[Marxism] Re: Is Frantz Fanon Still Relevant? Hell yes.
M. Junaid Alam
mjunaidalam at msalam.net
Mon Mar 14 19:02:01 MST 2005
Fanon is more relevant today than ever precisely because the challenges
and questions he posed are still with us in a big way. I think Fanon's
writings epitomize the challenges classical Marxism could not foresee
and cannot answer - that is, the national and colonial questions in the
context of the maintenance of a privileged imperialism. Fanon grapples
with questions that classical Marxism breezed by in maximalist
theoretical formulations that did not come to pass historically, namely
an imagined cleaned transcendence of feudal relations in the periphery,
and an elevation of colonies into European-modeled capitalisms.
This theory had the very attractive advantage of reconciling inevitable
devastations of whole primitive societies as being ultimately
progressive - it posited them as transforming relations onto a clean
capitalist polarized basis which would then serve as a precondition for
socialism- but it had the disadvantage, speaking 150 years in
retrospect, of not having actually happened. It seems, to my eyes
anyway, that the struggles between air force pilots pressing buttons for
bombs versus farmers in rice paddies, or 60-ton tanks versus
stone-throwing kids, illustrates that the Civilizing Mission has still
failed to actually civilize those primitives whom capitalism was
apparently supposed to reestablish on a more advanced basis. Rather, the
whole sordid spectacle has de-civilized the civilizers themselves. That
is the central contradiction which Fanon's works speak to.
On the chap who wrote the article: he seems good-hearted, but on some
level it's more of the same typical post-modernist muck. This part for
"Globalization gazes at the nation-state through the rearview mirror,
as we speed on a fiber-optic freeway toward the strategic
denationalization of state sovereignty."
The fiber-optic freeway? Yeah, there blows by the nation state, and
nationalist ideology itself...look long and hard into that rearview
mirror and see the "fading" demons of reactionary nationalism - Zionism
and Americanism - along with other autocentrisms, ie. Arab nationalism,
Islamic radicalism, also apparently on the wane...I don't think we will
have any such luck now anymore than Marx did over the India question in
1853. The beast called nationalism is still the major, immovable force I
think any serious socialist has to come to grips with in analyzing
society and developing tactics to promote socialist values effectively.
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