Manipulative practices

Ivan Illich talked about an institutional spectrum. [1] On the “right” are organisations which are hierarchical and manipulative. They try to manipulate their customers/clients into becoming dependent, into using more of the service. They are rules-based and the rules serve the interests of the organisation. On the “left” of the spectrum are organisations which are convivial. They don’t try to coerce consumption. People can freely participate and freely leave. They have rules but they are designed to facilitate the maintenance of the organisation.

Classic examples of “right-wing” institutions are: pharmaceutical companies, schools, much of modern medicine, the military and police etc. Examples of left-wing institutions might be: community based informal education groups, a small local market, small businesses which do not yet operate manipulative CRM systems, eBay (to some extent).

When, as a result of addiction, dependency and over-consumption, something goes wrong

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer