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#5190: Re: #5186: Opposition to Aristide: Hyppolite responds Chamberlain (fwd)
I am not going to prolong this particular dialogue here because of one thing:
I sincerely believe that it is pointless in the sense that it relates more to
propaganda than anything else. Granted, I am not accusing you of such. I am
rather pointing to that "game" that many of us have fallen into, oftentimes
without realizing it.
Let me tell you Greg as you must know yourself, that Lavalas is not a
religion. It is a political party with a distinct political philosophy. An
intellectual as we love so much to call them in Haiti, may decide to defend
the disinherited majority. But when comes the time for some of them to get
into the nitty gritty work, most do leave and very few hang on. This is
oftentimes, more a question of political courage and commitment than anything
Haiti's traditional intellectual elite is very comfortable at making
grandiose statements, without the courage to do the grunt work. In Haitian
politics, that includes working directly with the poorest of the poor in a
deprived and oftentimes, depressing environment. Very few of them really have
that kind of courage. This, is a fact. No one can convince me otherwise. I
have seen it.
A second factor that may be at play in those "defections" is the issue of
consensus. Because those intellectuals think they know best, when comes time
to decide in a political forum for instance, if their argument does not stand
in the face of a majority opinion, they may decide to leave the party. It is
as we all know, very hard for Haitians to accept group decisions that do not
correspond with their own premise.
One quick example. Gérard Pierre-Charles and René Théodore were for a long
time, members of the same political party. Now, they are sworn political
A political party that is truly democratic may have people with divergent
political opinions under the same umbrella, so long as the basic belief is
common. We are not there yet in Haiti.
On the issue of great intellectuals that have left the Lavalas party, I am
not sure I really would have time or space to answer it here the way I would
like to. I can assure you however that the last time I checked when I read
the news about the Lavalas party leadership, I saw names of people with
different professional titles. They may not be intellectuals in the
Greco-Roman tradition. But they seem to know what they're doing and have been
pretty successful at it, at least so far.
On a final note, I used to believe that having those great names on your list
of members in a political party make it more "tasteful", and intelligent too.
But after having read some of those "great names" comments about the May
elections, and heard them over the airwaves, I am simply baffled. I simply
cannot relate to their intellectual dishonesty. Or is it perhaps denial? I
even asked myself at times, why was I so taken by them when I was growing up
in Port-au-Prince? How can they be so blind and misunderstanding of Haiti's