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#3854: A fine line between authoritarian and democratic government: Gill comments further


Jean Poincy is saying something, without saying it...........

he is indicating a fundamental.....that is, that Haiti is simply not ready
for what we generally call "democracy", a rather loose term that covers many
forms of political participation.....

today, it is not "politically correct" to be for anything other than
democracy, free trade, human rights, environmental protection, sustainable
development, empowerment of women, etc.....most of this set of movements has
occured since WW11......but, this set is a mixed bag in terms of
accomplishment.....many of the newly created African countries were "thrust"
into democracy long before they were ready, and any one who reads even the
daily papers knows there is much conflict and chaos on this vast body of

this set of movements will not change......in fact, we will see a growing
trend toward their accomplishment, and i agree with each and every one (with
some caveats}

but, there are conditions for democratic participation......there are
conditions for any form of democratic government....Jean does not believe
that Haiti meets those conditions, and all indications suggest he is
correct.....the mass of people need considerable education in what a
democracy means, and education on how they are to "behave"......this
education has not been given......however, no people in any country were
educated as to what democracy means before their country began to move in
this direction.....things just dont work that way.....

for Haiti, given all that has happened since l986, it is questionable if
Haiti can revert to authoritarianism.......will the new found ability to
organize, demonstrate, and participate be quelled?  will the populace sit
idly by if an authortarian form of government were to appear?  or, would
more social chaos break out, if these new "freedoms" were taken away?

please note that i differentiate between authoritarianism, as a form of
government, and the use of authoritarian methods for some desired
end.....this may sound "slight of hand", but it is not.......the KEY that
seperates the two is the degree or extent to which one has a system of laws
that are followed......

without an instiutionalized legal system that is sound, and functional,
democracy cannot flourish......it simply cannot....

Mr Aristide has two profound problems, and i use the word "profound" quite
deliberately......one, maintenance of internal order and security and two,
the establishment of a fair and respected legal system.....

without these two, Haiti will continue to flounder........