Stoic, Epicurean, or Christian. But the breakdown of life cannot be imagined as a forthcoming intransitive action. The end of life can only be postponed. And for many, this managed postponement has been lifelong; at death, it is an uninterrupted memory. They know that life began when their mother observed a fetus on the ultrasound screen. A life, they were then an object of environmental, educational, and biomedical health policies. Today, it is not sophisticated terminal treatment but lifelong training in misplaced concreteness that is the major obstacle to a bittersweet acceptance of our precarious existence and subsequent readiness to prepare for our own death."
- Ivan Illich, "Death Undefeated" (1995)