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9991: Re: 9984 Poincy and Dictatorship (fwd)

From: Jean-Marie Florestal <sonice1953@yahoo.com>

Every four to six months, Poincy resurrects his
benevolent dictatorship argument hoping that with
repetition it will win more converts. Dictatorship is
soon to be listed on the most ENDANGERED list of forms
of government. Its most recent extinct specie is the
Talibans. Despite that fact, Poincy continues to be
nostalgic about dictatorship, even putting a human
face to it by adding a benevolence attitude. If
anything, dictators have no humanity. 

The demise of dictatorship is caused in my opinion by
two major factors. First, its percentage of success is
very low. Of all the dictators Haiti had, even Poincy
can only find one that he equates with success.
Second, the cost of dictatorship outweighs its
benefits while not guaranteeing them. Dictators abused
their people. Based on historical evidence in Haiti
and other parts of the world, they seem to have no
limits in satisfying their megalomania. Dissent or
challenge to their omnipotence is punished by death.
Christophe instituted on the plantations conditions
that were equivalent to slavery (Madiou). Many
Haitians died fighting for him to reign over the
southern part of Haiti that was under a
constitutionally established president, Petion.
Anecdotal evidence suggested how he killed half of the
people he assigned to carry his biggest canon, “Manman
Pimba,” to the citadel when the two combined were not
making progress in carrying it during the construction
of the fortress. And the costliest of all the
weaknesses of dictatorship is what Tsunetomi pointed
out. If the dictator is ill-advised and the country is
taking a turn for the worse, there is no mechanism of
redress by the people.

Dictatorship is easy to carry out, as long as you have
no problems with disposing of human lives. Democracy
is difficult and complex but it allows for the synergy
of the collective resources of the country. If any
country has an urgent need to maximize the economic
resources available to it, Haiti is among the firsts.
Poincy claims that Haitians do not deserve it.
Democracy makes rulers accountable while respecting
the constituents’ freedom to live and to prosper. The
problem with democracy in Haiti is not democracy
itself, but rather the lack of education in the
majority of Haitians. You do not need to institute a
dictatorship to educate the people. Even though there
is a claim that Christophe instituted an education
system in the northern part of the country he
controlled that was characterized by some historians
as successful, there is no evidence that it had a
lasting effect on the country. There is no evidence
today to suggest that descendants of people from the
north tend to be more educated than those from the

It seems to me that considerable progress could have
been made in Haiti if the elites and the majority
could find a formula for cooperation. Strong evidence
suggests that the root of this inability to find
common interests originates in the colonial past. The
splitting of the country between North and South under
Christophe and Petion underscores how old this problem
is. When the elites and the majority joined forces in
the past, the country experienced success. Some
examples of that coalition are during the Independence
War and under the reign of Jean-Pierre Boyer, and to a
lesser extent under Paul Eugene Magloire, as
Chamberlain’s obituary showed. 

To justify enduring the negative cost of dictatorship,
Poincy repeatedly asserted how undeserving Haitians
are of democracy. In previous posts, he argued that
Haitians lack character. In most recent ones, they
lack creativity. It seems to me there is a kind of
progressive approach in his characterization of
Haitians. Considering that he advocates a form of
government that denies human rights to Haitians, I
can’t help wonder what is next that Poincy will think
of that he can characterize Haitians with on a mailing
list full of them.                

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