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Ivan Illich

Datum narození: 4. září 1926
Datum úmrtí: 2. prosinec 2002

Ivan Illich byl rakouský filozof, teolog a sociální teoretik anarchisticko-katolické orientace známý svou kritikou západní civilizace a technologického pokroku.


„Studentům je systematicky vštěpováno, aby se spokojili s vyučováním namísto učení se, postupem na vyšší stupeň školy namísto vzdělání, s vysvědčením či diplomem namísto znalosti věci a se sebevědomým projevem namísto schopnosti říci něco nového. Škola je směřuje k tomu, aby akceptovali služby namísto hodnot.“

„Zdraví, učení, důstojnost, nezávislost a tvůrčí úsilí se chápou v první řadě jako výsledky práce institucí, jež těmto účelům údajně slouží a jejichž zdokonalení je závislé na tom, zda se vedením nemocnic, škol a jiných obdobných zařízení dá k dispozici více prostředků.“


„School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.“

„Most learning is not the result of instruction. It is rather the result of unhampered participation in a meaningful setting. Most people learn best by being "with it," yet school makes them identify their personal, cognitive growth with elaborate planning and manipulation.“ Deschooling Society

„School has become the world religion of a modernized proletariat, and makes futile promises of salvation to the poor of the technological age.“ Deschooling Society

„Carry a candle in the dark, be a candle in the dark, know that you're a flame in the dark.“

„The re-establishment of an ecological balance depends on the ability of society to counteract the progressive materialization of values. The ecological balance cannot be re-established unless we recognize again that only persons have ends and only persons can work towards them.“

„Man must choose whether to be rich in things or in the freedom to use them.“


„The machine-like behavior of people chained to electronics constitutes a degradation of their well-being and of their dignity which, for most people in the long run, becomes intolerable. Observations of the sickening effect of programmed environments show that people in them become indolent, impotent, narcissistic and apolitical. The political process breaks down because people cease to be able to govern themselves; they demand to be managed.“ In the Mirror of the Past: Lectures and Adresses, 1978-1990

„To hell with the future. It's a man-eating idol.“

„Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends on knowing that secret; that secrets can be known only in orderly successions; and that only teachers can properly reveal these secrets. An individual with a schooled mind conceives of the world as a pyramid of classified packages accessible only to those who carry the proper tags.“ Deschooling Society

„It takes more time and effort and delicacy to learn the silence of a people than to learn its sounds. Some people have a special gift for this. Perhaps this explains why some missionaries, notwithstanding their efforts, never come to speak properly, to communicate delicately through silences. Although they ''speak with the accent of natives'' they remain forever thousands of miles away. The learning of the grammar of silence is an art much more difficult to learn than the grammar of sounds.“


„School prepares people for the alienating institutionalization of life, by teaching the necessity of being taught. Once this lesson is learned, people loose their incentive to develop independently; they no longer find it attractive to relate to each other, and the surprises that life offers when it is not predetermined by institutional definition are closed.“

„I was recently told, 'You're a liar!' when I said to somebody I walked down the spine of the Andes. Every Spaniard in the sixteenth, seventeenth century did that. The idea that somebody could just walk! He can jog perhaps in the morning, but he can't walk anywhere! The world has become inaccessible because we drive there.“

„Effective health care depends on self-care; this fact is currently heralded as if it were a discovery.“

„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.“ Deschooling Society

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