“One No, Many Yeses” – Sam Ewell & Dougald Hine in Illich Conversation #3

Gustavo Esteva coined the slogan “One No, Many Yeses” to communicate the way Illich’s sense of “the vernacular” offers many small and winding exits off of the one big road of industrial “progress” that tries to gather up the whole globe into one great machine, one overriding system so vast that it no longer has an outside. Modernity, or The Machine, if you prefer Paul Kingsnorth’s term, as a kind of mutant of Christian mission, aims to bring everyone and everything into its fold, dissolving local culture and custom, eroding the soil of friendship that is always particular, fitting to this place, these people. In this conversation, Dougald Hine, Sam Ewell and friends colour in some of the small, convivial possibilities that lie on the other side of a no to the promises of modernity, the kinds of gardens that can grow up in the cracks of big systems.

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