Frantz Fanon – Excerpt from Wretched of the Earth

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From Frantz Fanon – Wretched of the Earth

“Decolonization, which sets out to change the order of the world is, obviously, a program of complete disorder. But it cannot come as a result of magical practices, nor of natural shock, nor of a friendly understanding. Decolonization, as we know, is a historical process: that is to say that it cannot be understood, it cannot become intelligible nor clear itself except in the exact measure that we can discern the movements which give it historical form and context. Decolonization is the meeting of two forces, opposed to each other by their very nature, which in fact we owe their originality to that sort of substantiation which results from and is nourished by the situation in the colonies. Their first encounter was marked by violence and their existence together—that is to say the exploitation of the native by the settler—was carried on by dint of a great array of bayonets and cannons. The settler and the native are old acquaintances. In fact, the settler is right when he speaks of knowing ‘them’ well. For it is the settler who has brought the native into existence and who perpetuates his existence. The settler owes the fact of his very existence, that is to say, his property, to the colonial system. Decolonization never takes place unnoticed, for it influences individuals and modifies them fundamentally.”

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