Discourse on Colonialism
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
About the Author
- Publisher : Monthly Review Press (January 1, 2001)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 102 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1583670254
- ISBN-13 : 978-1583670255
- Item Weight : 4 ounces
- Best Sellers Rank: #33,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Césaire’s work not only provides the groundwork for later critical race theories and postcolonialism, but it also adds to the important critical conversation about race-blindness in Marxist philosophy. Césaire believed that “the coming revolution was not posed in terms of capitalism versus socialism…but in terms of the complete and total overthrow of a racist, colonialist system that would open the way to imagine a whole new world” (9). He essential states that racism must not be eclipsed by class struggle because working class whites always side with their race against the black proletariat (23). As a result, he envisions the revolution coming from a unified third world instead of a unified proletariat, and that this third world unification would be built upon the shared experience of white colonialization (27). Aimé Césaire also had notable influence on the work of his student and collaborator, Frantz Fanon.
But this essay is so powerful. If you've read Fanon's Black Skins, White Masks, Cesaire is all over that book. His arguments are so provocative but also quite mind-blowing. Fanon uses these arguments in BSWM and further explicates it when he talks about the "white civilization" and "reason/rationality." But Cesaire is the blueprint of these arguments. Kelley calls it the "poetics of colonialism" (Kelley's intro gives a lot of guidance to reading the essay). Its one of those essays that really sticks with you.
This is a collection of thoughts rather than a step-by-step argument, and mayseem a bit "choppy" (it did, to me). But it has been influential and is well worth the read. Those who think that Europeans had a right to invade the "New World" and subjugate its peoples, take their resources, and denigrate and squash their cultures won't like this book at all.
Cesaire's denounciation of the West (both Europe and the US) is based on two pillars - one is the Western deeply racist and violent attitude towards the then colonized world, and the second is Cesaire's Marxist leanings.He mentions the Soviet Union in one short sentence as an example of a positive society - how were people misled by Stalinist Russia was a mystery. But in the forward by Robin Kelly we learn that Cesaire quit the communist party and denounced Stalinism as early as 1956.
Cesaire's strongest point is that French attitudes towards Africa (half a century ago !) bear a close resemblence to German Nazi attitudes towards Jews and other "inferior" people.
The forward by Robin Kelly and the interview with Cesaire at the end add a lot of subtance to this powerful but short essay.
This book is highly recommended to people who appreciate Fanon, and all those who wish to learn the roots of anti colonial philosophy.