An Austrian philosopher who founded the Intercultural Documentation Center in Mexico, Ivan Illich was known as a “maverick social critic” of contemporary. CIASP Canada – This talk was delivered on the evening of Saturday April 20 at St . Mary’s Lake of the Woods Seminary in Niles (Chicago). Titled “To Hell with Good Intentions,” Illich discusses the deep dangers of paternalism inherent in any “do-gooding” voluntary act of service.

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I am sure you know of my present efforts to obtain the voluntary withdrawal of all North American volunteer armies from Latin America – missionaries, Peace Corps members and groups like yours, a “division” organized for the benevolent invasion of Mexico.

If you insist on working with the poor, if this is your vocation, then at least work among hwll poor who can tell you to go to hell.

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But weapons are intentiohs enough to permit minority rule. It is no social distinction in the U. And you will know when you fail. However, his good faith can usually be explained only by an abysmal lack of intuitive delicacy. In his usual biting and sometimes sarcastic style, Illich goes to the heart of the deep dangers of paternalism inherent in any voluntary service activity, but especially in any international service “mission.

Austrian philosopher Ivan Illich, who was also a Roman Catholic priest, was one who thought otherwise. All over the globe the U. I say this as a brother speaking to brothers and sisters. Ivan Illich is intetions author of Deschooling Society and other provocative books.

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To Hell With Good Intentions

There is an Irish saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions: The dictators were wifh at the service of the plantation owners, but illoch they protect the new industrial complexes. Of course, this surprising conviction was supported by members of a Missionary order, who would have no reason to exist unless they had the same conviction except a much stronger one.

Ina Canadian was the director of the Mexican Office. Let me explain this statement, and also let me explain why most Latin Americans with whom you might be able to communicate would disagree with me. In Mexico, it is a tiny elite. The only people with whom you can hope to communicate intentioms are sons of the middle class. The very frustration which participation in CIASP programs might mean for you, could lead you to new awareness: A “dove” must always be included in a public dispute organized to increase U.

And it will be the foreign priest who will especially confirm your self-image for you. Site copyrightUniversity of KentuckyEducation Ollich. I do not agree with this argument.

To Hell with Good Intentions (my imaginary conversation with Ivan Illich) | Lessons I Learned

However, his good faith can usually be explained only by an abysmal lack of intuitive delicacy. Anybody in this country who did not finish high school is considered underprivileged. I am here to tell you, if possible to convince you, and intentlons, to ullich you, from pretentiously imposing yourselves on Mexicans. All you will do in a Mexican village is create disorder. After all, his livelihood and sense of purpose depends on his firm belief in a year-round mission which is of the same type as your summer vacation-mission.


Some among you might have reached the conclusion that CIASP should either dissolve altogether, or take the promotion of voluntary aid to the Mexican poor out of it institutional purpose.

“To Hell With Good Intentions” – Addressing Volunteerism – The Intag Project

Seven years ago your country began and financed a so-called ” Alliance for Progress. Indeed, most Americans now do.

I am here to tell you, if possible to convince you, and hopefully, to stop you, from pretentiously imposing yourselves on Mexicans. Also it is important to acknowledge the potential power dynamics that may be formed between yourself and those of different backgrounds and to be able to understand where the assumed power may stem from, whether it is a result of a presumed educational gap or differing social status.

Oh how I wish that I had heard Ivan Illich give this speech in What is the average annual income of a person in the host country? Come to look, come to climb our mountains, to enjoy our flowers. What type of work will be done? By now it should be evident to all America that the U.