Few famous books are as wretched as 'The Wretched of the Earth'
Given a legal consultant's work is never done, a short comment to let you all know that I'll be leaving for the US today for work. Presence around here--at least on my part--will be light to variable for the next week or so.
Thank you for the article! I appreciate the North African historical context showing there’s nothing unique to European settlement. (We probably also need reminders that slavery has occurred between all peoples throughout history, especially between people of the same race, and there’s nothing unique to European enslavement of Africans in the 17th and 18th centuries.)
> within hours, various academics told us how it exemplified decolonisation
Do you have a few references to support that claim?
No 'metropole' needs Empire less than America*.
Our historical American role was salvage crew.
We did NOT create the wreckage of the World Wars , Europe did that...we DID not play the fool twice, this led to NATO and the long past shelf date 'Western Alliance."
Our decolonization role - and the US State Department post 1945 is the DeColonizer par excellence-is an unspoken corollary of our real NATO policy; "Keep them ALL down [all of Europe], so the Russians CAN stay out [of Western Europe which does actually face the USA] so the American's had to stay IN."
The British told themselves "Keep The Americans In, Keep the Germans Down, Keep the Russians out' but ....that's not what we did. We decolonized England, France, undermining them at every turn, we even went after poor Portugal, which treated their colonies and people's far better than the other Europeans. This isn't a footnote Helen and Lorenzo as 'decolonization' served our American interests far more than any infiltration or co-opting Campus Marxists [such as a certain Frank Davis, and a certain Obama fellow, and a certain Soweto fellow].
All of this nonsense is a hangover from the Cold War, which was a hangover from the World Wars.
A dangerous hangover to be sure, but don't ignore what happened.
* America has no Metropole, it's a Federation. America is Federations from the Iroquois to the Internet and all arrangements in between.
DC isn't the Central Government as THERE ISN'T A CENTRAL AMERICAN GOVERNMENT.
DC had forgotten that and is now to it's horror realizing the awful truth.
As far as Empire America needs neither the resources, nor the Strategic Depth...nor any of it.
As far as the Hegemonic abortion that popped up in the 90s after the 'end of history' that's ending, you see far from just being a narrow parochial interest of the Foreign Policy community it has FATALLY UNDERMINED their control of the Continental United States.
They are panicking and running and discovering there's really no place to go but America....
...an America they our elites have deeply offended.
An interesting essay...agree with all of it. I would just make this observation though: In my view, most white-liberal Correct-Think does not primarily derive from any deep ideological stance. It is shallower than that. The 'causes' - 'oppression', 'colonialism', 'racism', 'sexism' et al - are, to the white-liberal, just shallow abstractions. The real driver is "the endless struggle to think well of themselves" (as TS Eliot put it). https://grahamcunningham.substack.com/p/are-we-making-progress
Another timely base hit with runners in scoring position - well done. (Apologies for the Yank-speak baseball-ism.) A couple points in support: the more facile brand of political advocacy of Native American rights in the US consistently portrays pre-Colombian Native life as Edenic, thoroughly cleansed of anything resembling conflict or conquest. Ancient residency is routinely invoked as a precursor to enlightened attitudes about environmental issues and land stewardship. The mythologizing runs aground on the immensity of the Great Plains, though, which only became habitable for sizable groups with the rise of equestrian culture, which, as in Eurasia, produced warrior societies and constant conflict. Having lived in this ‘flyover country’ - and taken Native history seriously - helped me grasp the difference between the myth- making and historical reality. As an unreconstructed lib I also see the issue with the current Left’s soft Marxism. It’s exasperatingly simplistic when it comes to offering a compelling economic analysis and, despite the overwhelming historical evidence, refuses to accept any distinction between free enterprise and other aspects of capitalism that are of relatively recent vintage, such as predatory private-equity / hedge-fund acquisition and demolition of viable businesses. So the need for clarity has never been more urgent. The enemies are approaching from all sides now.
"It requires only mastery of Theory: rhetoric and narratives that impart to its initiates a gratifying moral grandeur."
This is the legacy of Plato in particular out of the Socrates-Plato-Aristotle foundation of most Western thought. There is a reason that Nietzsche rejected them. It is a form of Gnosticism.
This is the same Frantz Fanon who wrote of white women: "Basically, does this fear of rape not itself cry out for rape? Just as there are faces that ask to be slapped, can one not speak of women who ask to be raped?” (Black Skins, White Masks). Yet the mad-left adores him. The double-standard I can understand, but how do we explain the degree of decadence that makes Fanon a figure of such adulation?
Somewhat O/T , perhaps Orthogonal not off-
The disease of Managerialism always appears to the victims and surrounding communities as “local” - as it is Political- in the strangest way it validates “all politics is local.“
In this case the local politics being academia or the Intelligentsia. Or the media room, which extends to Slack and Twitter... the politics being denunciation.
Until the Fanon’s are fired from the mouth of cannons our suffering continues.
Ask people who talk about "de-colonialization" "what is colonialism and when did it start?" In the unlikely event you get an answer, it's probably going to be something like "European Transoceanic empires post 1492." It's hilarious how little these people, who use the term "Eurocentric" as a criticism or a slur, know about history, including and especially the history of the non-western world.
"have nowhere else to go."
is the point Lorenzo, and they'll decolonize the entire western world including Australia.
You are you know colonial settlers.
Maybe the Fanon fans should read Le Camp des Saints instead and deconstruct that, might offer them some more explanatory perspectives than this!
Excellent post. Just have to say - apropos Helen’s introduction - I didn’t do *that* badly in my postcolonial subject - still 2(i) class honours! (I may also be a little intellectually vain). But no, not 1st class. I still feel guilty, Lorenzo, for telling you to read this to understand the rhetoric of what was going on - it is hard going, and I stand by my 1995 assessment that it is unpleasantly violent and ridiculously simplistic. You have explained just how flattening its mythos is.