Fanon


Rumsfeld obviously hadn’t read Fanon:

The truth is that there is no colonial power today which is capable of adopting the only form of contest which has a chance of suceeding, namely, the prolonged establishment of large forces of occupation. (Wretched of the Earth. pg. 58)

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“Intellectual alienation is a creation of middle-class society. What i call middle-class society is any society that becomes rigidified in predetermined forms, forbidding all evolution, all gains, all progress, all discovery. I call middle-class a closed society in which life has no taste, in which the air is tainted, in which ideas and men are corrupt. And I think that a man who takes a stand against this death is in a sense revolutionary.” Frantz Fanon Black Skins, White Masks.


From what I know, which is not much, there is little work that compares Fanon with his European contemporaries. This is surprising because he shares much in common with Hegelian Marxism and Critical Theory.

In a very broad sense, I would argue that Fanon and Hegelian Marxism/ Critical Theory utillize Marx and Freud to criticize the dehumanizing effects of culture on humans, where culture turns humans into things through a fetishized process not captured by reified consciousness. I will explore this further in my dissertation or in articles

I recommend this very interesting article;

There is an elephant in The Wretched of the Earth. It is Islam and
its anti-colonial tradition in Algeria. Fanon continuously cites and
exalts this tradition. It even can be argued that Fanon’s famous
death sentence on colonial systems was properly minted only out of
his contact with this anti-colonial tradition. But if Fanon cites
this tradition everywhere, he does not reference it anywhere. He
explains the acts of resistance and applauds the culture of Algerian
peasants, but he does not name them for what they were – the
tradition of Islamic resistance to colonialism. Rather, he
attributes the successful resistance to the famous combination of
spontaneity and organization. Marxist revolutionary theory is
credited for providing the organization, and impulsive, anti-
colonial reactions of the Algerian peasantry are said to be the
source of spontaneity. This combination has become the hallmark of
Fanon’s theory of revolution and is said to be capable of breaking
the back of colonial systems. In this article, however, I argue that
the peasant spontaneity on which Fanon builds his revolutionary
theory was not that spontaneous after all. A careful reading of the
famous chapter ‘Spontaneity: Its Strength and Weakness’ will show
that all the examples he gives of peasant spontaneity belong to a
distinctly Islamic anti-colonial tradition that, by the time Fanon
was writing, had been in existence for over a century. It is only by
remaining silent about the Islamic source of this tradition that
Fanon manages to present it as a spontaneous and visceral peasant
outburst. In an Algerian context, the categories of spontaneity and
organization can emerge only if all references to Islam are erased.
Rather than spontaneity and organization, what The Wretched of the
Earth actually describes is the combination of two systems of
organization – one Marxist, the other Islamic.

Read the rest here.