posted on Mar, 8 2004 @ 05:13 PM
Could it be that Haiti is an excellent example of measuring what it takes to get the population at the point of Revolution.
This article, of which I quoted some select text, gives an interesting bit of history and observation of current events, from the author's
In many ways, Sunday's events in Haiti are an echo of the country's tortured past. A group of rag-tag slaves had the audacity to defeat
Napoleon's army and proclaim themselves a free Republic in 1804. This past has always mocked the modern Haitian, who is aware -- and, yes, proud --
that his nation is older than Italy, yet who lives, with no hope of material improvement, in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Haiti was not always the insignificant place it is today, unimportant to the world's major powers. Its independence in 1804 was a devastating blow
to France, and not merely to French self-esteem. Economists estimate that in the 1750s, Haiti provided as much as 50% of the gross national product of
France. The French extracted sugar, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, cotton, indigo and other products, and grew rich on them. Americans owe a debt of
gratitude to Haiti. After Haitian slaves under Toussaint Louverture wrested control of their island, Napoleon had no further use for Louisiana --
which was to have supplied food to Haiti, the hub of France's empire. So he sold it.
Once freed -- Haiti was only the second free country in the hemisphere, after the United States -- the Republic began the fall from riches to rags
that has lasted until today. Haiti faced a hostile world, and an international boycott of Haitian goods and commerce plunged the Haitian economy into
chaos. The boycott was punitive, no doubt; it was also done to extinguish a paradigm, to stamp out an example of armed slave uprising that might have
led slaves in the U.S., as well as in the neighboring French and British Caribbean colonies, to act in emulation. The boycott, therefore, was the
slavers' self-defense -- tough, pragmatic, unsentimental. One might even call it racial segregation as realpolitik.