Frantz Fanon. The Prophet Scorned. Fifty years after his death, is this theorist of revolution still pertinent or are his writing a kind of surrealist fiction with himself as central protagonist? …
…The final Fanonist influence concerns the search for national culture, which finds its analogy in “Black is Beautiful,” Afro hair styles, and other emblems of nonimitation of whites. “The abandoned pre-colonial culture,” Fanon wrote, little dreaming that his words would apply to America, “becomes for the inferiorized an object of passionate attachment…Having formerly emigrated from his culture, the native today explores it with ardor.”
Having regained a cultural identity, Black radicals in America repudiated white society as “Babylon,” just as Fanon exhorted the colonized people of Africa to reject Europe, “where they are never done talking of Man, yet murder men everywhere they find them…look at them swaying between atomic and spiritual disintegration.”
The split in the Black radical movement between Eldridge Cleaver and Stokely Carmichael could be seen as a doctrinal quarrel between Fanonists. Carmichael took from Fanon the unity of the third world, in which he included American Blacks. He refused to co-operate with American white radical groups. Cleaver, accepting alliances with white groups for tactical reasons, could quote the Fanon of Black Skin, White Masks, who foresaw “a white man and a black man hand in hand.” Fanon’s writing is rich enough and vague enough to sustain factions. Ironically, both Carmichael and Cleaver, eventually left to live in Africa. ( to be continued)…
(see link at end)…Robert Fulford: In the end, this revolutionary healer was a destroyer, part of Algeria’s downfall. Life was hard for Algerians when Algeria was a colony, but it has been much harder since the country achieved independence. This is the great paradox of imperial history. The European power that controls an African or Asian nation commits a variety of crimes and is blamed for everything that’s wrong, much of the blame being deserved. Then the imperial power retreats, either because of military defeat or because the colony is no longer considered profitable. Next, the newly created government and ostensibly free society deteriorate, the people become even poorer, and it’s nearly impossible to see how life can be improved.
After decades of chaos, Algeria imploded in 1988. The original leftist government died of corruption, and when a multi-party system seemed likely to produce a government run by the radical Islamic Salvation Front, the army stepped in and imposed military dictatorship. The killings and counter-killings multiplied. “Over the next 10 years,” Mr. Macey writes, “up to 100,000 people would be killed. No one knows the exact figure.” Culture also perished. The novelist Tahar Djaout said: “Silence is death, and if you say nothing you die, and if you speak you die, so speak and die.” Which is what he did, at the hands of two gunmen. Mr. Macey says: “The Algeria with which Fanon identified so strongly had become a country in which police interrogators used blow torches in cellars and in which mass murder was committed in the name of a perversion of Islam.” In this way, the wretched of the Earth became even more wretched. Read More:http://www.robertfulford.com/FrantzFanon.html