Frantz Fanon and his theory of revolution. Fifty years on the Wretched of the Earth may aspire to be a guide to yuppies and hipsters of the perplexed variety…
…Frantz Fanon wrote that the urban equivalent of the peasantry was the “lumpenproletariat, uprooted from their tribe and from their clan, which constitutes one of the most spontaneous and radically revolutionary forces of a colonized people.” This idea, became a kind of hinge doctrine that was adapted to the urban ghetto, which as both justification and pretext, became canonized within Black Panther ideology. Urban gauchiste chic where a Black Panther could be invited to a high class dinner at conductor Leonard Bernstein. Theory of revolution as artistic and poetic muse which could be part of an urban aesthetic.
Eldridge Cleaver talked of recruiting the “brothers and sisters on the block,” and Panther leaders like CLeaver himself and Soledad brother George Jackson received their education in prison libraries and their political consciousness in cell blocks. In a peculiarly Fanonist manner, black radicals found their support among marginal elements in the cities who turned from crime to political action.
Fanon’s rejection of the bourgeois nationalist parties became, in the Panther’s transplantation, a rejection of moderate black groups such as the NAACP. Like the bourgeois nationalists, the civil-rights groups, the quota chasers, the equal opportunity fudgers, were of no use to the Panthers in their purist, Orthodox, Salafist jihad of some-vague-but-hip-brotherhood iteration because it came to a friendly agreement with the oppressor. The “moderates” deplore violence, share many of the oppressor’s values, and are willing to settle for less, just part of a loaf of bread even if they can sit in the front of the bus and not have to cede their seat to anyone. It was here that Fanon came home to roost. ( to be continued)…
(see link at end) Robert Fulford: For the young in many parts of the world, he perfectly expressed the spirit of the times. He was the talk of revolutionary Paris in the 1950s, when the young Saloth Sar, not yet known as Pol Pot, lived there. Later, in America, the Weathermen and the Black Panthers loved to quote him. The book in which Fanon clearly articulated his theory, The Wretched of the Earth, went into six editions in Arabic. Today it’s hardly necessary for revolutionaries to read him. His poison flows through the bloodstream of everyone who kills joyfully for an imaginary future.
Fanon never knew how far his ideas would reach beyond France and Algeria. He died of leukemia in 1961, at the age of 36, just as The Wretched of the Earth was being published. … Fanon was a middle-class French West Indian who grew up on Martinique believing French rhetoric about the equality of man. But his Second World War service with the Free French army and his medical education in Lyons taught him that France was profoundly racist. After that, he saw all public life through the prism of race and colonialism. He moved to Algeria and joined the Algerian National Front’s fight for independence from France.
So far as we can tell from his writings, he wasn’t much interested in the insights to be gained through psychiatry. He was a blamer who taught others to blame. His approach to truth was purely political: “Truth is that which dislocates the colonial regime, that which promotes the emergence of the nation.” In other words, he traded thinking for propaganda. Yet he was still regarded as an intellectual.
David Macey began reading him around 1970, when Third World charisma had broad appeal. Today Mr. Macey notes that Fanon “had a talent for hate” and advocated violence that his biographer can no longer justify. But as a good-hearted liberal, Mr. Macey labours to see Fanon in a gentle light: “It was his anger that was so attractive.” Well, no, it was his anger that was least attractive, because it blinded him to the consequences of his words. Read More:http://www.robertfulford.com/FrantzFanon.html