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9519: RE: 9518: Agronomes, Pastors & Priests: Remember your , commitment s (fwd)

From: "Walton, Robert" <waltonr@emh1.ftmeade.army.mil>

Senou recommends "Agronomist, Pastors and Priests, be truthful with
yourselves."  I think it is good advice-- for all of Haiti.
IMHO westernization's worst attribute, greed, has mucked up the average
Haitian's existence.  Dependence on the government to "do something" is
prolonging their agony.

I believe that help may lie in a return to traditional culture.  When the Ti
Guinee' understood and met their obligation to the lwa, their families and
community there was no political dilemma or widespread hunger. The
"societies" maintained order and respect for custom.   The government in
Port Au Prince supported the popular will for the sake of its very
existence. People supported their extended families/villages and, in turn,
were supported by their extended families in times of need. Nobody who lived
within this system went hungry.  

Another part of the answer, at least for the countryside, may lie in
becoming self sufficient.  By returning, so far as is possible, to
subsistence farming, cottage industry and an internal barter economy,
villages become less dependent on outside assistance to provide
infrastructure other than perhaps a water source. Under such a system,
families who labor first for their necessities, rather than gourdes, have
good assurance that their basic needs will be met.  Gourdes can be used to
purchase that which the family/village cannot itself produce.

Will this work?  Yes, if the traditional leaders of the countryside: the
houngans and the societies want it to.  I am not preaching revolution or
anarchy.  I simply believe the people must look to a system that has worked
for them in the past rather than a government that cannot meet their needs
in the present.