Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti And David Brooks' Senility

David Brooks is, for some reason inscrutable to me, a respected columnist. President Obama said that the US would not forget Haiti and would have a continuing commitment to the nation. This led Brooks to tell us about aid and culture and ... well, China. Apparently Brooks doesn't like Haiti's religion:
As Lawrence E. Harrison explained in his book “The Central Liberal Truth,” Haiti, like most of the world’s poorest nations, suffers from a complex web of progress-resistant cultural influences. There is the influence of the voodoo religion, which spreads the message that life is capricious and planning futile. There are high levels of social mistrust. Responsibility is often not internalized. Child-rearing practices often involve neglect in the early years and harsh retribution when kids hit 9 or 10.

Voodoo. OK, David, how about Catholicism? Did you bother to notice the correlation between Catholicism and poverty in the world? Well, no that wouldn't fit his frame that a nice religion promotes policies that damn near guarantee poverty.
Over the past few decades, the world has spent trillions of dollars to generate growth in the developing world. The countries that have not received much aid, like China, have seen tremendous growth and tremendous poverty reductions. The countries that have received aid, like Haiti, have not.

Huh? David Brooks can't tell what is different between Haiti and China? Well maybe, it isn't what you'd think.
Fourth, it’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.

Broken down into its basic components what we've got is the actual metric of a Brooks. Paternalism composed of his approved religions and the unregulated form of business in China. A plutocrat's wet dream.


Zak Johnson said...

It almost sounds like Brooks is endorsing communist command economies, state-mandated abortion, protectionism and patent infringement. Or was he talking about some other China?

Phil said...

Paternalism? Daddy, I want a Ferrari.

Chuck Butcher said...

I don't know Zak, whatever live brain cells Brooks had don't seem to be talking to each other...