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Milos Uzelac

The Wretched of the Earth - Excerpts from Franc Phanon's Book - Stage Green Work

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"When the colonized human questions the colonial world, there it is not about  a rational conflicting of opinions and points of view. It is not about the discourse of the universal, but rather a rebellious confirmation of a self generated phenomenona understood absolutely. The colonial world is a manichean world. It is not enough for the colonizer to physically i. e. with the help of the police and gendarmerie, confine the space of the colonized. 

As if the colonizer wants to demonstrate the totalitarian character of colonial exploitation, the colonizer then goes forward to create from the colonized a kind of quintessentiality of evil. 

The colonized society is not only described as a society without value. It is not enough for the colonizer to claim how values have disappeared from the colonized world, or, even better, to claim that they have never even been there in the colonized world in the first place. 

The native is declared impermeable to ethics; he doesn't only represent, for the colonizer, the absence of values but also their negation. The native is, dare we admit, the enemy of values. In that sense, he is the absolute evil. He is the corrosive element, that which destroys anything that approaches him, the element that distorts, that disfigured anything that has to do with aesthetics or with morality; he is the confluence of harmful forces, the unconscious and irreparable instrument of blind forces. 

Namely, for the colonizer, all values become irreversibly poisoned and infected once they come into contact with the colonized people. The customs of the colonized human, his traditions, his myths - especially his myths - are themselves, for the colonizer, a clear indication of the poverty of spirit and the constitutional perversion of the colonized folk. 

Because of that one should put on the same level the insecticide that destroys parasites, the carriers of diseases, and the Christian religion that in it's infancy suppresses heresy, instincts and evil. The retreat of the yellow fever and the advancement of Christianity are one in part of the same development. But the triumphalistic declarations of the missions, in fact, inform on the importance of implanting foreign influences in to the essence of the colonized people. We are talking about the Christian religion, nobody has the right to be surprised by this. 

The Church in the colonies is the Church of the whites, Church of the foreigners. It does not call upon the colonized man to partake on the road towards God, but instead to partake on the road of the whites, the road of the masters, the road of the oppressors. And as we know, in that story they are many called upon and little chosen ones. 

Sometimes this manicheaism goes to the extreme limits of it's own logic and dehumanizes the colonized man. Or more precisely it animalizes him. When he talks about the colonized man, the language of the colonizer is the de facto language of zoology. He alludes to the reptilian movements of the yellow man, on the stench that spreads from the native settlement, on the horde, on the stench, on the swarming, on the bustle and on the gesticulations. When he wants to honestly describe it and find the right words, the colonizer incessantly calls upon the animal kingdom. 

The European rarely relies on "picturesque" words. But the colonized man, that knows the way in which the colonizer thinks, knows immediately what he means. That galloping demographic, the hysterical masses, the faces from which the last trace of humanity has dissappeared, those fat bodies that no longer resemble anything, that rabble without a head and a tail, those children which look like they are nobodys, that laziness that's sprawled out on the sun, that rhythm of vegetation, all that belongs to the colonial dictionary. 

General De Gol talks about the "yellow multitudes", and mister Moriac about the black, brown and yellow masses that will soon swarm everything. The colonized man knows all this and he joyful laughs when he discovers that in the words of others he has become an animal. Because he knows he is not an animal. And right then and there, in the moment in which he discovers his own humanity, he began to sharpen his weapon in order to ensure its victory. "

Franc Phanon, Chapter I On Violence, p. 14 and p. 15. 

Edited by Milos Uzelac

"Keep your eye on the ball. " - Michael Brooks 

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"The colonized world is a world divided in two. Its dividing line, its border, is marked by barracks and police stations. In the colonies, the official and institutionally recognized interlocutor of the colonized man, the spokesman of the colonist and the oppressive regime, is a gendarme or a soldier. In capitalist-type societies, education, religious or secular, the creation of father-son moral reflexes, the exemplary honesty of workers decorated after fifty years of dedicated and loyal work, love backed by harmony and wisdom, all these aesthetic forms of respect for the existing order create around the exploited. an atmosphere of subordination and inhibition that greatly facilitates the task by the forces of order. In capitalist countries, between the exploited and the power, a multitude of moral preachers, advisers, "confusers" are inserted. In colonial areas, on the contrary, the gendarme and the soldier, with their direct presence, their direct and frequent interventions, maintain contact with the colonized man, and advise him not to move with rifle butts or napalm bombs. As we can see, the mediator of power speaks the language of naked violence. The mediator does not alleviate oppression, does not disguise dominance. He exposes them, manifests them with the pure conscience of the defenders of order. The mediator brings violence into the houses and heads of the colonized."

Franc Phanon Chapter I On Violence p. 11 and p. 12


"Keep your eye on the ball. " - Michael Brooks 

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"The zone inhabited by the colonized is not complementary to the zone inhabited by the colonists. The two zones are opposed, but not in the name of some higher unity. According to pure Aristotelian logic, they obey the principle of mutual exclusion: reconciliation is not possible, one of the elements is superfluous. The city of the colonist is made of solid material, all made of stone and iron. It is a lighted, asphalted city, in which garbage cans swallow unknown, never seen, not even dreamed remains. The feet of the colonist are never visible, except perhaps in the sea, but never up close. These are feet protected by good shoes, although the streets of their city are clean, smooth, without holes, without stones. The city of the colonist is full, lazy, his stomach is always full of good things. The city of colonists is a city of whites, a city of foreigners. The city of the colonized man, that is, the native city, a black village, is a notorious place inhabited by notorious people. It doesn't matter where someone is born or how they are born, where they die and why they die. He dies anywhere, from anything. It is a world without interspaces, people are piled on top of each other, their sluts are piled on top of each other. The city of the colonized is a hungry city, hungry for bread, meat, shoes, coal, light. The city of the colonized is a stumbled city, a city on its knees, a city rolling in the mud. It is a city of blacks, a city of dirty Arabs [bicots]. The view that a colonized man casts on the colonist's city is lustful and enviable. Dreams of possession. About all possible ways of owning: sitting at the table of the colonist, sleeping in the colonist's bed, with his wife if possible. The colonized man is envious. And the colonist knows this well; when their eyes suddenly met, he asserted indignantly, always on guard: "They want to take our place." That is true, there is no colonized man who does not dream of coming to the place of a colonist at least once a day."

"That divided world, that split world in two, is inhabited by different species. The originality of the colonial context lies in the fact that economic realities, inequalities, huge differences in lifestyles, never manage to obscure human realities. When you study the colonial context directly, it is obvious that the real reason for such fragmentation of the world is in the very belonging or non-belonging to a certain species, a certain race. In the colonies, the economic infrastructure is also a superstructure. The cause is a consequence: a man is rich because he is white, a white man because he is rich. That is why Marxist analyzes must always be slightly stretched whenever a colonial problem is approached. Everything must be reconsidered here, including the notion of pre-capitalist society, which Marx studied well. The serf has a different essence from the knight, but it was necessary to invoke the divine right in order to legalize that difference in status. In the colonies, the foreigner imposed himself with the help of his cannons and machines. Despite successful domestication, despite appropriation, the colonist always remains a foreigner. The "ruling class" is not characterized by factories, estates, or a bank account. The ruling species is primarily a species that comes from another place, one that does not look like the indigenous population, they are "others". The violence that ruled in the organization of the colonial world, which tirelessly gave the rhythm of the destruction of indigenous social forms and ruthlessly destroyed the stronghold of economic systems, modes of behavior and clothing, that violence the colonized man will demand and take when the colonized mass, deciding to be the embodiment of history, to forbidden cities. The lifting of the colonial world into the air is now a very clear, completely comprehensible picture of action, and it can be taken over by any individual who belongs to the colonized people. The disintegration of the colonial world does not mean that, after the abolition of borders, a line of communication will be established between the two zones. The destruction of the colonial world means the abolition of one zone, no more and no less, it means burying it as deep as possible in the ground or expelling it from the territory."

Franc Phanon Chapter I On Violence p. 12, p. 13 and p. 14.


"Keep your eye on the ball. " - Michael Brooks 

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Posted (edited)

On 19.6.2021 at 5:54 PM, Milos Uzelac said:

The colonized man knows all this and he joyful laughs when he discovers that in the words of others he has become an animal. Because he knows he is not an animal. And right then and there, in the moment in which he discovers his own humanity, he began to sharpen his weapon in order to ensure its victory.

 

It is utterly fascinating how the mentality criticized finds itself in the very author who criticizes it. There is a far more fundamental dynamic at play here, which even the victimized are unable to escape. The victimized themselves are the perpetrators, the dominators, the keeper of slaves. Victimhood and perpetration are mere relative notions in this game of dominance.

The core of this very issue is never being touched in these superficial "stage green" thinkers, because if they came to understand the core of this issue, they would understand that they themselves commit the very same evil, take part in and benefit from the very frame of mind which lead to their own subjugation. Infact these individuals lack even the tools to begin to come to understand this issue, and to truly understand their own evil and selfishness.

 

The fundamental dynamic, given rise through the struggle of survival, is that the powerful justify the subjugation and victimization of the weak by means of viewing themselves superior as a result of the very power they hold. On a psychological level this is fascilitated by selective compassion. A learned discrimination that assigns worthiness of consideration before any consideration can happen. This means that my eyes of compassion are blind and only when someone meets my criteria of worthiness, do I open my eyes of compassion and let myself feel the perspective of the other.

In this way, I can say that I am a slave, because the white man is subjugating me, but I must not view myself as the subjugator of others, because the pig, the chicken, the fly, the deer, all of them are not worthy of consideration and therefore I can close my eyes of compassion. I can clearly understand white supremacy, but I am blind to my own human supremacy. I am blind to the very mindset within myself that I criticize in the other. This allows me to subjugate while upholding my victim identity. I am not actually different at all to those who I call masters, I just happened to find myself at a different position within the hierarchy of power and worthiness of consideration.

 

To escape and deconstruct this very hierarchy, what is needed is a deconstruction of the very process of discrimination which allows this to happen in the first place. It means to stop coming up with reasons why some deserve more or less compassion and consideration than others.

It means to look at the fly which buzzes in your room and to develop an instinct that will expand your compassion to this fly. This must be a natural, ingrained process, a process which projects individualism onto others, which expands it, which is inclusive and not exclusive in nature. This means to consider the interests of the flies, to feel connected to the fly and to act accordingly.

 

The reason why it has to be inclusive, why there cannot be bias, is because once you allow for bias, you will require the very process which leads to all discrimination. You will use a filter before opening your eyes of compassion. And this inevitably will lead to you discriminating against others. Infact, all it takes to kill a human is to just consider them to be a fly. If you look at the human the same way you look at the fly, suddenly your mind will have no problem with exterminating that very human. This is why compassion cannot be selective, because the process of selection will always lead to this struggle of power and the subjugation and victimization of the weak.

 

 

It is your mind that is the root of this issue. Those who have altered their minds to rid themselves of this process of discrimination became Jains. Not necessarily those who follow the religion of the Jains, but rather those who gave rise to it. It is the natural conclusion that follows the disassembling of the process of selective compassion.

Edited by Scholar

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Posted (edited)

26 minutes ago, Scholar said:

 

It is utterly fascinating how the mentality criticized finds itself in the very author who criticizes it. There is a far more fundamental dynamic at play here, which even the victimized are unable to escape. The victimized themselves are the perpetrators, the dominators, the keeper of slaves. Victimhood and perpetration are mere relative notions in this game of dominance.

The core of this very issue is never being touched in these superficial "stage green" thinkers, because if they came to understand the core of this issue, they would understand that they themselves commit the very same evil, take part in and benefit from the very frame of mind which lead to their own subjugation. Infact these individuals lack even the tools to begin to come to understand this issue, and to truly understand their own evil and selfishness.

 

The fundamental dynamic, given rise through the struggle of survival, is that the powerful justify the subjugation and victimization of the weak by means of viewing themselves superior as a result of the very power they hold. On a psychological level this is fascilitated by selective compassion. A learned discrimination that assigns worthiness of consideration before any consideration can happen. This means that my eyes of compassion are blind and only when someone meets my criteria of worthiness, do I open my eyes of compassion and let myself feel the perspective of the other.

In this way, I can say that I am a slave, because the white man is subjugating me, but I must not view myself as the subjugator of others, because the pig, the chicken, the fly, the deer, all of them are not worthy of consideration and therefore I can close my eyes of compassion. I can clearly understand white supremacy, but I am blind to my own human supremacy. I am blind to the very mindset within myself that I criticize in the other. This allows me to subjugate while upholding my victim identity. I am not actually different at all to those who I call masters, I just happened to find myself at a different position within the hierarchy of power and worthiness of consideration.

 

To escape and deconstruct this very hierarchy, what is needed is a deconstruction of the very process of discrimination which allows this to happen in the first place. It means to stop coming up with reasons why some deserve more or less compassion and consideration than others.

It means to look at the fly which buzzes in your room and to develop an instinct that will expand your compassion to this fly. This must be a natural, ingrained process, a process which projects individualism onto others, which expands it, which is inclusive and not exclusive in nature. This means to consider the interests of the flies, to feel connected to the fly and to act accordingly.

 

The reason why it has to be inclusive, why there cannot be bias, is because once you allow for bias, you will require the very process which leads to all discrimination. You will use a filter before opening your eyes of compassion. And this inevitably will lead to you discriminating against others. Infact, all it takes to kill a human is to just consider them to be a fly. If you look at the human the same way you look at the fly, suddenly your mind will have no problem with exterminating that very human. This is why compassion cannot be selective, because the process of selection will always lead to this struggle of power and the subjugation and victimization of the weak.

 

 

It is your mind that is the root of this issue. Those who have altered their minds to rid themselves of this process of discrimination became Jains. Not necessarily those who follow the religion of the Jains, but rather those who gave rise to it. It is the natural conclusion that follows the disassembling of the process of selective compassion.

This is a very complex topic with a lot of sub-facets that need to be taken into consideration in a discussion and an analysis. I will get back to you on the topic at hand and the book in question when I start reading it again as soon as I have the time and complete and do some of my procrastinated studying for my upcoming exams. Yes, I agree on one of your first premises that the line between the victimizer and the victimized is razor-thin but I also think it has to be this way for reason in the world given some conditions of survival of different humans in it. 

Edited by Milos Uzelac

"Keep your eye on the ball. " - Michael Brooks 

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15 minutes ago, Milos Uzelac said:

This is a very complex topic with a lot of sub-facets that need to be taken into consideration in a discussion and an analysis. I will get back to you on the topic at hand and the book in question when I start reading it again as soon as I have the time and complete and do some of my procrastinated studying for my upcoming exams. Yes, I agree on one of your first premises that the line between the victimizer and the victimized is razor-thin but I also think it has to be this way for reason in the world given some conditions of survival of different humans in it. 

It's interesting because in a moral sense today there is far more unnecessary victimization, by people who view themselves as victims, than ever before. And a kind of victimization that even is detrimental to survival of the very perpetrators who commit it.

So you could argue these individuals are even more morally corrupt than the colonizers of the previous generations, especially if we consider that current discrimination and it's effects are on a scale that makes every historical transgression pale in comparison.

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Posted (edited)

On 22.6.2021 at 2:55 PM, Scholar said:

The reason why it has to be inclusive, why there cannot be bias, is because once you allow for bias, you will require the very process which leads to all discrimination. You will use a filter before opening your eyes of compassion. And this inevitably will lead to you discriminating against others. Infact, all it takes to kill a human is to just consider them to be a fly. If you look at the human the same way you look at the fly, suddenly your mind will have no problem with exterminating that very human. This is why compassion cannot be selective, because the process of selection will always lead to this struggle of power and the subjugation and victimization of the weak.

Biases can be selectively choosen until this is achieved, eventually, culturally, when stuck in a soup of decisions which favour the survival or well-being of one over the other.

@Scholar

Edited by Windappreciator

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