Class Issues in Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth

Frantz Fanon, in his classic account of colonialism and violence, The Wretched of the Earth, went to great length and detail explaining the elements needed to overthrow a colonial oppressor.

Most obvious in his writing is his acceptance for, and at times the encouragement of, violence. This violence is to be directed at those foreigners who subdue and suppress the native national people.

Throughout the book Fanon speaks of the need to remove the foreign presence in the land in order for the country to gain its independence and its own character.

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Deja-Vu

There should be a word for having the feeling that some things will never change. Perhaps there is one and I just don’t know it, or can’t find it. Perhaps that word is just pessimism. Either way this is not the first time I have been reading a book and it’s contents have struck me as still particularly relevant.

The first instance of this was when I was ploughing through American Psycho. This latest occurrence comes from a book that was published even before that.

“Modern English polite society, my native sphere, seems to me as corrupt as consciousness of culture and absence of honesty can make it. A canting, lie-loving, fact-hating, scribbling, chattering, wealth-hunting, pleasure-hunting, celebrity-hunting mob, that, having lost the fear of hell, and not replaced it by the love of justice, cares for nothing but the lion’s share of the wealth wrung by threat of starvation from the hands of the classes that create it.

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As Relevant Now As It Was Then

A few days ago I finally got round to reading a book that has been on my To Read List for quite some time. The book is not particularly political so I was quite surprised to see the following paragraphs in the opening few pages.

(Please pardon the mass use of bold. It was the only obvious way to distinguish the book extract from my own words)

“… Well, we have to end apartheid for one. And slow down the nuclear arms race, stop terrorism and world hunger. Ensure a strong national defense, prevent the spread of communism in Central America, work for a Middle East peace settlement, prevent US military involvement overseas. We have to ensure that America is a respected world power. Now that’s not to belittle our domestic problems, which are equally important, if not more. Better and more affordable long-term care for the elderly, control and find a cure for the AIDS epidemic, clean up environmental damage from toxic waste and pollution, improve the quality of primary and secondary education, strengthen laws to crack down on crime and illegal drugs. We also have to ensure that college education is affordable for the middle class and protect Social Security for senior citizens plus conserve natural resources and wilderness areas and reduce the influence of political action committees…

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