By Camille Loty Malebranche
Saturday, September 14, 2019 ((rezonodwes.com)) – The human nature ceases to be animal by its report mediate with the reality seen the establishment of the sense beyond the immediate natural, through the transcendence of need and utility toward fulfillment.
Root and transcendence are the two self-fulfilling movements of human reality. Society, like man, has no choice but to fertilize and elevate his life by the levers of transcendence which abstract and undo the corset of the here and now in the positive projection of self. In the context of the collective man of a society, rooting is hardly opposed to transcendence, they are a pair of dual nature, of the dualistic truth of social humanity.
It is important here to underline the purifying nature of comparative neutrality in the judgment of ethnic and social facts by cultural and social anthropology, a discipline formerly accused and placed in the hot seat of recriminations of peoples formerly victims of ethnocentrism and Western or other sociocentrism. It is therefore a question of fighting and correcting the aggressive ethnocentrisms of history with their disastrous consequences of ethnocide, racism, colonialism, slavery, genocide.
It is in this context of purification against the old discriminatory demons that in cultural and social anthropology, it has been decided to rule that from a comparative point of view, the culture of societies is “neutral” and that therefore cultures are worth and must be studied far from any negative taxonomy. This perceived and thus established, it is now necessary to undertake any cultural critique of the interior by scrutinizing the strengths and weaknesses of this encompassing social reality, this axiological space that is actually culture.
Because everything in the social: rationality, emotion, reflection, reflex, is conditioned and structured by culture, predetermined by and according to culture. It is a matter of understanding why and by what deflected and harmful values, horror and inhumanity are rampant in culture, which is by definition the very mark of humanity beyond our belonging to the animal kingdom. And from there, to grasp the cultural causes of the existential condition of each given society or category of society.
The negativities of the culture invade and pollute the life of the people, poison their relation to themselves, to the nature and to others. Hegemonic culture of belligerence, aggression and conquest among some, such as colonialist societies; a culture of defeatism and fatalism in others; culture of repression and mortification elsewhere, I want proof of invaginations and ritual excoriations, mutilations like excision.
The specificity of the case of Haiti and its voodoo …
Sometimes placed under the banner of a form of rationality; sometimes mythical or mystical, the aforementioned practices often harmful, claim to be justified by their culturality. Today, we know the legal shielding in Western countries formally prohibiting African practitioners of excision, but what about the relevance or value of certain practices jealously brandished by Haitian voodoo?
In fact, can man renounce the transcendence of the demonstrated negative legacies of his ancestors? And, should not we seek in the weltanschauung of voodoo mythology and mysticism, some causes of Haitian failure? Should Haitians be afraid of real questions? Voodoo is probably not a monolith, in which case it would be purified! Why Haitians fail to develop a viable social vision, and face a sort of mental and behavioral tribalism in politics, which blocks any development and effort of real elites, despite the fact that society Haitian is not formally tribal?
Voodoo, despite its aesthetic fecundity favoring a prolific art and an opulent folklore, does not build anything significant on the level of the real or sociopolitical since the birth of the country except that the maintenance of the people in a vision antiscientific folklorist. Let's say it here: there is no thaumaturgy of history, there is no miracle of loa or devil to change the history or the condition of societies, there is only the rational ability of peoples to face obstacles, to build new horizons through the leadership of their elites, when the evil rages. In the same way, there is no historical fatality, it is only indecipherable minds with their unfit mentality and their behavior unsuitable for liberation. But unfortunately, in the case of Haiti, voodoo as it is, often competes at worst with its reign of irrationality aggravated with mystic suspicion and malice towards each other that translate the names of loas (spirits of voodoo) ): èzili je rouj, bawon lakwa …
A real source of fear, manipulation, mystification and mutual hatred and sometimes crime that aggravates the inability of Haitians to agree on a viable project of society and to approach scientifically and rationally the traps and cultural causes of the Haitian collective sinking … Culture, this category of the acquis which differs from the innate, this essence of humanity added to the cosmic nature, is paradoxically the form constitutive of the nature of the ethnic groups. But let us not be deceived, the nature in ethnic matters, is a construction of the elites of societies, which evolves through history. Culture is therefore at the heart of the self-definition of ethnic groups and societies. Culture is undoubtedly a highly polysemic subject because it is vastly multidimensional, a space where unfortunately logical and semantic stereotypes rage and ravage.
At the properly anthropological stage, culture, if it is not hierarchical between peoples, remains a configuration liable to the logical and moral judgment of humanity, and above all the object to be questioned in any enterprise. self-criticism of a society. Its operations, its dysfunctions, its diachronic balance and its synchronic truth. Its positive or negative consequences must not and can not be evaded by the stamina of self-criticism of any people. Its function remained for a long time fully differentiating before being only today in part because of the standardization of global popular culture by the media. However, as we have pointed out elsewhere in another article, there are the properly ethnico-national aspects soaking in the founding myths of society, and the politico-state determining the identity and type of the state through choices. governments, which are the identity base of any society beyond popular culture.
Perfectibility of Culture
Perfectibility is undoubtedly one of the main characteristics of the essence of culture. Voodoo, as a cultural mega-parameter of Haiti, must therefore be purified of its antirirational ugliness, its criminal contiguity such as the zombification that exists only where it is present, and cease to be a tissue of negativities such as the suspicions, the intimidations and hatred mentioned above in this text without omitting all the sum of worship practices rites studded demonolatrous superstitions, because this is his unacknowledged part of evil so often you by the mercenary and corrupt talkers, all opportunists who use it either for their electoral political capital of corrupt politicians or for their discursive popularity. The world is the vision of man applied to the reading of the universe and to the place of oneself in the universe. It implies a consciousness of the universe to which the human being adjoins the artefacts of civilization, thus acquired from culture.
Haitian voodoo projects a denigrating vision of the world and of the man vulgarly called “chwal” that is to say, horse that overlaps the spirits, the perception of the world in voodoo is rather unhealthy, it is a weltanschauung where, when everything is not brought back to the fear of the anger of the loathing challengers, the spell, the evil spell, there is the mystical megalomania, the manipulation, the exploitation of the superstitious naivety of the people and especially the permanent threat from one another. Beside that, the insanity of smelly potions and stinking baths, the predominance of a paranoid fantasy that keeps the voodoo at the mercy of the houngan or the mambo (priests and priestesses of worship).
And indeed, what voodoo is not often sold to demons, is not sent a dead or a baka (impure spirit and exterminator) to kill him, was not exposed to poisonous powder on the threshold of his door, did not have his “luck” stolen by another … Beliefs apparently crazy but founded in the obsession of the evil at the heart of a society privileging the negative. Negative empire of the suggestion of the worst.
The “elites” of the Haitian people – caught between the hypocritical foreigner who likes to encourage the negro in his grotesque eccentricities totally inoffensive and ineffective for the eradication of miseries and white hegemony, and the Haitian intellectual demagogue , snob or manipulator wanting to take advantage of this outbidding, this easy pseudo-discursive seam – must courageously stand up to, if not erect, but propose a collective thought and a culture of self-elevation and liberation by a new purified and liberated imaginary, likely to open a new time to change the story. In the matter of self-assumption and self-projection, the individual is radically different from the collective, because the individual is fulfilled by metaphysics, and in God, society is realized by politics and in man making history .
Moreover, time and the imaginary are two motors of the action that makes history and determines the fate and condition of societies. And, in terms of social discourse, it is a shame to make the choice of the ease of the popular cowardice or calculating coldness, inhuman profiteer attitude.
It is undeniable that the magical perception of the emergence of the collective future and the conception refusing the rationality of the action of change are strong parts of the condition of serious delay and terrible decay of the Haitian situation. But I know that many will find excuses for this in the name of the ancestral culture and especially to take advantage of the popularity of the same nonsense causing and maintaining the same decay effects of an entire country.
Let's hope that the bitter defenders of a sick imagination will eventually accept the evidence that the popular and the majority are not necessarily good or just, and even, can be extremely counter-productive in the collective life, generating insurmountable obstacles to the improvement of peoples and societies.
CAMILLE LOTY MALEBRANCHE