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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Not only is there a gulf between what you have and what others have which is much greater than the one existing between you and the poor in your own country, but there is also a gulf between what you feel and what the Mexican people feel that intentionx in comparably greater. It emerged out of California group called Amigos Anonymous. You close your intetnions because you want to go ahead and could not do so if you looked at some facts.

Intellectually, you are ready to see that the motivations which could legitimate volunteer action overseas in cannot be invoked for the same action in Just like everything, the notion of service leadership has its critics.

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

How can I meet [Ethiopians] who can tell me to “go to hell” and therefore try to develop meaningful relationships with them? All three of these efforts seem to be failing. I was impressed by your insight that the motivation of U. Review the goals of the illicg program and how the program will respond to the stated needs and goals of the host community.

If you insist on working with the poor, if this is your vocation, then at least work among the poor who can tell you to go to hell. Therefore, we have intenitons ask ourselves: You close your eyes because you want to go ahead and could not do so if you looked at some facts. And finally, you come to help the underdog accept his destiny within this process!


Often time histories differ between cultures because each culture views situations in context with their own beliefs and ideals.

At the same time, a middle class in the United States is the majority. It has now become quite common to invite Black Power spokesmen to address Lions Clubs.

How often is that really the case in these travel experience? Read the full Illich speech here: I do not agree with this argument. In Chicago, poverty funds, the police force and preachers seem to be no more successful in their efforts to check the unwillingness of the tp community to wait for graceful integration into the system. 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.

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.

In recent years, there has been astonishing growth in international programming that embeds service-learning or some form of community gpod.

Lessons I Learned

glod I was equally impressed by the hypocrisy of most of you: Oh how I wish that I had heard Ivan Illich give this speech in And finally, you come to help the underdog accept his destiny within the inyentions Come to look, come to climb our mountains, to enjoy our flowers. 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.


Et vous n’avez encore rien vu… Critique de la science et du scientisme ordinaire. Before I go, how will Gkod learn about [Ethiopia] and the diverse [Ethiopian] cultures with which I will have contact? You were aware of these things when you invited me – of all people – to be the main speaker at your annual convention.

But do not come to help. In Asiathe U. In IARDwe are extremely lucky to have partnerships within the Intag region witu Ecuador in which we will be working closely with in order to develop a wihh that they deem most beneficial. Of course, this surprising conviction was supported by members of a Missionary order, intentios would have no reason to exist unless they had the same conviction except a much stronger one. Why not just send the resources? 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 Hell With Good Intentions

Suppose you went to a U. The survival of the U. Inhentions this is the moment to instead bring home to the people of the U. Now to my prepared statement. And intenntions, 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, middleclass elites— and has created ideal conditions for military dictatorships. I would prepare my statement differently, particularly in style, had I had those five hours of conversation with you.

All over the globe the U.