Presentation a Toussaint Louverture High School

Gera Bougui - November 26 2009, 3:06 PM

Before I begin to lecture about my book entitled Independance 2011, I want to make sure that every one can access the speech by a Haitian man named Louis Mercier embedded in the following link: webster.edu/~corbetre/haiti/history/mercer-vertieres.htm

This English adaptation of the speech allegedly given in Nov 1936 for the 132nd anniversary of the battle of Vertieres has been made available to us by Marlene Apollon.

Questions
-how many of you believe this speech should be obsolete?

-how many of you think the speech is germane to the current situation in Haiti?

In fact, answers to both questions will be correct to a certain extent.

Considering the time at which it was given (73 years ago), the speech should be obsolete.

Unfortunately, however it is as alive in magnitude and in substance as my writing this presentation.

By the way, this Nov 18th marked the 206th anniversary of this seminal battle in the history of the first republic of blacks in the entire world and I would like everyone make an attempt to tell us what this battle was about.

Well, the battle of Vertieres is commonly known to most Haitians as "Vertieres", or "The first major defeat of the Napoleon's army" and finally as "The last and defining Battle of the Haitian Revolution" This battle took place approximately two months before the declaration of Independence of Haiti by Jean Jacques Dessalines, Capois La Mort et. Al.

L'union fait la force meaning "United we're strong" or "United we stand" became the Haitian national motto.

What a great day that was!

The Haitian rebels accomplished several things with this victory.

-They precluded the French colonial Army led by General Rochambeau from restoring slavery in Haiti
-Most importantly, they finalized the revolution and paved the way for the Independence of Haiti in January 1st, 1804.

That takes me directly my book-Independance 2011

Most people ask me why Independance 2011. You all know by now Haiti's been independent since 1804.

In February 2011, Haiti is scheduled to hold the inauguration of a new President for 5 years

But keep in mind that Mercier's speech hasn't lost its relevance a bit overtime.

Up to this day, Haiti can't claim to be independent from divisive infightings, and certainly Haiti can't claim to be independent from inclinations to invite foreign forces into their brotherly discords.

The current presence of the United Nations mission in Haiti is a very vibrant testimony.

Let's use two major Haitian political denominations as illustrations to demonstrate how Haitians almost always offer pretexts to their own occupation by foreign military forces.

How many of you would label your self a Macoute?

What about Lavalas?

Because these two political groups tend to mutually exclude, destroy and cancel each other out, most of their backers develop a phobia and often abstain from publicly showing their support.

It is safe to acknowledge that most don't feel comfortable being associated with their political orientation because of the reciprocal disdain that exists between Macoute and Lavalas.

Over the past twenty years, Macoute and Lavalas have been at each other's throat in a series of conflicts sometimes very bloody for predominance.

But what is Macoute and what is Lavalas?

According to the people I have interviewed, a Macoute is first and foremost a Haitian citizen that sympathizes with the Duvalier era and everything it represented
-some of them cite respect and others mention order.

On the other hand, a Lavalas is also first and foremost a Haitian Citizen, but one that embraces Aristide and his social justice agenda.

When analyzed with a sense of objectivity, both Macoute and Lavalas exhibit patriotic goals.

However the burden of converging their differing patriotic goals and make them mesh for the common good of the nation has yet to cease hovering over Haitians with complementary political paradigms.

By nourishing and perpetuating an appetite for making Macoute and Lavalas two diametrically opposed political entities, Haitian have repeatedly opened up doors to Unilateral and UN backed occupation missions on Haitian soil.

How do Haitians circumvent the current circumstances so eloquently forecast By Mercier?

Of many existing alternatives out there, I would like to mention two very powerful tools that could be made available to Haitians in their quest for national reconciliation.

The first one hasn't been addressed in Independance 2011, but I am glad to introduce all of you to the steps of conflict resolution.

Dudley Weeks is a very instrumental subject matter expert in that department.

The second one which I explained in details in page 28-53 of my book is referred to as Organizational Politics.

Politics in a law firm, Politics at a manufacturing plant, and Politics in a hospital, all offer some striking similarities with politics within a single branch of government or between several branches of a government.

But politics in its pragmatic and purest sense has come to be linked with deceptive practices, pejorative connotations, back stabbings, plots, favoritism, groupthink, social loafing and manipulations.

Luckily enough, a number of scholars have researched the topic of organizational politics, and developed a few approaches and definitions.

Anyone could feel free to take a shot at defining Organizational politics

For lack of a better definition, and for the sake of simplicity, I will make the assertion that Organizational Politics has a lot to do with the distribution of advantages and disadvantages.

Based on this claim alone, it is safe to state that one of the most fundamental economic problems is at the center of Organizational Politics-scarcity.

It simply means that private and public institutions do not have sufficient resources to fulfill the needs and wants of all its members.

Consequently, members of organizations are forced to vie for the limited resources, and often times, institutional leaderships are compelled to embark in trade-offs in order to reach homeostasis and achieve organizational goals.

At first glance, there is absolutely nothing wrong with contributing to the goals of an organization through legitimate and dynamic competition.

These premises attract a certain group of individuals and based on temperament, values and beliefs they will actively participate.

But as organizational members increasingly make it a habit to distort the purpose of Organizational Politics, It has become fair game to equate team work and cohesion with groupthink; interpersonal relationships and group dynamics with gangbanging; and finally authority and power with god complex.

On those grounds, some members of organizations will choose to adopt a bystander approach with regard to the distribution of advantages and disadvantages.

Today, a distinct horde of individuals has fallen prey to this phenomenon in Haiti-I am referring to the educated and intellectual Haitians.

Notwithstanding political backgrounds, the intellectual elite of Haiti are almost completely out of the distribution of advantages and disadvantages.

At one point in the history of Haiti, it was the opposite.

As Lavoisier posits" Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed"

By relinquishing their civic duty, they have automatically passed it onto other less able groups of Haitians.

There might be a myriad of justifications associated with the choices of the educated Haitians Vis a Vis their involvement in the political life of their country.

But after reading Independence 2011, you will learn to narrow your analysis down to four main factors that almost predict organizational members' attachment to a team, a unit, or an organization as a whole.

They are in no particular order- investment, alternatives, trust and efficacy.

Independance 2011 will also help you discover the role of leaders in matching the motives of organizational members with organizational tasks to achieve organizational goals.

Read Independence 2011 and discover
-the relationships between level of investment, political behavior and the future
-the links between alternative, political behavior and attrition rate
-the relations between trust, political behavior and the use of outside resources
-the significance of efficacy on the nature of political behavior

Thank you

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