Saturday, December 6, 2014

Lessons from an anti-colonialist

Funny what can catch your eye on social media. 

This quote grabbed mine:
"When we revolt it's not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe." - Frantz Fanon
Strong thought.

Turns out Frantz Fanon was an anti-colonialist from Martinique. I found a webpage with other quotes from a book he'd written.

Some samples:
 “And it is clear that in the colonial countries the peasants alone are revolutionary, for they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The starving peasant, outside the class system is the first among the exploited to discover that only violence pays. For him there is no compromise, no possible coming to terms; colonization and decolonization is simply a question of relative strength.” 
“The claim to a national culture in the past does not only rehabilitate that nation and serve as a justification for the hope of a future national culture. In the sphere of psycho-affective equilibrium it is responsible for an important change in the native. Perhaps we haven't sufficiently demonstrated that colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native's brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures, and destroys it. This work of devaluing pre-colonial history takes on a dialectical significance today.”  
“Have the courage to read this book, for in the first place it will make you ashamed, and shame, as Marx said, is a revolutionary sentiment.”
Strikes me this is the kind of writing young Barack Obama, under guidance of his Marxist professors, might have gravitated to.  But it also strikes me that the approach of the Obama government toward the American nation seems to borrow heavily from the kind of mindset Fanon ascribes to colonialists.

Pledging to "fundamentally transform" a country is something a colonial master would desire.

So too, the importation of large numbers of immigrants to reshape a country's population into something less native and more pliable in transformation would be a colonialist strategy.

A colonial master would prioritize his chosen immigrants over what he sees as the less pliable natives. A country's military veterans from the pre-colonial era, for example, might be shifted from an honored class to a slighted class of a population conquered or otherwise subdued under a new colonial ruler. New arrivals, on the other hand, might be showered with entitlements to woo allegiance.

Here's another quote from a more contemporary source:
"Barack knows that we are going to have to make sacrifices; we are going to have to change our conversation; we're going to have to change our traditions, our history; we're going to have to move into a different place as a nation." - Michelle Obama, May 2008
While most of us grew up being versed in an American government under the Constitution, Obama, simply by nature of his international background, was perhaps more interested in, or steered toward weighing philosophies of colonialism and anti-colonialism.

Strikes me, Obama's implemented a government agenda more akin to that of a colonial power than what the founders envisioned under the Constitution. Fact is, he may have been pretty much up front about his intent from the start, but he also knew a knowledge gap would make it unlikely all but few would understand what he was saying.

No comments:

Post a Comment