fanon: scorning with caliban

Frantz Fanon. The prophet scorned. This theorist of revolution, dead for the past fifty years, still finds an audience…

…The settler meanwhile, having created this Caliban, fears the animal qualities with which he has invested it. The settler develops what a French sociologist quoted by Fanon calls the Prospero complex, a sum of unconscious neurotic attitudes born of fear of the man he insists is a savage.

---Fanon thus: “We cannot forget the martyrdom of the Palestinians when we read…‘On Violence’….We cannot forget the lumpenproletariat, the wretched of the earth, who still stream to Europe from Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the countries of the former Eastern bloc, living on the periphery in their shantytowns.” As Philcox laments, “[there are those who] still unreservedly and enthusiastically adopt the thought characteristics of the West.”[5] The Freud-Marx confluence in BSWM sits at odds with this politically naïve anti-imperialism. No doubt this at least partially explains why the new translation elicits a tepid foreword by Kwame Anthony Appiah. More pointedly, Appiah reads three themes as shared across both works—a critique of “the Eurocentrism of psychoanalysis,” a bid to reckon accounts with Negritude, and a concerted effort to develop a “philosophy of decolonization”—as if these formed a triptych.---click for source...

—Fanon thus: “We cannot forget the martyrdom of the Palestinians when we read…‘On Violence’….We cannot forget the lumpenproletariat, the wretched of the earth, who still stream to Europe from Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the countries of the former Eastern bloc, living on the periphery in their shantytowns.” As Philcox laments, “[there are those who] still unreservedly and enthusiastically adopt the thought characteristics of the West.” The Freud-Marx confluence in BSWM sits at odds with this politically naïve anti-imperialism. No doubt this at least partially explains why the new translation elicits a tepid foreword by Kwame Anthony Appiah. More pointedly, Appiah reads three themes as shared across both works—a critique of “the Eurocentrism of psychoanalysis,” a bid to reckon accounts with Negritude, and a concerted effort to develop a “philosophy of decolonization”—as if these formed a triptych.—click for source…

The first of these is the myth, or rather the hallucination, of the Black man’s sexual potency. Fanon, who was interested by Sartre’s analysis of anti-Semitism, pointed out that what he called the Negro’s sexual prowess performed a similar function as the Jew’s acquisitiveness- it is used to justify hatred or be an outlet for aggressive destructive energy: “Those niggers are just waiting for the chance to jump on white women.” When a Negro is lynched, he is often castrated. This mythical Negro, Fanon said, becomes “The incarnation of a genital potency beyond all moralities and prohibitions.”

What then arises is the springing up of a connective mythology: “A white woman who has had a Negro lover finds it difficult to return to the company of white men. The Negro is closer to animals. White women secretly want to be raped by a coal-black Negro.” Evidently, Fanon could not resist playing on the notion of soul, the idea of the natural soul and its more base, self-serving and animal elements transcribed in reality to a myth where like the animal crapping or eating, the Black when aroused will rape what is at hand. The Black is condemned to hold not potential for a second soul, a soul of divine spark and connectivity to the higher realms. ( to be continued)…

---The only part that Fanon feels Mannoni got at least part right:     White colonials suffer from a Prospero complex. Just like the Prospero in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, they want to lord it over the natives. The colonies draw those whites who cannot accept others as they are, who do not want to have to take other men seriously but instead want to lord it over them. Fanon:     I start suffering from not being a white man insofar as the white man discriminates against me; turns me into a colonized subject; … tells me I am a parasite in the world … So I will try quite simply to make myself white; in other words, I will force the white man to acknowledge my humanity. But, Monsieur Mannoni will tell us, you can’t, because deep down inside you there is a dependency complex.---Read More:http://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/fanon-the-so-called-dependency-complex-of-the-colonized/

—The only part that Fanon feels Mannoni got at least part right:
White colonials suffer from a Prospero complex. Just like the Prospero in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, they want to lord it over the natives. The colonies draw those whites who cannot accept others as they are, who do not want to have to take other men seriously but instead want to lord it over them.
Fanon:
I start suffering from not being a white man insofar as the white man discriminates against me; turns me into a colonized subject; … tells me I am a parasite in the world … So I will try quite simply to make myself white; in other words, I will force the white man to acknowledge my humanity. But, Monsieur Mannoni will tell us, you can’t, because deep down inside you there is a dependency complex.—Read More:http://abagond.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/fanon-the-so-called-dependency-complex-of-the-colonized/


ADDENDUM:

(see link at end)… The anti-Semite is mediocre because he fears being alone. He believes his mediocrity is unchangeable because he is afraid of being free. And he “makes of this irremediable mediocrity a rigid aristocracy” by which he is able to assert his own superiority (Sartre, 1948:28). In this endeavour, Sartre argues, the anti-Semite finds “the existence of the Jew absolutely necessary. Otherwise to whom would he be superior?” . It is this dependence that leads Sartre to proclaim “if the Jew did not exist, the anti-Semite would invent him” – a notion which Fanon would echo many years: “have the courage to say it outright: it is the racist who creates his inferior” . “‘Dirty nigger!’ : like the anti-Semite, so the anti-black racist comes to be imprisoned by his ideas, of blackness and of whiteness. The racist is dehumanised in his dehumanising the black: “the white man slaves to reach a human level … The white man is sealed in his whiteness” . And mediocrity, too, lies at the foundations of self-deceptive attempts to deny that the black is but human:

Because my father was proud
The white man raped my mother
Because my mother was beautiful
The white man wore out my brother in the hot sun
of the roads
Because my brother was strong
Then the white man came to me
His hands red with blood
Spat his contempt into my black face
Out of his tyrant’s voice
“Hey boy, a basin, a towel, water.”
(David Diop in Fanon, 1952:104).

Fanon, like Sartre, believes that identity is not a natural given, but is rather sociogenic in origin – that is, it is socially constructed . It is this – this scandalous invention undertaken by the white racist in bad faith – that leads Fanon  to declare on the first page of Black Skin, “at the risk of arousing the resentment of [his] coloured brothers … that the black is not a man.” Rather, blackness was invented “by the other, the white man, who had woven me out of a thousand details, anecdotes, stories” . The black is savage, the black is brutish, the black is illiterate: another set of a priori “truths”. Yet Fanon points out a fundamental difference between the plight of the Jew and that of the black person: it is only the idea of the Jew by which condemns him and, as such:

the Jew can be unknown in his Jewishness. He is not wh


what he is. One hopes, one waits. His actions, his behaviour are the final determinant. He is a white man, and, apart from some rather debatable characteristics, he can sometimes go unnoticed  Read More:http://thinkingafricarhodesuniversity.blogspot.ca/2012/08/anti-semite-and-jew-review-essay.html

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