Zitate von Ivan Illich
(04.09.1926 Wien - 02.12.2002 Bremen)
Als 68er war mir Ivan Illich schon mit seinen frühen Veröffentlichungen
aufgefallen. Seine höchst unkonventionellen, anarchistischen Ideen
begeisterten mich. Meine Wertschätzung wuchs, als ich 1973 längere
Zeit die USA bereiste und mir zur Theorie den Selbst-Praxisunterricht
gab. Illichs Sicht vom "Bildungsgeflecht" versus dem üblichen
"Bildungstrichter" sprach vom "web", als das Internet
noch unbekannt war. Er schlug Modelle vor, die den heutigen des cyber
space ähneln, aber ohne die negativen Aspekte der Vereinzelung:
ihm schwebte ein Netzwerk vor, das als "interaktiv" zu bezeichnen
ein Pleonasmus wäre.
Ivan Illich verstarb am 2. Dezember 2002 im Alter von 76 Jahren in Bremen.
Born in Vienna in 1926, Illich grew up in south-central Europe. He
studied natural science, philosophy, theology, and history. During the
1950s he worked as a parish priest among Puerto Ricans in New York City,
then served as vice-rector of the Catholic University of Puerto Rico.
During the 1960s he founded centers for cross- cultural studies, first
in Puerto Rico then in Cuernavaca, Mexico. During the 1970s his Centro
Intercultural de Documentación (CIDOC) became an internationally
respected focus for intellectual discussion. Since the 1980s he has
divided his time between Mexico, the United States, and Germany. He
currently holds an appointment as Visiting Professor of Philosophy and
of Science, Technology, and Society at Penn State. He also teaches at
the University of Bremen.
Universal education through schooling is not feasible. It would be
no more feasible if it were attempted by means of alternative institutions
built on the style of present schools. Neither new attitudes of teachers
toward their pupils nor the proliferation of educational hardware or
software (in classroom or bedroom), nor finally the attempt to expand
the pedagogue's responsibility until it engulfs his pupils' lifetimes
will deliver universal education. The current search for new educational
funnels must be reversed into the search for their institutional inverse:
educational webs which heighten the opportunity for each one to transform
each moment of his living into one of learning, sharing, and caring.
Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what
the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance.
Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment
there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success.
The pupil is thereby "schooled" to confuse teaching with learning,
grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency
with the ability to say something new. His imagination is "schooled"
to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for
health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police
protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat
race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and
creative endeavor are defined as little more than the performance of
the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement
is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of
hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question.
Few countries today remain victims of classical poverty, which was
stable and less disabling. Most countries in Latin America have reached
the "take-off" point toward economic development and competitive
consumption, and thereby toward modernized poverty: their citizens have
learned to think rich and live poor. Their laws make six to ten years
of school obligatory. Not only in Argentina but also in Mexico or Brazil
the average citizen defines an adequate education by North American
standards, even though the chance of getting such prolonged schooling
is limited to a tiny minority. In these countries the majority is already
hooked on school, that is, they are schooled in a sense of inferiority
toward the better-schooled. Their fanaticism in favor of school makes
it possible to exploit them doubly: it permits increasing allocation
of public funds for the education of a few and increasing acceptance
of social control by the many.
All over the world the school has an anti-educational effect on society:
school is recognized as the institution which specializes in education.
The failures of school are taken by most people as a proof that education
is a very costly, very complex, always arcane, and frequently almost
Obligatory schooling inevitably polarizes a society; it also grades
the nations of the world according to an international caste system.
Countries are rated like castes whose educational dignity is determined
by the average years of schooling of its citizens, a rating which is
closely related to per capita gross national product, and much more
The escalation of the schools is as destructive as the escalation of
weapons but less visibly so. Everywhere in the world school costs have
risen faster than enrollments and faster than the GNP; everywhere expenditures
on school fall even further behind the expectations of parents, teachers,
and pupils. Everywhere this situation discourages both the motivation
and the financing for large-scale planning for nonschooled learning.
The United States is proving to the world that no country can be rich
enough to afford a school system that meets the demands this same system
creates simply by existing, because a successful school system schools
parents and pupils to the supreme value of a larger school system, the
cost of which increases disproportionately as higher grades are in demand
and become scarce.
Two centuries ago the United States led the world in a movement to
disestablish the monopoly of a single church. Now we need the constitutional
disestablishment of the monopoly of the school, and thereby of a system
which legally combines prejudice with discrimination. The first article
of a bill of rights for a modern, humanist society would correspond
to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: "The State shall
make no law with respect to the establishment of education." There
shall be no ritual obligatory for all. (...)
Hay que reconocer que la incorporación de algo más de
un cierto quantum de energía por unidad de un producto industrial
inevitablemente tiene efectos destructores, tanto en el ambiente sociopolítico
como en el ambiente biofísico... más allá de cierto
nivel de uso per capita de energía física, el ambiente
de una sociedad deja de funcionar como nicho de su población...
In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the
prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy.
A just society would be one in which liberty for one person is constrained
only by the demands created by equal liberty for another.
Zum ersten Todestag Ivan Illichs findet unter dem Titel "Philia
- im Freien Denken" ein Internationales Symposion an der Universität
Bremen statt (5. - 7. Dezember 2003). Informationen: Prof. Dr. Johannes
Beck, Universität Bremen, FB 12, Institut für Kulturforschung
und Bildung, www.pudel.uni-bremen.de
Au fil de mes lectures par Gilles G. Jobin: citations de Ivan Illich
Circle for Research on Proportionality (CROP) Kreis mit und um Ivan Illich an der Uni Bremen, wo lllich auch lehrt: Hier findet ihr Notizen, Manuskripte und Schriften einer Reihe von Freunden um Ivan Illich, und natürlich auch von Ivan Illich selber. (deutsch und englisch)
le miroir du passé, Conférences et discours, 1978-1990.
Ivan Illich Traduit de l'anglais par M. Sissung et M. Duchamp
"informel education" (infed.org) explores key aspects of Ivan Illich's theory and his continuing relevance for informal education and lifelong learning
Ivan Illich Org (Mexiko; in Spanisch)
Ivan Illich: Taught Mother Tongue and Nation State, 3:25 min (has Audiofile)
Ivan Illich: Vernacular values
Ivan Illich with Jerry Brown. We the People, KPFA - March 22, 1996 (transcript)
IVAN ILLICH in association with Matthias Rieger: THE WISDOM OF LEOPOLD KOHR
Ivan Illich interviewed by David Cayley: The
Rise of Homo Economicus, 3:27 min (has Audiofile)
L'Enzyclopédie de l'Agora: Biographie en résumé de Ivan Illich (incl. oeuvres de Ivan Illich)
The Ivan Illich Archive (by Ira Woodhead / Frank Keller)
ABSCHIED VON IVAN ILLICH - Vagabundierendes Denken - Von THIERRY