The Elite are still in Haiti/They are well off

Claude - March 2 2008, 6:41 PM

THE ELITE in Haiti is an historic and functioning class.

It's a way of life, a culture inside a culture, a fundamental structure of Haitian society.

One cannot just makes some money and becomes elite.

The interests of that class, their lifestyles, the schools, the types of homes and structure of families, their penchant for the French language and French culture make them unique.

Even some people in professional positions such as doctors and dentists are not members of the elite in Haiti..

After independence, this class was exclusively a very limited circle of Haitians.

They controlled a huge portion of the productive property of Haiti (land, factories, businesses, resources); and that control and their manner of managing those productive resources determined a great deal about daily life in Haiti for everyone.

Today it is very common to trash the elite, and blame them for all Haiti's ills.
But they were not always maligned.

The great leader and scholar-intellectual Jean Price-Mars, wrote a famous essay on the "vocation" of the elite.

(He, himself was a member of the elite and he didn't kid himself that he was not.) This was during the U.S. Occupation (the one from 1915-34) and he argued that this class had an historic obligation to come to Haiti's rescue from this invasion, saving Haiti from the total cultural and governmental destruction at the hands of the U.S. In the Haiti of recent times, there are people from the middle class who have acquired more money, and fancier homes, and education for their children through universities and such. More often than not however, they have not often made that extremely difficult transition into the circle of the elite.

Money and holdings alone do not make that transition, and losing one's money and position, does not in any way automatically reduce someone out of the elite who has historic familial roots there.

The elite are less dominant in the moral leadership of Haiti these days, but they are still a significant and dominant part of the structure of life in Haiti.**I got this information from my dad who's not an elite**

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Tony Saint Festin says...

Claude,Is Bob Corbett is your father? I read this in "What is the Haitian elite by Bob Corbett". more »

Claudy says...

I ask my father that's the information he sent attached to my e-mail address. I will look up the original source you... more »