Frantz Fanon. A prophet scorned…
…When he had recovered, Fanon returned to Tunis and was appointed FLN ambassador to Accra. His job was to obtain arms and volunteers from Black African nations sympathetic to Algeria. He went at it with his usual feverish energy and succeeded in recruiting eight hundred volunteers, but when he announced that they were ready,the FLN leadership said they were not needed. In fact, Fanon had been relegated to second-echelon post and removed from Tunis and the center of power. The FLN, although they considered Fanon useful as a symbol of international support for their cause, always thought of him as an outsider. To the FLN, he was an unknown, and outsider.
What the euphemism on Fanon meant was that he was not an Arab, not a Moselm, not an Algerian, but a black man from the West indies. The Arabs, of course, are not without racism toward blacks. Moreover, with few exceptions, the Algerian leaders were anti-intellectual. They were either old-fashioned liberals afraid of Fanon’s radicalism. like Fehrat Abbas, or barely educated men, like Krim Belkacem, who had risen to a position of command in the djebel ( mountains) and were suspicious of people who dealt with ideas rather than the day-to-day realities of the war. For Fanon, the Algerian war was part of a wider African revolution. The Algerians, however, were only concerned with the liberation of their own country.
They never again had to face the problem of “what to do with Fanon.” In 1960 came the first signs of his illness- periods of exhaustion, loss of weight, a puffiness around the eyes. It was diagnosed as leukemia. Fanon said he had no time for illness and kept up his frenetic work schedule work schedule until he collapsed and was flown to a cancer clinic outside Moscow. There he was put on Myleran, the standard medication for granulocytic leukemia. He showed some improvement, and Russian doctors advised him to seek further treatment at the National Institute of Health in Bethseda, Maryland. But Fanon could not make up his mind to visit “the nation of lynchers.” ( to be continued)…
(see link at end)…For Fanon, anti-colonial struggle took a common form of working the dialectic: only revolution would heal the psyche of the wretched, and only revolution through violence: ‘violence is a cleansing force. It frees the native from his inferiority complex and from his despair and inaction; it makes him fearless and restores his self-respect’.
Violence is justified in ethical terms, according to Fanon, by the fact that colonial rule is itself founded on violence, sustained by violence, and offers no scope for other forms of response. Contrary to the strictures of Hannah Arendt and many others, Fanon’s view of violence was specifically tuned to the colonial situation. In the first place, as he makes clear in his speech, ‘Why We Employ Violence’, the choice of violence was produced, by the form of the Algerian colonial state. Everything that Fanon says in ‘Concerning Violence’ in Wretched of the Earth, is mediated by the opening description of the extreme colonial condition, a remorseless Manichean binary, which he is addressing. The colonial state is not only openly predicated on the historical violence that initiated colonial power, but reinforces its power through ‘pure force’. This may produce something that looks like consent on the part of the natives, because they do not always openly rebel, but it nevertheless has the effect of dislocating their society, of inflicting a wound beneath the surface. It is, we might say, not the location of culture in which Fanon is interested, but the dislocations of culture. Faced with such dislocations, Fanon comments in a famous passage that:
It is not enough to try to get back to the people in that past out of which they have already emerged; rather we must join them in that fluctuating movement which they are just giving a shape to, and which as soon as it has started, will be the signal for everything to be called into question. Let there be no mistake about it; it is to this zone of occult instability where the people dwell that we must come…. Read More:http://thinkingafricarhodesuniversity.blogspot.ca/2011/11/violent-state.html