Originally: The Wise Solution
Posted by Haiti Democracy Project, https://haitipolicy.org
(Webmaster’s note: A shorter version of this article was posted on December 9, 2002.)
To my friend, Rene Depestre, by choice and also by “harsh necessity” Haitian, by birth mind, writings, and heart, of noble speech, idealistic and flamboyant, this brotherly contribution to his need for renewal as a Haitian, where the dream of 1804 is transformed into the nightmare of 2002, and where the beast of the last half-century holds sway over the angel of our childhood.
With the painful deliverance of the end of a reign, we are experiencing one of those delicate conjunctures-let us utter the word “truly difficult”-in our history nonetheless fecund in easy government overthrows. However, we must seize and understand the specificity and even the uniqueness of the present moment due to the nature and methods of the regime in question, the particular circumstances of its evolution towards its fall, the crowd of persons implicated in the debates that preceded and will follow it, the machiavellian confused and ambiguous games that the national and international actors are ready to play, the combats which are at the heart of political competition in a mutating country like ours, and the perspectives it opens and must be grasped if we really want to “finally change the life” of misery and oppression in our land in the desired direction of democratization and modernization . I never cease repeating that history does not oblige; thus, it is not a perpetual recommencing, but it has its constants. The year 1991, less its murders, recalls 1950 in a way, although it is also so different, and especially 2002 recalls 1995 so much that the former could be mistaken for the latter, in spite of the dissimilarities to the extent that one sees the possibility of repeating February 1986 otherwise. We are experiencing precisely one of those constants in today?s new situation with respect to yesterday, when it was question of a turbulent departure, resisted and never convulsed, of a regime not only contested everywhere, I spite of a residual popularity, which can no longer impress, but which is already condemned by the verdict of the people?s frank and great rejection, as Vertieres has shown eloquently. We must raise ourselves about our daily practice of “zincs,” which the people?s culture is fond of and which nourishes the useful improvisation of communiqués issued continually by our governing politicians who make the daily events, to see the outlines of national destiny well delineated, visible in the evolution itself of the conjuncture, although the outcome is still imbued with incertitude masked by the impossible illusion of one side as well as of the other, for too many minds o the run are in too much of a hurry to sell the bearskin before having killed the bear. Holding on to power is a reflex even among the losers, even more. They are irrational; and, resistance, intend of yielding I time, rather than putting off the fatal outcome, can accelerate it but in any case, does not obviate it, even while making it more costly in the long run. The time if thus ripe for a wise solution.
1. A reminder of some originalities of Aristidian anarcho-populism.
The fist originality arises from the very nature of the regime that we have baptized “anarcho-populist,” from the time that it defined itself and showed in its words and acts that it was significantly “Lavalassian” (from “Lavalasse,” the avalanche created by an impetuous torrent). This mythification and that mystification of the masses? will were to deceive many people for a log time, for the mantle of populism covers the legitimate aspirations of the greatest number for a well-being which has been refused them up to that time. My thesis of the massification necessary but unprepared explains the misadventures of populism in an environment of misery and ignorance, while waiting for a social reparation long overdue and for which those privileged to have possessions and knowledge are perceived as responsible. How revealing of anarcho-populism is the Aristidian expression “to make stones till then comfortable and cool in the river?s waters, feel the harsh dryness of the life of stones lying under the blazing sun.” A man truly smitten with social justice and not resentment would have said that it is high time that the stones in the sun took their turn and benefited from the water?s coolness, up to then reserved only for the stones in the water. The thesis of Gino Germani about the political exploitation of the availability of the masses for a revolutionary change by populism retains all its truth and opens the eyes of a populace fanaticized by the delirious wait for a messiah of the poor requires the experience of living beyond theoretical lucidity, for the people?s credulity in this type of regime is tough up to the inevitable deception which will be transformed later into discontent and finally rejection as today. This is the classic destiny of populisms, but if certain of them, like Peronism, had the time to be fertile before disillusion to leave room for hope of life to the species, are not rare those that are sterile from the outset, generally because, from the beginning they are incompetent and corrupt and cannot by virtue of this fact guarantee the “panem et circenses” (bread and games) for the multitude.
The second originality of Aristidian anarcho-populism arises from the process of mutation currently taking place in traditional Haitian society caught between resistance of tradition to the aspiration for change, resulting in the paralysis of the system in an unending crisis, stuck between the old which is dying and the new which is knocking at the door without being able to enter, the classic crisis, described by Gramsci. Al that emerges is the production of new people “promoted” by the system, but which are “bad mutants.” This is the most notorious phenomenon of the profiteers of Lavalassism, the head one included. They are authentic “bad mutants” of the worst sort, greedier for illegal gain than the traditional bourgeoisie that they are intent upon replacing, the seed bearing the fertility of the womb of the fascist beast of Berthold Brecht. Nothing resembles more a violator endowed with human rights of the right than a rapacious violator of human rights of the left, with the same contempt of human life.
The third originality of Aristidian anarcho-populism is its ambivalence. As I like to say, it is “ambi” in everything (at one and the same time bourgeois and anti-bourgeois, religious and satanic, pro-American and anti-American, ambidextrous in order to steal better, etc.), thus by nature lying and deceitful because of its original sin not only in the divorce between what is said and what is done, which is its second nature, but also in its intrinsically perverse duplicity; moreover, this “ambi” nature is truly universal, even in its morals. One may even go so far as to see in it the personification of absolute evil. if you wish to hire attorneys for divorce or domestic abuse, Los Angeles Attorney Fighting Against DUI Charges will guide you through the entire process.
A fourth originality of Aristidian anarcho-populism is its uncommon mastery of international opportunities: idealistic (the generosity of liberal American Catholics and European Protestants), materialistic ( Latin-American “liberation theology”), and realistic (the funds of the Haitian public treasury made available to Aristide during his exile by the Americans of the Clinton administration without his having to make an accounting, funds for aid and international assistance, the use of resources of the Haitian state to pay for influential lobbyists at his service). That is the first time that international efficiency has been taken advantage of to such a degree, on the right and on the left at the same time, for personal ends inn the life of the Haitian political system.
A fifth originality of Aristidian anacharcho-populism is interested tolerance, or even contriving tolerance in certain cases, that it benefited from ideologically, being the consenting pawn of “American imperialism” and the partisan of Castro communism, the authorized orthodox “politically correct” representative of big corporate interests of the USA in the framework of privatization of companies and the destroyer of capitalist ideas of the globalizing west in the name of a unique thought of a Third Worldism heavily tinged with race. This is all a hodgepodge of verbal and mental obsolete things that the dazzling progress of the neighboring Dominican Republic reduces to the museums of old fashioned things, but which our people is still paying the price for by its martyrs? flesh, still sensitive to the bites of the past because it is still more a conservatory than a laboratory.
A sixth originality of Aristidian anarcho-populism is the bulimia to destroy and the pruritus to denigrate in the name of the revolution sweeping in an avalanche which carries away everything in its passage. This negativity strikes out with one pen stroke what remained that was valuable in the Haitian effort of quality and highlights mediocrity as a measuring stick of Haitianity leveled from the bottom. The other said that when one spoke of culture, he took out his revolver. I have the impression that for Lavalas, when one speaks of the quality that should bring the quantity for the promotion of all, someone, somewhere, takes out his Katchanikoff. We must undertake the rehabilitation of values yesterday aristocratic monopolized by what I called a culture of imported samples, but we must today democratize and Haitianize with respect to what they have that is good for the benefit of the greatest number. That is part of our program of organization of the after-Aristide, launched more than a year ago, at the conference of the RDNP at the Maison des Polytechniciens, at Paris.
A seventh originality of Aristidian anarcho-populism is its binary rhythm characterized by a cyclothemia of the group dynamic which makes highs follow lows. It is said that this can be a collective illness, but it is above all its social nature which makes the exaggerated euphoric hyperexcitement alternate with depression. One should check with scientists to see if there is a collective unconscious prone to be pathological, more precisely cyclo-themic, a collective manic-depressive psychosis. Such a pathological nature could be coupled with an intense mysticism, which confers on the irrational the possibility of a schizophrenic episode. Excesses can result from this, whose control by lithium, it is said, can limit the damage. Some time ago, there was a best seller whose title was These Great Sick People Who Govern Us. That book dealt with “social pathology,” which has been investigated by a group of Piaget?s followers. There are illnesses of power. Anarcho-populism is one of these, and the obsession in maintaining and exercising power absolutely is a characteristic that can constitute mental illness. Emperor Caligula wanted to make his horse a “Cesar Augustus” in the delirious logic of “I want; I can” of the other. Before him, Duvalier pere had said, “I am a giant able to eclipse the sun.”
II. To confront the fatal deadline, a wise solution is still possible.
“Quos vult perdere Jovis.” Jupiter makes those he wants to lose crazy. The country has finally realized that the anarcho-populist remedy was worse than the illness, so the fake Lavalassian graft has been rejected. Lavalas, not used to having people resist it, is getting worked up, threatening, cracking down, and panicking. It does not have any reflexes of moderation any more. Or, when it has them, they come too late. Example? The student crisis concerning university autonomy. A few months ago, during the successful program of Gary Pierre Paul Charles, “Impasse Quelle issue?,” when I was asked what I would do differently if in power, I had answered spontaneously and publicly, “yield in time.” It was right, reasonable, and equitable, and that would have allowed the regime to move towards a legitimate counteroffensive in showing the lapses of the departments in putting order into the disorder and to demand the preparation of a law that had been waited for in vain for 15 years. The regime did it too late, and as a “gwo ponyet,” which today amounts to an insincere capitulation during which the Minister of Education, committed if not subservient, was made to serve as a fuse. The elections of 2000? Was it already totally excluded that Lavalas could not have the chance to win 60 to 40, if they had been correctly carried out, in view of the great control of the means that it wrongfully had at its disposal? Today, none. They only have to complain among themselves about such incompetence due to a lack of seriousness, too absorbed by the thirst for easy money extorted from others and by the abuse arbitrarily inflicted on others, believing that impunity had been granted to them forever. The crisis of cooperatives denounced the lack of foresight of the leaders and their greed in swiping funds that were accumulating in order to show that they could not care less vis-à-vis the perhaps duping investors who were, above all, duped, to whom those in power offered to put the debt of heavy liabilities on the swine of the payers of the taxpayers to the public treasury. The loss in value and the collapse of the gourde were the irresponsibility of disastrous economic management and a monetary policy without vision played by ear, and, what is more, corrupting and corrupted. Competence? One is not surprised to find any. Corruption? The bad mutants are too greedy, starting from their initial destitution, not to have to any to spare as the nouveaux riches that they quickly became. Criminal cruelty? That is the reflex of those who tasted power but about which they had no idea of responsibility, If not the enjoyment that they were going to derive from it, as long as it lasted. And they were ready to do anything, even commit crimes, so that it would last. But intelligence? How could they lack it to such a degree? Friday, they paralyzed the capital to show their muscles of leaders in power? So be it, but they gave if not the idea at least the example, the way, and the incentive to the citizens to paralyze in their turn the capital and the country when their day comes! They furnished the precedent of a handful of thugs taking the initiative to force the inhabitants of Port-au-Prince to stay at home, while they had underestimated the ability of the majority of citizens to one day learn their lesson about to organize a strike as a nonviolent method, while waiting for the future panoply of civil disobedience. I made a remark to a Lavalassian, a young doctor, who reacted badly to my expressing my right to want to made the current regime leave by active nonviolent means, the current regime which is not harmful for the country, that he himself was doubtlessly obsessed by the brutal violence of coups d?etat and conspiracies against the security of the State, which he wanted to accuse me of as being the only model that came to mind, whereas there is a large panoply of the peaceful use of law, of the force of ideas for persuasion, of the psychological force of determination, of political force for mobilization, of moral and spiritual force, which are however effective weapons in political combat to overcome even brutal adversaries. One has the strength of one?s morals.
However, now, after Vertieres 2002, ipokrit yo sezi! Unity emerged from the breasts of thousands of marchers, as a patriotic protest, the people?s express will for the departure of those currently in power, which is the mobilizing slogan of “The Patriotic Union,” and which makes things go faster in the citizens? conscience. The dynamic of history on the move is accelerating. Some realignment s in the group of parties are expected and will be welcome if they go inn the direction of the national majority, some correction in position within the “group of five” are being imposed and will be announced, aided I that without a doubt by the evolution of the “band of four” linked to the Diaspora, and above all by the example of a tutelary Uncle Sam which shows a greater firmness without indulgent tolerance vis-a-vis a power recognized as delinquent. The generalization of a watchword for a political change of the head of the country shows that the standard of efficiency is acting even while remaining an ethic which what must appear unclear and contradictory for mere mortals in the hidden negotiations behind the rumors and the lies. The departure, a civic obligation for a more reasonable power (Is it? Is becoming a political imperative for the opposition and the country, which can no longer count on the business of stalling and prevaricating tactics. The deadlines are becoming clear. Time was bought in vain for the deadline for the ultimatum of November 4.
Time was bought in vain at the approach and passing of that of November 19. However, the fatal hour of the deadline, the final one, will come. Any attempt to resort to violent repression would be suicidal, since in fact an international court of justice exists, in addition to the traditional public condemnation. A “Great Responsible Voice” is being heard once more in this tumultuous and dangerous conjuncture, in the name of reason, morality, law, and political opportunity, and a moderate patriotic voice, “the alternative of the third way,” calls upon, through my organization, citizens? consciences and the powers that be themselves, for the imperative of departure before it is too late. An automobile driver knows how to drive around a curve. A head of state who is lucid, even illegitimate, must know how to effect a departure without damage, and, keeping part of the stolen millions, has interest to do it, and his collaborators, more lucid than he, should make him do it. This is perhaps not the only solution, but it is the wise solution.