[Marxism] frantz fanon and socialism

Michael Hoover hooverm at scc-fl.edu
Wed Oct 26 12:14:51 MDT 2005

>>> joshsaxe at gmail.com 10/16/05 10:34 PM >>>
I just read "The Wretched of the Earth" by Frantz Fanon and have some
thoughts and questions.  First I want to say that his writings are
very impressive and seem to capture the spirit of the anti-colonial
revolutions of the 50's and 60's and strike me as still having a lot
of relevance both for national-liberation struggles within the borders
of first world states and in the third world.  Second, can we consider
him a socialist?  He was for overthrowing the third world bourgeoisie,
and for a revolutionary struggle led by the peasants and the
lumpenproletariat, but what kind of society was he really advocating
after that struggle succeeded? 

a lot of years have passed since i read fanon, plus, i can't find him
on my bookshelf, but i'll have go at above...

as i recall, most specific 'programmatic' aspect was favoring 
nationalization of trading sector because he thought it fostered 
middle-stratum "me-ism", however, nationalization would be 
decentralized, with organization occurring through wholseale and 
retail cooperatives, fanon supported decentralization as way to increase 
involvement of the mass of (particularly rural) people, devolving power 
and resources to grassroots would generate conditions in which people's 
needs could be met, therefore, government should use countryside's raw 
materials to develop (including building factories) the countryside...

he paid specific attention to education and literacy, called for people's 
militia rather than professional army, and sought pretty thorough 
transformation of wealth distribution and social relations, but 
programmatic stuff tends to be fairly general, probably because he was
writing in service of making revolution...

fanon's relevance (anyone's, for that matter) depends upon creative/
flexible/imaginative use of his ideas according to context, both 
revolutionary theory and revolutionary action must be rooted in
specific socio-economic conditions...   michael hoover


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