Summary[ edit ] Through critiques of nationalism and of imperialism , Fanon presents a discussion of personal and societal mental health , a discussion of how the use of language vocabulary is applied to the establishment of imperialist identities, such as colonizer and colonized, to teach and psychologically mold the native and the colonist into their respective roles as slave and master and a discussion of the role of the intellectual in a revolution. Fanon proposes that revolutionaries should seek the help of the lumpenproletariat to provide the force required to effect the expulsion of the colonists. In traditional Marxist theory , the lumpenproletariat are the lowest, most degraded stratum of the proletariat—especially criminals, vagrants and the unemployed—people who lack the class consciousness to participate in the anti-colonial revolution. Fanon applies the term lumpenproletariat to the colonial subjects who are not involved in industrial production, especially the peasantry , because, unlike the urban proletariat the working class , the lumpenproletariat have sufficient intellectual independence from the dominant ideology of the colonial ruling class, readily to grasp that they can revolt against the colonial status quo and so decolonize their nation. One of the essays included in The Wretched of the Earth is "On National Culture", in which Fanon highlights the necessity for each generation to discover its mission and to fight for it.
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Fans of Conrad, Morrison, Friere. Definers of postcolonialism, social justice, revolution. Members of the military, political parties, life itself. Think on the lies you live by. The parameters do not matter. Neither do your excuses. If you are for peace, you are for it completely, or you are not for it at all. If you condone violence in any amount, the memorial, the dramatizations, the history of your people, you condone it all. When Fans of Conrad, Morrison, Friere.
When it comes to crimes against humanity, there is no compartmentalization. A country colonizes another. The colonizer breaks down the people, breaks down the culture, and bleeds the country dry. The colonized develops a pecking order, a few imbibing the parasitic infection to an extraordinary degree while the rest succumb to violence, starvation, madness.
The native must realize that colonialism never gives anything away for nothing. Independence is the colonial country making certain concessions to certain people in return for certain benefits. Rich is rich and poor is poor, and in times of revolution the contempt of urban academic for rural masses is just as misguided and virulent. That famous dictatorship, whose supporters believe that it is called for by the historical process and consider it an indispensable prelude to the dawn of independence, in fact symbolizes the decision of the bourgeois caste to govern the underdeveloped country first with the help of the people, but soon against them.
Because it is bereft of ideas, because it lives by its heredity incapacity to think in terms of all the problems of the nation as seen from the point of view of the whole of that nation, the national middle class will have nothing better to do than to take on the role of manager for Western enterprise, and it will in practice set up its country as the brothel of Europe.
White is white and black is black, until you realize it is not a question of racism but an endemic of the comfort of the individual versus the blossoming of the people. What is at stake here is not "What do I have to lose?
The question is not of violence or non-violence, unless you apply it to the whole spectrum of history and look just why exactly we have France and the U. Neither is the former colonies catching up to the colonizers the solution, for the latter only exceeds in terms of capacity, in both speed and completeness, for obliteration of other and self.
The passion with which native intellectuals defend the existence of their national culture may be a source of amazement; but those who condemn this exaggerated passion are strangely apt to forget that their own psyche and their own selves are conveniently sheltered behind a French or German culture which has given full proof of its existence and which is uncontested.
Fact: countries that have progressed beyond Middle Age levels did so through brutal exploitation. Fact: countries that were exploited will return to near Middle Age levels if all colonizer influence is cut off. They find out on the spot that all the piles of speeches on the equality of human beings do not hide the commonplace fact that the seven Frenchmen killed or wounded at Col due Sakamody kindles the indignation of all civilized consciences, whereas the If you have given up your right to politically participate on any level due to middling inconvenience or panderings at anarchy, you will never, ever, understand.
To educate the masses politically does not mean, cannot mean, making a political speech. What it means is to try, relentlessly and passionately, to teach the masses that everything depends on them; that if we stagnate it is their responsibility, and that if we go forward it is due to them too, that there is no such thing as a demiurge, that there is no famous man who will take the responsibility for everything, but that the demiurge is the people themselves and the magic hands are finally only the hands of the people.
Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you really want them to understand. Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe.
It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness, and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions. A government or a party gets the people it deserves and sooner or later a people gets the government it deserves. Tell me why, and how, and just what you are going to do about it. But you are a child and what is happening concerns grown-up people. Now you can do what you like.
Les damnés de la terre