...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



This is not a natural disaster story:’s time to promote locally led paternalism. In this country, we first tried to tackle poverty by throwing money at it, just as we did abroad. Then we tried microcommunity efforts, just as we did abroad. But the programs that really work involve intrusive paternalism.

These programs, like the Harlem Children’s Zone and the No Excuses schools, are led by people who figure they don’t understand all the factors that have contributed to poverty, but they don’t care. They are going to replace parts of the local culture with a highly demanding, highly intensive culture of achievement — involving everything from new child-rearing practices to stricter schools to better job performance.

It’s time to take that approach abroad, too.
David Brooks/NYTimes
Well okay yeah. But it's really about getting rid of poverty while keeping the system that creates it, that depends on the mechanisms that create poverty, keeping what's really wrong because it's thrilling when you're on top, it's too powerful to let go of, so we just have to find a way to keep the swine in power and the system churning toward apotheosis.
It's like being a cocaine addict, wanting to be one and remaining one, because the exhilaration is impossible to turn down, but eating better and getting enough rest. You know, health and stuff.
Poverty's a symptom says Mr. Brooks, and then won't say but implies it's a disease of ignorance and small selfish minds unable to make the change toward participation in Brooks and Co's bravest of the brave newest of the new, worlds.
The actual disease isn't as readily described, unfortunately.
That Mr. Brooks can't find it in himself to once mention Toussaint L'Ouverture is most telling, or should be. Because that's what's wrong in Haiti.
What happened to Toussaint L'Ouverture is what's wrong in Haiti, and here, and everywhere in the capitalist world where poverty's endemic. But seeing that accurately and describing that accurately and demanding it be addressed in substance and at its roots it's a demand for socialism is what it is and no way we're getting Mr. David Brooks to talk about socialism with anything but a sneer of disdain. Because it doesn't work and you get loudmouth tinpot dictators like that creep down there whats-his-name uh Chavez.
Plus you could talk about the international drug trade, in Haiti, using Haiti like they use Ghana, which trade most of the uninformed still think of as run by swarthy Italians and equally swarthy sort of Colombian/Mexicans.
Which impression while understandable is now nothing but purest fiction.

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