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The underlying tragedy

T H E U N D E R LY I N G T R A G E D Y

David Brooks article The underlying tragedy rst appeared in the New York Times opinion column. In this publication Brooks expresses his view of the given circumstances of Haiti that led to poverty and extensive underdevelopment. He also emphasizes on the fact that the way mankind used to oppose this destitution may not be the appropriate method and that other resolutions may lead to a more desirable outcome. He commences with the description of a similar situation, which happened previously in Northern California. Brooks describes the occurrence of an earthquake with the exact same digits displayed by the seismic scale whilst causing just a fractional amount of mortalities, compared to Haiti. By pointing this fact out he takes away the the guilt that is implied by natural disasters in general. This allows him to move on and inquire other possible reasons that made this event so fatal. Brooks consequently points out some of the underlying actualities that, in his opinion, managed to worsen Haitis situation so badly. Such as poorly constructed buildings, bad infrastructure and terrible public services . All of those reasons are reasonable and self-explanatory even for not so procient readers. Using a quote Barack Obama uttered, he bridges to his subtitled aim of rethinking approaches to global poverty. His rst thesis is based upon experiences, humanity gained over the course of the last decade and simply states that we seem to be unable in ghting poverty due to lacking knowledge and mislead payments. In order to underline his statement he uses a comparison. According to Brooks the payment of trillions of dollars did not enable poor countries to grow opposed to China which was able to drastically expand its economical wealth even though no nancial aid was supplied. Those statement does not seem well researched since no ofcial source is given and does seem a little bit hasty and premature. Nonetheless he does deploy various sources as we may see whilst advancing further. The anthology What works in Development for example states (according to Brooks) that political systems, no matter of which alignment, do alter nor improve issues such as; corruption, growth or penury. Therefor the efforts to implement a stable political foundation do not lead to the desired results. This may in fact surprise the reader, since this opinion is adverse to every communicated actuality or general knowledge. He then invokes the alleged second reason which accuses NGOs of existing in superior numbers and not being as successful as they are intended to be. Again no quote is given by the author and his accusation does seem astable since no proof of the opposite may be given. Even though he blames the exceedingly high subsistence and even promulgates the fact that there are more nongovernmental organizations than inhabitants he still does not manage to convey his message of failure in this explicit eld of labour.

The underlying tragedy

Without bothering any further he moves on to his next and third reason which bothers with those events that may have caused the undeniable poverty such as its history of oppression, slavery and communism. Brooks again uses the comparison to an other country who might have undergone similar conditions. In this case he does use Barbados who, according to him, lived through the same circumstances but is doing pretty well. He is not just using another in-profound settlement without any sources, he neglects important and inuential facts. The ofcial language of Barbados is and was English and it was never shunned from the community of nations at the time they needed them most. The same occurs a little bit further down in the text. He brings in the fourth national-oriented equation by telling the reader about the vast differences in between the both countries Dominican Republic and Haiti that happen to share the same island. He especially emphasizes the border region where those varieties seem to be elusively. And again he lets go important facts by the board. The Dominican Republic is blessed by their language (spanish), their origins, the lack of racism against them, the ease of trade with their culturally and linguistically similar neighbors, and the fantastically different policy of its colonial rulers and hemisphere at its inception. Brooks subsequently blames the cultural inuences as conducive regarding progressual adversities. Besides the voodoo religion, the lack of responsibility awareness and juvenile neglection are spanner in the works. His fourth and last point is the necessity of pushy tutelage or as he describes it: intrusive paternalism. And although he admitted the missing knowledge of the executing persons he sticks with the idea of forcefully infantilizing the inhabitants of those countries that desperately searching for help. Personally speaking I can not agree with David Brooks at all. Haiti is one of the poorest countries. That is something we may say, without further investigation. The reasons for this may vary. I am indeed sure that those listed by Brooks are faulty and based on bad research, since their unbelievable abstrusity. Mr. Brooks simply seems to be channeling the decades-long American sociopolitical war between relativistic liberals and doctrinaire conservatives, and haphazardly applying it to a land and a situation where it has absolutely no place. Haitians living in a Port-au-Prince slum are a world away culturally from Americans anywhere. You don't hear about Haitians excusing inaction by playing the victim, "blaming the system," or committing any of the sins that peeve untold numbers of conservative pundits. They are simply trying to survive, under very inauspicious circumstances, and often willing to work for the smallest pittance where available. Nevertheless all the speculation and casting for collateral causes are highly redundant. The only thing we need now is active participation in order to help rebuilding a country that has been at the bottom shortly before skidding down even further. Now is the chance to start over and our chance to give them a hand in order to demonstrate the peaceful world order that alleged existence get eulogized by everyone. Tobias Tullius