To Hell with Good Intentions by Ivan Illich. An address by Monsignor Ivan Illich to the Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects (CIASP) in Cuernavaca. An address by Ivan Illich to the Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects all and in order to make you aware that good intentions have not much to. An Austrian philosopher who founded the Intercultural Documentation Center in Mexico, Ivan Illich was known as a “maverick social critic” of contemporary.
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To Hell with Good Intentions refer to: A speech by Ivan Illich; A song by Welsh Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Download as PDF · Printable version. An address by Monsignor Ivan Illich to the Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects To Hell with Good Intentions (Ivan Illich) (pdf). This discussion-based activity builds on Ivan Illich's famous speech, “To Hell with Good Intentions.” Through a facilitated discussion and reflective.
I was equally impressed by the hypocrisy of most of you: by the hypocrisy of the atmosphere prevailing here. I say this as a brother speaking to brothers and sisters. I say it against many resistances within me; but it must be said. Your very insight, your very openness to evaluations of past programs make you hypocrites because you - or at least most of you - have decided to spend this next summer in Mexico, and therefore, you are unwilling to go far enough in your reappraisal of your program.
You close your eyes because you want to go ahead and could not do so if you looked at some facts. It is quite possible that this hypocrisy is unconscious in most of you.
Intellectually, you are ready to see that the motivations which could legitimate volunteer action overseas in cannot be invoked for the same action in Intellectual insight into the difficulties of fruitful volunteer action had not sobered the spirit of Peace Corps Papal-and-Self-Styled Volunteers. Today, the existence of organizations like yours is offensive to Mexico.
I wanted to make this statement in order to explain why I feel sick about it all and in order to make you aware that good intentions have not much to do with what we are discussing here. To hell with good intentions. This is a theological statement. You will not help anybody by your good intentions. There is an Irish saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions; this sums up the same theological insight.
The very frustration which participation in CIASP programs might mean for you, could lead you to new awareness: the awareness that even North Americans can receive the gift of hospitality without the slightest ability to pay for it; the awareness that for some gifts one cannot even say "thank you. 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.
You were aware of these things when you invited me - of all people - to be the main speaker at your annual convention.
This is amazing! I can only conclude that your invitation means one of at least three things: 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 its institutional purpose. Therefore you might have invited me here to help others reach this same decision. You might also have invited me because you want to learn how to deal with people who think the way I do - how to dispute them successfully.
It has now become quite common to invite Black Power spokesmen to address Lions Clubs. 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.
To Hell With Good Intentions by Ivan Illich
This last possibility is only open to those who do not listen, or who cannot understand me. I did not come here to argue. I am here to tell you, if possible to convince you, and hopefully, to stop you, from pretentiously imposing yourselves on Mexicans. I do have deep faith in the enormous good will of the U. However, his good faith can usually be explained only by an abysmal lack of intuitive delicacy.
By definition, you cannot help being ultimately vacationing salesmen for the middle-class "American Way of Life," since that is really the only life you know.
A group like this could not have developed unless a mood in the United States had supported it - the belief that any true American must share God's blessings with his poorer fellow men.
The idea that every American has something to give, and at all times may, can and should give it, explains why it occurred to students that they could help Mexican peasants "develop" by spending a few months in their villages. 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.
It is now high time to cure yourselves of this. You, like the values you carry, are the products of an American society of achievers and consumers, with its two-party system, its universal schooling, and its family-car affluence.
You are ultimately-consciously or unconsciously - "salesmen" for a delusive ballet in the ideas of democracy, equal opportunity and free enterprise among people who haven't the possibility of profiting from these. Next to money and guns, the third largest North American export is the U. Ideally, these people define their role as service. Actually, they frequently wind up alleviating the damage done by money and weapons, or "seducing" the "underdeveloped" to the benefits of the world of affluence and achievement.
Perhaps this is the moment to instead bring home to the people of the U. The U.
To Hell with Good Intentions
The survival of the U. All over the globe the U. Such is the purpose of the Alliance for Progress of the middle-classes which the U. But increasingly this commercial alliance must be protected by weapons which allow the minority who can "make it" to protect their acquisitions and achievements.
But weapons are not enough to permit minority rule.
The marginal masses become rambunctious unless they are given a "Creed," or belief which explains the status quo. This task is given to the U.
The United States is currently engaged in a three-front struggle to affirm its ideals of acquisitive and achievement-oriented "Democracy. In Asia, the U.
All three of these efforts seem to be failing. In Chicago, poverty funds, the police force and preachers seem to be no more successful in their efforts to check the unwillingness of the black community to wait for graceful integration into the system. And finally, in Latin America the Alliance for Progress has been quite successful in increasing the number of people who could not be better off - meaning the tiny, middle-class elites - and has created ideal conditions for military dictatorships.
Initiate a discussion with the students by posing various questions about the upcoming service-learning program.
What is the nature of the program and the program purpose? What type of work will be done? Are materials are being brought with the group and at what cost or bought locally?
Who are the community partners and how have they been engaged in the development of this program? Are any local people being hired to work with the group, and if so, at what remuneration? How much will it cost for each student to participate in the upcoming program? Calculate the total amount it will cost for the full group.
What is the average annual income of a person in the host country? Relate the total cost of the program to the number of annual salaries earned in the host country. What is the language spoken in the host country?
because you - or at least most of you - have decided to spend this
Determine how many students in the group speak the host country language. As time allows, work through the small group discussions with students.
Select students to read aloud each passage. Consider the following facilitation questions for large group discussions: a.
What can you do before and during your time abroad to learn about diverse cultures within the host country? Why do you need to go there?
What will you bring that is needed i. Why not just send the resources? How have you been preparing yourself for this service-learning program? After the small group discussions, move from Illich to facilitate a broader discussion of what all of this means for the upcoming service-learning program.
Discuss the expressed needs of the host community, the needs and goals of the students themselves, and the broader issues of reciprocity and equity.Soon you would be made aware of your irrelevance among the poor, of your status as middle-class college students on a summer assignment.
The youth component to the movement began in the mids. 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.
D degree from University of Hawaii at Manoa. This gulf is so great that in a Mexican village you, as White Americans or cultural white Americans can imagine yourselves exactly the way a white preacher saw himself when he offered his life preaching to the black slaves on a plantation in Alabama. Illich, I.
Initiate a discussion with the students by posing various questions about the upcoming service-learning program. However, his good faith can usually be explained only by an abysmal lack of intuitive delicacy.
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