Frantz Fanon and the Wretched of the Earth. A prophet scorned. Fifty years after Frantz Fanon’s death, there is still an audience for this theorist of revolution. Question is, are the ideas relevant in an era of post-modernism?…
…But prophets often find disciples they did not seek. Marx believed that Communist revolutions would come in highly industrialized nations, whereas it came instead in rural and feudal societies of Russia and China. In the same way, the third world a generation later was deaf to Fanon, but he found an audience among Black radicals in the United States. Ten years after his death coincided with the rise of militant black groups deeply influenced by The Wretched of the Earth.
The Black Panthers were Fanonists in their willingness to use violence and in their belief that that they would find dignity through violence, again reiterating the nihilistic cleansing doctrine of Fanon, who as theorist, hardly had the profile of murderer, yet was able to espouse an academic justification for loss of life as clinical prescription in the deep waters of moral relativity. “We become men when we have the courage to kill our oppressors,” the Panthers said, echoing Fanon.
(see link at end)…Fanon saw the ideological and political bankruptcy of the post-colonial ruling elite who constituted the dominant social class within many of the nationalist parties which led the fight for independence. According to Fanon’s observations, this elite cannot fulfill its historic role of transforming itself from a petit-bourgeois stratum to a full-blown national bourgeoisie in the Western industrial sense of the term.
A class such as the petit-bourgeoisie of Africa can only imitate in a vulgar fashion the attributes of the former colonial rulers. Without an objective class basis for the acquisition of capital, the new post-colonial elite became the automatic junior partners of the international bourgeoisie.
In his ground-breaking book, “The Wretched of the Earth,” Fanon says, “The national middle class which takes over power at the end of the colonial regime is an underdeveloped middle class. It has practically no economic power, and in any case it is no way commensurate with the bourgeoisie of the mother country which it hopes to replace.”
Fanon continues by pointing out, “In its narcissism, the national middle class is easily convinced that it can advantageously replace the middle class of the mother country. But that same independence which literally drives it into a corner will give rise within its ranks to catastrophic reactions, and will oblige it to send out frenzied appeals for help to the former mother country.”
This is the crisis of leadership, organization and ideology facing the peoples of the Third World. At the mass base this phenomena of political marginality is manifested in the socio-psychological alienation of the popular classes. It is among this section of the overwhelming majority of the people that Fanon places his hopes for revolutionary transformation. Read More:http://www.workers.org/2011/us/frantz_fanon_0217/