…He returned to Tunis, and, knowing that the remission he enjoyed from leukemia might end at any time, he finished his last and most important book, The Wretched of the Earth. Fanon worked twenty hours a day, interrupting his writing to lecture to the Algerian general staff on the Tunisian border, and to meet Jean-Paul Sartre in Rome. Fanon and the French existentialist on that occasion talked for twelve solid hours. Sartre finally collapsed, and Fanon complained, “I hate people who hoard their resources.”
The Wretched of the Earth is the logical sequel to Black Skin, White Masks. From the alienation of the colonized Black man, Fanon moved to a theory of armed struggle built around four themes. The first theme is the necessity of violence. The colonized masses, says Fanon, must realize that their liberation can only be achieved by force. The colonial regime owes its legitimacy to force and only understands force. The colonized man needs force, not only to overthrow his oppressor, but to give himself an identity. Violence, according to Fanon, is a cleansing agent that frees the native from despair and inaction.
Violence also helps create a national consciousness, for it leads to repression, and repression brings about the mobilization of the masses. Despite Fanon’s tendency to make a cathartic virtue of violence, he is not on solid ground,for history provides few examples of oppressed colonials being handed their freedom without first taking up the gun.
Fanon’s next theme, however, is far less self-evident. The wretched of the title are the peasants, and Fanon believed they would rise up because they had nothing to lose. The peasant, says Fanon, think 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. ( to be continued)…
(see link at end)…Fanon’s point is very clear: the popular struggle and the national culture are synonymous, the culture is the struggle—what Fanon calls the ‘terrible stone crusher, the fierce mixing machine’ of popular revolution. This, for Fanon, positive anti-colonial violence forms part of the healing process of a culture that is repairing itself, prompted by its unstable, dislocated muscle. Culture is formed through the dialectical responsive violence of the colonised, a process that transforms and heals their society.
Violence, then, in Fanon, is seen from a medical perspective as something whose effects require healing, but this healing can also take the form of revolutionary violence, like a surgical intervention. This is not a general, apocalyptic revolutionary violence but a violent healing that starts from the place of disequilibrium that the original violence produced. Fanon does not merely deplore originary colonial violence, but explains the ongoing violence of a society in terms of why, and from where, it has been produced. For Fanon, the opposition is not between violence and non-violence in the abstract, but between the kinds of societies which produce antithetical effects. The only opposite to the violent colonial state is a non-violent non-colonial state which would be able to organise a consensual civil society, which Fanon equally defines in terms of its common culture. Read More:http://thinkingafricarhodesuniversity.blogspot.ca/2011/11/violent-state.html