The meaning of
«The Haitian drama, history taking the wrong turn »
An essay by Antoine Archange Raphael
The author is aware of the classical explanations for the drama: a negative colonial heritage, the economical underdevelopment resulting from erroneous conceptions and lousy practices, and foreign nations’ interference in the country’s internal affairs.
These explanations, instead of clarifying the drama, rather fulfill the role of a way out.
Contrary to what many think, « The Haitian drama, history taking the wrong turn » rather describes any community in distress, which will find itself in a dead end situation like this West Indian nation.
This kind of predicament has retained Socrates and Plato’s attention, who, in The Republic and The Laws, have taken any human collectivity for a whole, a body with a head and other parts.
However, the head sets the tone to the rest of the body. When the former is sick, the latter suffer from its malaise.
In other words, this essay concerns the role of elite in a nation development.
When the elite are genuine, promethean, the nation becomes like a healthy being with the platonic image of a sound mind in a sound body. However, when the elite are corrupt, disingenuous, the nation looks exactly like a body with no mind or a body with a sicken head.
From this point on, the collectivity will meet with failure.
If there is no remedy, this collectivity will swell the ranks of those communities that maintain a deep-rooted crisis in their bosom, going from one generation to another.
Of course, whether we take into consideration the so-called primitive societies or the modern ones, they are the centers of constant effervescence, conscious or unconscious changes.
What is the nature of these changes?
Are they identical or even similar?
As for the author, we should classify these changes into two categories.
A first category describes what depends solely on the action of time and pure nature.
A second category betrays an evident and deliberate attempt to change things around.
The communities, in which only passive changes occur, give the impression of remaining still. The author calls them cold-blooded communities.
Consequently, warm-blooded communities, in the author’s perspective, are those that transcend this kind of de facto, passive situation, this type of mechanical change. They lose patience over the slow process of temporal evolution. They give the impression to go over time, to seek passionately to meet the future headlong and work wonders, despite the difficulties imposed by an apparent natural order of things.
In the case of Haiti, the author has also detected the drawback caused by the persistence of traditions in this country, and a strong tendency to keep the past in the mainstream living.
As for me, mankind would do better to minimize the recourse to traditions. For these belong to the past, while mankind needs are actual, pressing. How can we solve nowadays problems with past action recipes?
These traditions, since they belong to the past, to remain actual, active in our present generation, are bound to create unfortunate and dangerous situations. The most compelling proof is that, even a great nation like the US is weighed down with the burden of two dangerous traditions: racism (a consequence of slavery) and the carrying arms (a survival of cowboys’ lifestyle).
These two traditions take away from a greater blossoming of this nation and prevent it from being a paradise for its inhabitants and the rest of the world.
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