Professor Neil Roberts has interesting thoughts on the tragic earthquake in Haiti.

What has happened in Haiti—and is continuously occurring now—is a combination of factors located directly in the aftermath of the 1804 Haitian Revolution, the external international community’s tragic isolationist response to that Republic, the rise of factions internal to the polity after US occupation that created what Michel-Rolph Trouillot calls the early twentieth-century separation between the freedom-loving Haitian people and the authoritarian Haitian state, and the ensuing breakdown of the environment after World War II that has, in effect, exacerbated Haiti’s inability to handle natural disasters. While the refashioning of Haitian democracy has been positively underway in the late twentieth to early twenty-first centuries despite Haiti’s condition of poverty and unresolved controversy over the ouster of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the valence of the environment is one that is extremely arduous. The physical terrain of Haiti simply cannot withstand this level of devastation, which compounds the existent contemporary trends of deforestation and building infrastructural decay.

Read the whole thing, and add a comment there. Professor Roberts kindly responded to mine.

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