Nathan Gardels at Noema:
Illich was a purveyor of impossible truths, truths so radical that they questioned the very foundations of modern certitudes — progress, economic growth, health, education, mobility. While he was not wrong, we had all been riding on a train going in the opposite direction for so long that it was hard to see how, in any practical sense, the momentum could ever be stalled. And that was his point. Now that “the shadow our future throws” of which Illich warned is darkening the skies of the present, it is time to reconsider his thought.
Illich’s central contention was that persons are relational beings embedded in a matrix of the natural cosmos, convivial community with others and, as a fallen but still faithful priest, God’s grace. As the maverick thinker saw it, Western modernity rent asunder this multidimensional oneness of “Life.”