Frantz Fanon In The Wretched Of The Earth

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Influence on social theory from movements of decolonisation that challenged colonial rule against the third world. One of the key thinkers of these movements was the Martinique-born intellectual and revolutionary Frantz Fanon. Frantz Fanon (1926-1961) is widely considered one of the most important theorists of the twentieth century on race, racism, and colonialism. Fanon supported the Algerian war of independence from French colonialism as he worked in Algeria as a psychiatrist during the war, and he was a member of the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN). This essay will attempt to critically discuss Fanon’s account of the development of the colonised intellectual’s consciousness and the relationship to the struggle for national liberation,…show more content…
“The colonised man finds his freedom in and through violence” (Fanon, 1963). Fanon’s idea of praxis is “the counter-violence of the colonised is a form of “praxis” or human action that negates the violence of colonisation” (Fanon, 1963). Fanon was a thinker who engaged critically with ideas of Marxism. Contrary to Marx’s assertion of the proletariat as the motor force of history and the peasantry and lumpenproletariat as counter-revolutionary, Fanon asserts that the peasantry and urban lumpen in third world decolonizing countries like Algeria constitute the main revolutionary force. Algeria did not have an industrial working class like what existed in Europe, but rather a large unskilled and casual workforce. Fanon called this class the lumpenproletariat, those residing in the shantytowns and slums. He saw an important political role for them. These were just some of the ways that he rethought and expanded the Marxist ideas in the colonial context. Going further, Fanon argued that the primary contradiction in colonial society is not just between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, as Marx had outlined in the Communist Manifesto, but between the European white rulers and the Arab population. For Fanon the divide is not just class, but also racial. After independence, Fanon argues that the situation of poverty…show more content…
“When it comes to the colonial situation, the Marxian analysis must be slightly stretched to deal with these realities” (Fanon, The Wretched of The Earth, 1963). When he states this he is not saying that the Marxian analysis should be abandoned, revised or ignored. He was trying to deal with realities that the Marxist tradition often overlooked, such as the role the peasantry that is more than simply an auxiliary to the working class, a critique of the national bourgeoisie and its relationship to the proletariat and his rejection of a two staged theory of revolution. On these issues, Fanon may be said to be more in tune with Marx than many of Marx’s followers. After Marx published volume one of his greatest theoretical work, he denied that he had ever developed a universal theory that is applicable to every society on earth. He also specifically limited his delineation of the historical tendency of capitalist accumulation to Western Europe alone and in his white writings on Russia and elsewhere, he emphasised the possibility that these non-Western underdeveloped societies could get to socialism without having to go through capitalist industrialisation. When you look at Marx’s work you find that he is not simply adopting a formula that he extracts from his earlier work in studying Europe, and then simply tries to put it on to the rest of the developing world
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