Half a century later Aimé Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism has lost nothing of its dynamism and incantory power. Robin Kelley’s introduction is a valuable tool. Discourse on Colonialism [Aimé Césaire, Joan Pinkham] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Césaire’s essay stands as an important. Discourse on colonialism. By: Philip Janzen. Today marks ten years since Aimé Césaire’s death. What would he have thought about the state of.

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The societies plundered by the forces of colonialism were democratic, cooperative and fraternal societies, not the backward, uncivilized, culturally void societies that colonialism claimed they were. A civilization that chooses to close its eyes to its most crucial problems is a stricken civilization.

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No, he argues, colonialism is not about the destruction of local tyrants. Jallow Cesaire begins his Discourse on Colonialism with a severe indictment of Western civilization. Rather than elevating the non-Western world, the colonizers de-civilize the colonized. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll disscourse you a reset link.

Discourse on Colonialism

Ultimately, what these statements prove is that colonization dehumanizes the colonizer. American domination, he warns, is “the only domination from which one never recovers. The entire gamut of European elites, Cesaire argues – from journalists, to sociologists, theologians and academics – share responsibility for the crime of colonialism.

But colonialism’s civilizing mission, with all its Hitlerian undertones, was simply, Cesaire suggests, the parting whimpers of a dying civilization, a dying class, for “it is an implacable law that every decadent class finds itself turned into a receptacle into which flows all the dirty waters of history; that it is a universal law that before it disappears, every class must first disgrace itself completely, on all fronts, and that it is with their heads buried in the dunghill that dying societies utter their swan songs” p.


Discourse on colonialism

I had first read the Discours years earlier in an undergraduate seminar. Callois would have us believe. Evil is nothing new coloniialism man, Cesaire admits.

Indeed, this was the intended?

His only consolation, he writes, “is that periods of colonization pass, that nations sleep only for a time, and that peoples remain” p.

The very idea was an oxymoron.

Monthly Review | Discourse on Colonialism

Yet the streets of Dakar bore other legacies too. One day after work I wandered north from the university and made my way through the upscale Fann quartier.

Not far from my apartment was a centre commercial with a Cesakre, a bakery, and a Carrefoura French supermarket chain.

He cites for special mention writers like Discorse, who claims that civilization is only found in the temperate zones, that the tropical zones never cklonialism civilizations; of men like the Belgian missionary Reverend Temple, whose book Bantu Philosophy purported to counteract the forces of “communistic materialism” and save the Negroes from being turned by that devilish ideology into “moral vagabonds.

Discourse on Colonialism French: In reality, colonization had actually distorted material progress and slowed the process of Europeanization, because Europe was denying to the colonized peoples the roads, schools, ports and other facilities that it had provided and continued to provide in the home countries.

The idea of a barbaric Negro is a European invention” p. Cesaire discusses the relationship between civilization and savagery and points out the hypocrisy of colonialism.

They are relations in which “there is room only for forced labor, intimidation, pressure, the police, taxation, theft, rape, compulsory crops, mistrust, arrogance, self-complacency, swinishness, brainless elites, degraded masses.


Colonization, Disxourse posits, equals “thingification”.

This page was last edited on 14 Decemberat Dlscourse interpretation flips the common narrative, in order to point out the autonomy that existed in colonizing foreign lands. Robin Kelly notes in his introduction to the edition of Discourse, however, that for Cesaire, the colonial struggle was not a fight between capitalism and socialism in the orthodox Marxist sense, but a struggle for the total overthrow of a racist colonialist system which would open the onn to a bright new world of freedom and equality.

For some examples showing that this is possible, we can look to the Soviet Union “. The bourgeoisie, as a class, “is condemned to take responsibility for all the barbarism of history, the tortures of the Middle Ages and the Inquisition, war-mongering and the appeal to the raison d’Etat, racism and slavery, in short, everything against which it protested in unforgettable terms at a time when, as the attacking class, it was the incarnation of human progress” p.

Discourse on colonialism

Further Reading Politics Jan I have spent the better part of my adult life recognizing both its social and personal absence with fierce determination to …. Fanon at Ninety Christopher J. It is “a civilization which is morally diseased, which colpnialism, progressing from one consequence to another, one denial to another, calls for its Hitler.