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Weary Haitians Shrug As Ragnarök Begins Outside Port-Au-Prince

The Onion, once again, nails it.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI—Preoccupied with recovery from a devastating 7.0 earthquake, seasonal floods, a widespread cholera outbreak, and chaos in the wake of disputed presidential elections, the weary Haitian people simply shrugged in resignation Tuesday at the sudden onset of Ragnarök, the end of the cosmos as foretold in Norse mythology. “At first I didn’t even notice the writhing serpents spewing poison into the sky, but once I saw Loki demolishing everything in his wake, I was like, ‘Of course,’” unemployed barber Jean-Paul Aucoin said as Tyr and the hellhound Garm battled behind him. “It’s a little odd, since Haiti has no connection to Scandinavian folklore, yet at the same time it makes perfect sense.” Aucoin then went back to loading rubble into a wheelbarrow as Sköll devoured the sun, plunging the island nation of Haiti into complete and total darkness.

Interesting, too, is the contrast with this earlier Onion piece on Haiti:

For most countries, a Category 2 hurricane, a devastating earthquake, and a massive cholera outbreak in the same year would cause its people—and its political leaders—to completely fall apart. But most countries aren’t Haiti, and most leaders aren’t President René Préval, the quiet mastermind behind the impoverished island nation’s secret rise to unprecedented prosperity.

While many observers who can’t see the big picture characterize Préval as a typical sycophantic politician who’s overwhelmed by, and incapable of responding to, growing humanitarian crises, the president is, in fact, shrewdly devising a plan to turn Haiti’s high poverty rate and woeful lack of education to its advantage and remake the country as a global economic superpower.

In a stroke of genius that will someday have the international community applauding, Préval has carefully crafted the persona of a leader who appears to kowtow to the 1 percent of the population controlling half the nation’s wealth—and who appears to be leaving millions of homeless earthquake victims to their own devices. But what he’s actually doing is setting the stage for a dramatic, albeit confidential, Haitian comeback.

Playing his usual coy self, Préval has been unwilling to speculate when all these carefully laid plans will bear fruit, but we guess it will be 2014, maybe 2015 at the very latest.

Which is the more likely? Foseti has an idea.

I remember back more than a decade ago, discussing this very issue with a friend of mine. I was not yet a reactionary, but looking back, this conversation was a sort of precursor. We were arguing about the source of Haiti’s perpetual fuckedupedness. I wondered what would happen if a group like Executive Solutions or Blackwater or the like were to invade and conquer Haiti, and set up an enlightened dictatorship. Could Haiti be fixed? At the time I imagined that with the right policies and a suitably ruthless administration of justice, progress could be made. I mean, look what happened with Hong Kong, or Chili.

Once my friend got over his shock at such a suggestion, he argued against it, saying that 200 years of disfunction had probably left the incapable of benefitting from even the most enlightened rule. He was arguing from cultural effects, but now I think that causation runs the other way. Haitians are likely constitutionally incapable of benefitting from even the most enlightened rule, and that has resulted in 200 years of disfunction.

I think you’d have to elect a new people to make any real changes in Haiti’s future. The similarities between the post-independence fortunes of Haiti and, say, Cote d’Ivoire are not coincidence.

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  • Bram

    1

    I imagine a Blackwater type outfit of hardcore vets could fix Haiti.

    My first step – new name. Haiti means “failed French slave-colony” to me. Something nice.

    The second step would be to enforce property rights with force. Real business investment would follow – not BS international aid.

    Building codes and zoning rules, rigourous education, enforced birth control (including sterilization after 2 kids – it happen to me), and modern farming techinques would follow.

    Of course law enforcement would also be rigorous.

    Two or three generations down the road, Haiti would be at least the level as the Dominican Republic.

  • 2

    DR? You set a high bar for achievement, Bram.

  • 3

    [...] Buckerhead has some additional thoughts about Haiti: "I think you’d have to elect a new people to make any real changes in Haiti’s future. The similarities between the post-independence fortunes of Haiti and, say, Cote d’Ivoire are not coincidence." [...]

  • Bram

    4

    We would be starting somewhere below Stone Age Europe. Never been the DR, heard it’s somewhere netween Jamacia and Antigua in terms of prosperity and safety.

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