It's a fictional streetscape we wander, here, a metropolis whose buildings, boulevards, and back alleys are in a constant state of flux. This is every place, and yet, no place at all - a city of dreams and a dream of a city.

Here, we explore the life and work of Ivan Illich and his circle of collaborators. There's no comprehensive index to the articles published, but we invite you to use the Search box, to the left, and to explore the Archive links that appear at the bottom of each page. Comments are welcomed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Madhu Suri Prakash interviews Javier Sicilia

Yes! magazine has published a brief interview with Javier Sicilia, the Mexican poet and friend of Ivan Illich's whose 24-year-old son was shot dead by a drug gang early this year. The interview was conducted by Madhu Suri Prakash, another of Illich's friends and a professor at Penn State.

As noted here earlier, Sicilia has emerged as spiritual leader to thousands of Mexican citizens who are demanding that their government radically change how it deals with illegal drugs and the people who are in the business of shipping those drugs into the U.S.A. In this interview, he states:

If from the very beginning drugs were decriminalized, drug lords would be subjected to the iron laws of the market. That would have controlled them. That would have allowed us to discover our drug addicts and offer them our love and our support. That would not have left us with 40,000 dead, 10,000 disappeared and 120,000 displaced...

The war is caused by puritan mentalities: like those of [Mexican President Felipe] Calderón and [former US President George] Bush. In the name of abstractions — the abstraction of saving youth from drug addiction — they have brutally assassinated thousands of young people, while transforming others into delinquents.

Albert Camus spoke a terrible truth. “I know something worse than hate: abstract love.” In the name of abstract love, in the name of God and Country, in the name of saving the youth from the drug, in the name of the proletariat, in the name of abstractions, our politicians and war policy makers have committed the most atrocious crimes on human beings, who are not abstractions, who are bones and flesh. That is what our country is living and suffering today: in the name of an abstract goodness, we are suffering the opposite: the horror of war and violence, of innocents dead, disappeared, and mutilated.

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Santa Rosa, California, United States
Writer, photographer, music fan; father and husband living in northern Calif.