Thursday, February 11, 2010

w: I am cynical about fixing Haiti has an article on fixing Haiti, including redefining their social structure - single class of people - and taking everyone's needs into account.

The idiots.

It sounds good on paper. Just like "fixing" Iraq sounded good - get the horrible Saddam Hussein out of the road, tear down that awful oppressive government, and everyone will grow daisies and live peacefully and happily.

Haiti has lived nearly lawless. Drugs move through Haiti, the government runs on flows of money, official and otherwise, and not on equality or service to citizens. Protection and serving the needs of the privileged and powerful is the rule of government down there. The religion lends itself to random violence, not peaceful coexistence.

The US and other helping providers have stirred a *lot* of resentment. Hungry people, people without shelter, people that listened to loved ones die because no one got there to dig out their crushed building in time. Just the sight and thought of the vast amounts of wealth pouring into Haiti now - has to anger a *lot* of people, that there was so much wealth in the world that *could* have been shared before the earthquake, but was held onto by richer folk than they.

The cynic in me thinks that what Haiti really needs right now is a strong hand. A vested interest to take charge, grab the rescue goods and kick the do-gooders the hell out. Assign work and tasks to everyone and their dog, enforce their commands, and *do* something. One of the old time Railroad robber barons comes to mind. A Monsanto, an Archer Daniels-Midland. A Chavez or Castro would get more people sheltered, fed, and moving on faster than waiting for the UN and some coalition of charity organizations to get around to getting the people of Haiti involved with living the next weeks and months and years.

Perhaps it is as simple as stepping back and letting the oppressive military and gang organizations have a free hand for a while. Because frankly, I don't see the anger that survived the rubble turning to civilization for very much, any time soon.

One report suggests organizing a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to institute a training center or three, to train 25 to 35 Haitians and others from around the world to raise food in a permaculture manner. The outsiders would pay a hefty fee to join the training and internship to finance the operation, so a few Haitians could learn to raise food in a non-Monsanto chemical based form of agriculture. Permaculture, as I understand it, emphasizes continuous fertility and increased food production without relying on outside chemicals and soil amendments, much.

The thought is nice, for the long term, and seems like a great idea somewhere down the road. But growing food in the back yard? When you don't have physical security, the expectation that gangs and neighbors don't raid each other, that seems a "generous" kind of donation to the neighborhood, and not a way to feed yourself and your family.

Some few Haitians are probably organizing and trying to get back to life as they knew it. Convincing them that they should instead do something different, that foreigners tell them, "trust us", that won't pay off for six weeks or four months, and they will be subject to gangs - or the army - swiping everything of value, again, all that time.

I am just cynical. I want to see Haitians, or some other strong vested interest, rebuild Haiti.

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