Monday, 6 November 2017

Concerning Violence Then & Now

Concerning Violence Then & Now

Extract from Fanon's The Wretched of the Earth.

"The colonial world is a world divided into compartments. It is probably unnecessary ti recall the existence of native quarters and European quarters, of schools for natives and school for Europeans; in the same way we need to recall Apartheid in South Africa. Yet, if we examine closely this system of compartments, we will at least be able to reveal the lines of force it implies. This approach to the colonial world, its ordering  and its geographical lay-out will allow us to mark out the lines on which a decolonized society will be reorganized.
The colonial world is a world cut in two. The dividing line, the frontiers are shown by barracks and police stations. In the colonies it is the policeman and the soldier who are the official, instituted go-betweens, the spokesmen of the setler and his rule of oppression. In capitalist societies the educational system, whether lay or clerical, the structure of moral reflexes handed down from father to son, the exemplary honesty of workers who are given a medal after fifty years of good and loyal service, and the affection which springs from harmonious relations and good behavior - all these aesthetic expressions of respect for the established order SERVE TO CREATE AROUND THE EXPLOITED PERSON AN ATMOSPHERE OF SUBMISSION AND OF INHIBITION WHICH LIGHTEN THE TASK OF POLICING CONSIDERABLY. In the capitalist countries a multitude of moral teachers, counselors and ' bewilderers' separate the exploited from those in power. IN THE COLONIAL COUNTRIES, on the contrary, the POLICEMAN AND THE SOLDIER, by their immediate presence and their frequent and direct action maintain  contact with the NATIVE and advise him by means of rifle-butts and napalm not to BUDGE. THE INTERMEDIATE DOES NOT LIGHTEN THE OPPRESSION, nor seek to hide the DOMINATION, he shows them up and puts them into practice with the clear conscience of an UPHOLDER OF THE PEACE; yet he is the bringer of violence into home and into the mind of the native."

p 29

The Battle of Algiers (La battaglia di Algeri), dir. Gillo Pontecorvo Italy/Algeria, 1966.

"The zones where the natives live is not complementary to the zone inhabited by the settlers. The two zones are opposed but not in the service of a higher unity. Obdient to the rules of pure Aristotelian logic, they both follow the principle of reciprocal  exclusivity. No conciliation is possible, for of the two terms, one is superfluous. The settlers town is a strongly- built to town, all made of stone and still.  t is a brightly-lit town.; the streets are covered with asphalt, and the garbage can swallow all the leavings,unseen, unknown and hardly thought about. THE SETTLERS FEET ARE NEVER VISIBLE, EXCEPT PERHAPS IN THE SEA: BUT THERE YOU"RE NEVER CLOSE ENOUGH TO THEM. HIS FEET IS PROTECTED BY STRONG SHOES ALTHOUGH THE STREETS OF HIS TWON ARE CLEAN AND EVEN, with no holes or stones. THE SETTLERS TOWN IS A WELL-FED TOWN., an easy going town; its belly is always full of good things. THE SETTLERS TOWN IS A TOWN OF WHITE PEOPLE, of FOREIGNERS.
The town belonging to the colonized people, or at least the native town, the Negro village, the medina, the reservation, is a place of ill-fame, peopled by men of ill repute. They are born there it matters little where or how; they die there, it matters not where, nor how. It is a world of WITHOUT SPACIOUSNESS, MEN LIVE THERE ON TOP OF EACH OTHER. THE NATIVE TOWN IS A HUNGRY TOWN, STARVED OF BREAD, OF MEAT< OF SHOES, OF COAL, OF LIGHT. The native town is a crouching village, a town on its knee, a town wallowing in the mire. IT IS A TOWN OF NIGGERS AND DIRTY ARABS."

p 30

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