- Category: History
- Created on Sunday, 21 November 2010 06:48
- Written by Jan Makandal
"The contributions of Toussaint Louverture are undeniably important and crucial. But Toussaint did not embody a revolutionary line."
Yesterday we posted an article by Mike Ely on The Slave Army of Toussaint Ouverture, the military force that arose from Haiti's slave uprising and defeated a series of invading armies. We were very glad to receive and post the following response, which proposes a somewhat different historical evaluation of these events, programs and figures.
by Jan Makandal
The historical struggles of the slaves and freed slaves of Haiti have been mostly interpreted by bourgeois intellectuals and petty bourgeois revolutionary intellectuals. Yet this rich history of popular struggle needs to be interpreted from the interest of the Haitian working class and the international proletariat.
I will, in this case, attempt to raise some random points of clarification, demarcations and lessons learned from the essay posted by Mike E in order to contribute to the achievement of two dialectically related objectives: debunk bourgeois theory of the popular struggles of slaves and freed slaves and contribute to raising some important elements in the construction of proletarian theory and ideology in order to defeat capital.
Resistance and Class Struggle
There were more than 300 years of struggles from the occupation of then called Hispaniola by Columbus to January 1804, the independence of Haiti. In these 300 years of struggle, the indigenous inhabitants and the slaves, (introduced by the Catholic Church and Spain, a very profitable endeavor), waged different types and forms of struggles to defeat the colonizer and their national class enemy. From parliamentary struggle, to unity with lesser evils, to guerilla warfare, to insurrection, to finally understanding that power comes from two unequivocal conditions organization/unity and the barrel of a gun. This understanding is the result of a synthesis of prior struggles, their failures, the existing anti opportunist struggles, the two lines struggles and the class line struggle in popular camps in which the slaves were the principal force but not the leading force.