[Marxism] Heart of Darkness

Gary MacLennan gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 27 02:59:06 MST 2017

This was a set book for my postgraduate teacher training year.  But I had
been destroyed as a reader of serious fiction after studying literature at
university. So I never read Heart of Darkness until some 50 years later.

It struck me that this was a novel about Kurtz the slave who was the master
of other slaves, but who was himself betrayed by the true master. I think
of the Aussie film Breaker Morant, which is about the Australian assassin
Breaker Morant (1864-1902) who was executed for extra judicial killings
during the Boer War. He was doing the dirty work of empire and paid a
price.  The Australian film about him Breaker Morant (1980) is worth a

Lyndie England of Abu Ghraib notoriety would be a more contemporary version
of the same phenomenon.

What strikes me is that these slaves who are masters of other slaves never
complain about slavery.  They only complain about the lack of gratitude of
the master.

So one can construct an anti-imperialism from *Heart of Darkness*, but I
doubt if that was the book's intention.



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