[Marxism] Haiti: Kwik Analysis

Chris Brady cdbrady at sbcglobal.net
Wed Feb 18 12:31:51 MST 2004

The US media interviewed a militant member of the Haitian Opposition.
This morning, on NPR, the Haitian declared it a wonder that the United
States, a “capitalist” country, had reinstalled Aristide, a
“communist.”  That statement coincides with the US right-wing
characterization of Aristide since the ex-priest politician appeared on
the scene.  Further, it primes the US public’s perception of the issues
in the current crisis: Democracy once again takes on the valiant fight
against malevolence.  Americans know which side they’re on.

Haitian and American critics of Aristide denounce him as undemocratic,
autocratic and corrupt.  Critics of Cuba say the same of Castro.  Yet in
both cases the details remain general and occluded in the media.  What
the media may allow is that Haiti is and has been the poorest country in
the Western Hemisphere.  The media may allow that Haiti has suffered
under corrupt, autocratic dictators BEFORE Aristide came on the scene.
But the media shows scant concern for the fact that “Western
Democracies” tolerated such depravity for decades.  And no toleration at
all of the argument that “Western Democracies” may have actually
enthusiastically encouraged wacko dictators such as Papa Doc because
they were subordinate to the West AND NOT associated with Communist

The FRAPH has risen from the dead, like the terrifying zombies of
voodoo.  These are the heirs to Papa Doc’s enforcers.  These are
effective “tons-tons macoutes” —revanchist, paramilitary enforcers of
the privileged order who went berserk in Haiti after Aristide was first
deposed, seeking out his supporters and torturing and killing them.
They are very real.  So is the terror they spread.  They are effective
terrorists.  They are militaristic and organized.  They may be seen as
“fascists” fighting a “communist”.

The “Western Democracies” have pledged a hands-off attitude toward
Haiti.  It is like their attitude toward Spain 1936-39.  Despite the
states’ aloof reticence, private individuals and organizations have been
working diligently against Aristide.  They have lavished resources on
opponents of Aristide—but not those to the left of the ex-priest!  Their
intentions should be obvious.  They have offered very real, material
inducements to potential dissidents or individualist opportunists in an
impoverished society.  Simultaneously, Western funds have been denied
Aristide and his impoverished country in general.  The opposition has
thus been relatively buttressed to a much greater degree, and placed
higher on an increasingly tilted playing field.  The result, as
intended, exacerbates iniquity, inequality, and bias against Aristide in
sectors of the population.

Haiti has again become evidence of the historical hypocrisy of Western
bourgeois pretensions to principle, democracy and idealism.

The West, as it has consistently done, has put the cart before the horse
in its preference for the political processes of democracy over the
objective and material economics of democracy.  They prefer the facade
to the structure.  The bourgeoisie, because it is not poor, because it
exists because of poverty, cannot recognize that the redistribution and
equalization of material wealth would provide a stable base for a
democratic polity.  The rough edges of Aristide’s governance are thus
more at issue in the bourgeois press and politicians than any increase
in real, material benefits to the people.

In a cruel twist, “Western Democracies” aggravated disparity by cutting
the influx of funds that should have been made available.  THEY have
therefore effectively underwritten the misfortunate malfunction of
Haitian democracy.  Many Haitians must realize, as did Nicaraguans under
the Sandinistas, that going against Goliath—no matter how righteous—is
futile.  So they become “realistic” and have gone with the power.  The
trend can only accelerate the longer the crisis continues.  Meanwhile
the “Western Democracies” stand back and watch their “hands-off” machine
grind through its corpses to its destination: a regime in Haiti that
replicates the standard model of imperialist peripheral states, an
"in-line/in-lien" comprador elite presiding over the immiseration of the

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