New PDF release: ABC: The Alphabetizaton of the Popular Mind

By Ivan Illich, Barry Sanders

ISBN-10: 0714521507

ISBN-13: 9780714521503

In ABC... thinker and cultural analyst Ivan Illich and medieval pupil and literary critic Barry Sanders have produced an unique, meticulous and provocative learn of the arrival, unfold and current decline of literacy. They discover he impression of the alphabet on primary notion procedures and attitudes, on reminiscence, on political groupings and religous and cultural expectancies. Their exam of the current erosion of literacy within the new technological languages of 'newspeak' and 'uniquack' they usually indicate how new attitudes to language are changing our international view our experience of self and of neighborhood.

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Example text

To see past the purely numerical calculations of the impending troubles of ‘overpopulation’ and through to the sociocultural realities they hide rather than reveal, we need first to note that the Are there too many of them? 43 places where the ‘population bomb’ is expected to explode are in most cases the parts of the planet where the population is currently the least dense. Africa, for instance, has 55 inhabitants per square mile, while there are on average 261 people per square mile living in the whole of Europe, even when the steppes and the permafrosts of Russia are included, 857 per square mile living in Japan, 1,100 in the Netherlands, 1,604 in Taiwan and 14,218 in Hong Kong.

A few decades later the turn was to come of the mines and factories in which the victims of agricultural progress once sought salvation. And yet in all such cases the way to release the pressure on the life conditions of labourers and to improve their living standards was sought in a thinning out of the crowds besieging the gates of the establishment offering employment. That solution seemed obvious and caused no controversy as there was no shortage of places on to which the surplus could be expeditiously unloaded.

For most practical purposes, that monopoly remains uncontested even today, despite the accumulating evidence of the fictional status of the state’s claims to sovereignty. In order to salvage whatever is left of state sovereignty in its present-day phantom-like incarnation, the orthodox ways and means, complete with their customary legitimations, are routinely resorted to. Present-day nation-states may no longer preside over the drawing of blueprints and exercise the ownership right of utere et abutere (use and misuse) over the sites of order-building, but they still claim the foundational, constitutive prerogative of sovereignty: their right of exemption.

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ABC: The Alphabetizaton of the Popular Mind by Ivan Illich, Barry Sanders


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