Ximi Elga


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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The only people with whom you can hope to communicate with are sons of the middle class. It is quite possible that this hypocrisy be unconscious in most of you not in all, of this I am very certain. Consider the following facilitation questions for large group discussions:. 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. I am here to entreat you to use your money, your status and your education to travel in Latin America.

What is the average annual income of a witu in the host country?

To Hell With Good Intentions

Soon you would be made aware of your irrelevance among the poor, of your status as middle-class college students on a summer assignment. 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.

For the past six years I have become known for my increasing opposition to the presence of any and all North American ” dogooders ” in Latin America. Goals of a project should always be created collaboratively with the community and fully based off of what the community deems important to them and their idea of self-development. A “dove” must always be included in a public dispute organized to increase U. And finally, you might have invited me here hoping that you would be able to agree with most of what I say, and then go ahead in good faith and work this summer in Mexican villages.


Your reports on past summers prove that you are not even capable of understanding that your dogooding in a Mexican village is even less relevant than it would be in a U.

To better understand the implications of global service-learning through a critical perspective. And finally, you might have invited me here hoping that you would be able to agree with most of what I say, and then go ahead in good faith and work this summer in Mexican villages.

Thus, people who have finished high school are members of a tiny minority.

You close your eyes because you want to go ahead helo could not do so if you looked at food facts. People offended by your pretentiousness would wtih or spit. Next to money and guns, the third largest North American export is the U.

I do not agree with this argument. All over the globe the U. At least one class session prior to departure. You will not help anybody by your good intentions. It is no social distinction in the U. Such is the purpose of the Alliance for Progress of the middle-classes which the U.

Ask what they will be doing differently now that they have participated in this particular service-learning program and how they will continue to engage in service now that they are back, whether on campus or in the local community.

Lessons I Learned

Why not just send the resources? Et vous n’avez encore rien vu… Critique de la science et du scientisme ordinaire. Perhaps there is also something to the argument that young men should be promiscuous for a while in order to find out that sexual love is most beautiful in a monogamous relationship. All you will do in a Mexican village is create disorder. Conference on Inter-American Student Projects.


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

Or that the best way to leave LSD alone is to try it for a while — or even that the best way of understanding that your help in the ghetto is neither needed nor wanted is to try, and fail.

You can only dialogue with those like you – Latin American imitations illicch the North American middle class. Avertissez-moi par e-mail des nouveaux articles.

I say this as a brother speaking to brothers and sisters. To hell with good intentions. I do have deep faith in the enormous good will of the U. Today, the existence of organizations like yours is offensive to Mexico. On coming here I considered it my duty to continue my efforts toward getting you out of business.

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People who understand that your own bad consciences rush you to this gesture would laugh condescendingly. Such is the purpose of the Alliance for Progress of the middle classes which the U. There is an Irish saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions: I do not believe that such conversion is possible for a whole organization, but I do believe that it is possible for a few individuals.

In Latin America the situation is quite different: Review the goals of the service-learning program and how the program will respond to the stated needs and goals of the host community.