Frantz Fanon. the theorist of revolution and a prophet scorned. Dead for the past fifty years, there is still an audience…
…The peasant, says Fanon, thinks in terms of armed struggle, of taking the land back from the foreigner, of total sacrifice. He is capable of spontaneous uprisings because he is uncontaminated by the urban native’s emulation of the settler.
In fact, however, attempts to mobilize the peasants have repeatedly failed. The peasantry of Africa and Latin America proved to be as suspicious of outsiders as it was of the government. Learning that lesson cost Che Guevara his life. In Brazil, the revolutionary movements involved in armed struggle abandoned Guevara’s rural base camp theory in favor of action in the largest cities.
In Portuguese Guinea the revolutionary leader Amilcar Cabral found his support not among the peasants but among the petit bourgeois, the minor civil servants, the import-export clerks, the white-collar workers, those in some way involved and attached to the colonial regime. They were ready to be mobilized, whereas the peasants, he said, were “viscerally conservative.” Fanon had not made a serious study of the peasant class in colonized countries. He jumped to the logical but false conclusion that the most deprived class is the one most likely to rebel.ADDENDUM:
(see link at end)…The idealized Negro, the noble savage, is the product of utopian thinkers, such as Sir Thomas More, who comes from “No
place” and is in the end “No person.” This Negro was born out of the need of European humanism to rescue itself from its moral purgatory and project itself, and displace, the original inhabitants of Latin America and the Caribbean. Not surprisingly, Fanon does not look on lovers of Negros with favor.
Liberation begins by recognizing these constructions for what they are. The fi rst impulse at the arrival of awareness is self loathing: as I begin to recognize that the Negro is the symbol of sin, I catch myself hating the Negro. Here, Fanon is articulating a common feeling. If all you represent—your history, your culture your very self—is nothing but ugly, naïve and wicked, then it is not surprising that you do not see yourself in a kindly manner. But this neurotic situation is not the route to emancipation. There is only one solution: to rise above the absurd drama that others have staged around me, to reject the two terms that are equally unacceptable, and, through one human being, to reach out for the universal.
So the first thing that the black man wants is to say no. No to degradation of man. No to exploitation of man. No to the butchery of what is most human in man: freedom. And, above all, no to those who attempt to build a definition of him. While it is understandable, Fanon asserts, that the first action of the black man is a reaction, it is necessary to go beyond. But the next step brings us face to face with a dilemma. Should the black man define himself in reaction to the white man thus confirming the white man as a measure of all things? Or should one strive
unremittingly for a concrete and ever new understanding of man? Where is the true mode of resistance actually located? How should the black man speak for himself? Read More:http://abahlali.org/files/__Black_Skin__White_Masks__Pluto_Classics_.pdf