As he aims to achieve a more ‘convivial society,’ Illich unpacks the concept of ‘modernized poverty’ as an oppositional factor. With the exception of the mega-rich, who can disappear into luxury, he understands everyone else as living in conditions of ‘modernized poverty.’ Within this, the proliferation and dominance of commodities prevents any autonomous living, culturally shaped use-value, and subsequently renders satisfaction outside of market-relations impossible. He instead suggests a method of ‘convivial austerity,’ where people would put a limit on the maximum amount of power that anyone could hold, re-activating the possibility for personal use-value.
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