Frantz Fanon – auch 50 Jahre nach seinem Tod noch aktuell

Samir Amin, Frantz Fanon in Africa and Asia
Frantz Fanon is a loved and respected figure all over Africa and Asia. Samir Amin argues that his writing and the choice to join the liberation struggle in Algeria show Fanon was a genuine revolutionary.
Dr. Ama Biney, pan-Africanist and historian, Fanon’s enduring relevance


Fifty years since the untimely death on 6 December 1961 of Frantz Fanon, he continues to have immense relevance in our times. His writings were focused on the dialectics of the colonised and the coloniser during the era of the 1960s. Whilst that era has passed, new forms of colonialism between Africa and the former colonial powers, or Africa and the developed world, now manifest in the 21st century.

What would he make of the call by the ‘rebel forces’ in Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) for military assistance that led to the UN Security Council resolution 1973 that authorised the NATO no-fly zone over Libya and the eventual violent death of Gaddafi along with several thousands Libyans? The call by the NTC for Western intervention bodes the beginning of the neocolonial project in Libya and the continued military re-colonisation of Africa under the ideological pretext of humanitarian intervention i.e. ‘responsibility to protect.’ This figleaf is the latter day doctrine of the 19th century ‘white man’s burden’ and Fanon would have recognised this imperialist agenda and its duplicity which seeks to secure the resources of Africa for foreign benefit.

Mireille Fanon Mendès-France, member of the Administrative Council of the Frantz Fanon Foundation. Frantz Fanon and the current multiple crises


The gaining of independence has not achieved the liberation or dis-alienation of oppressed peoples. The societies have remained orphans of the stillborn state, the neo-colonial networks supporting despots who come and go according to their interest and pronouncements. If the neo-colonial structures do not entirely explain the failure of independence then this half-century has been a woeful demonstration of the effectiveness of the colonial time bomb.
The evolution that Fanon anticipated in ‘The Wretched of the Earth’ was to a large extent realised. The struggles for power, the tribalism and regionalism fed by the former colonial powers and led by civilian and military populists, have disfigured independence. The leading cliques and the new bourgeoisies supported by the ex-colonisers have to the advantage of the latter replaced the colonial administrators.

In fact the neo-colonial period ends a re-colonisation under new guises of the African continent and the Arab-Islamic arc. Because all authoritarianism is accompanied by catastrophic socio-economic mismanagement the interests of the former colonisers have been preserved and are more present than ever.

In Africa, in Europe, Asia, Middle East and America, Fanon appears more current than ever. He makes sense to everyone who fights for freedom and human rights, because emancipation is always the first objective of a generation reaching political maturity.

By definition, this renewed domination instils and perpetuates a neo-colonial mindset. Direct economic interference is accompanied by a politico-humanitarian discourse, which barely conceals its hegemonic interests. Undoubtedly, the never-ending and generalised war on terror has given the West an excuse to put foreign troops on the ground, who are charged with watching over multinational interests. The regions most affected by this dynamic are those that are home to strategic natural resources, as yet un- or under-exploited. These include Niger, Guinea and, most recently, Libya.

At the end of the last century, dictators have sat back and watched as the warmongering redeployment of imperialism has taken place in Iraq, Libya and perhaps tomorrow in Syria. All the while, terrorism, which we pretend to fight, is in fact developing in authoritarian and obscurantist states, allied with and protected by the West.

Using Fanon’s ideas, the conditions of countries previously under colonial domination is an exercise in confronting reality disentangled from ideological blinkers and liberated of all dogma. In this regard, contrary to those who would rather see him iconified and forgotten, Fanon is more pertinent than ever. He was at once a psychiatrist, an Algerian Mujahideen, pan-African revolutionary, itinerant ambassador and freedom fighter for all – including those who believe themselves to belong to the dominant world.
Let us recall the phrase black skin, white masks: ‘Me, a man of colour, I only want one thing, to never be the instrument of domination. To never see one man in servitude to another. That is to say myself to another. That I might discover and to want man wherever he might be.’

… mehr auf Pambazuka News

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