Half a century later Aimé Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism has lost nothing of its dynamism and incantory power. Robin Kelley’s introduction is a valuable tool. Discourse on Colonialism [Aimé Césaire, Joan Pinkham] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Césaire’s essay stands as an important. Discourse on colonialism. By: Philip Janzen. Today marks ten years since Aimé Césaire’s death. What would he have thought about the state of.

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Nevertheless, Cesaire was right in insisting that colonized peoples had great civilizations, reminiscent of Mazrui’s Romantic Gloriana – empires, kingdoms; large, elaborate, well organized bureaucracies. He rejects his critics’ accusation that he is calling for a return to some past civilization. It had “overthrown, one after another, the ramparts behind which European civilization could have developed freely” p.

Europe is only concerned with the rights of man in relation to the White man, not Coolies and Niggers. Help Center Find new research papers in: The West, Cesaire argues, did not invent coloniaoism or ethics or morality, as M.

Until that time, Cesaire suggests, the peoples of Western Europe were accomplices to horrendous crimes comparable to the crimes of the German Nazis and Italian Fascists. Evil is nothing new to man, Cesaire admits. As I stood in front of the plaque, I overheard the puzzled comments of other tourists as they moved past: Rather than elevating the non-Western world, the colonizers de-civilize the colonized.

We could have a Negro Frenchman, but never a White Negro.

And he is appalled at the hypocrisy and ignorance with which the cream of French society pretended that the French people were a superior race, destined to rule the world and to keep the black and yellow peoples in their coloniaoism places. Monthly Review Press, Ultimately, what these statements prove is that colonization dehumanizes the colonizer.

Retrieved from ” https: Aime Cesaire – Discourse on Colonialism. Indeed, this was the intended? By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The idea of France being integrated into other families was too monstrous to imagine, because a superior civilization cannot possibly be integrated into an inferior civilization. Fanon at Ninety Christopher J. Log In Sign Up. The language was electric and sarcastic and the anticolonial, anti-racist message was clear and simple.


The colonialist knows that he is engaged in acts of violence against fellow human beings, but he refuses to acknowledge the fact because his is a sick civilization. His only consolation, he writes, “is that periods of colonization pass, that nations sleep only for a time, and that peoples remain” p.

All who supported the plundering activities of colonialism deserved condemnation as “inventors of subterfuges.

Discourse on colonialism

Colonization, Cesaire posits, equals “thingification”. They are relations in which “there is room only for forced labor, intimidation, pressure, the police, taxation, theft, rape, compulsory crops, mistrust, arrogance, self-complacency, swinishness, brainless elites, degraded masses.

Colonia,ism bourgeois history is the history of evil and plunder. Robin Kelly notes in his introduction to the edition of Discourse, however, that for Cesaire, the colonial struggle was not a fight between capitalism and socialism in the orthodox Marxist sense, but a struggle for the total overthrow of a racist colonialist discoursse which would open the way to a bright new world of freedom and equality.

Discourse on colonialism

Callois, Cesaire indicates, are significant not only because they reflect the mind of the Western petty bourgeoisie, but also because while it touted the virtues of humanism, Europe was at that material point in time the furthest in reality from practicing the humanity it so loudly mouthed. An Independent Socialist Magazine For its part, Europe must generate itself anew or sink into “mortal darkness”. By no stretch of the imagination is colonialism out to do any good. Mainstream discussion of fascism took a dramatic upturn in In seeing and treating other people as animals, the colonizer transforms himself into an animal.

Each student had to present on one of the assigned books, and I chose Discourse on Colonialism because it was the shortest. Webarchive template wayback links Articles containing French-language text.

Another colonialist, Count d’Herisson, declares: The societies plundered by the forces of colonialism were democratic, cooperative and fraternal societies, not the backward, uncivilized, culturally void societies that colonialism claimed they were.

The entire gamut of European elites, Cesaire argues – from journalists, to sociologists, theologians and academics – share responsibility for the crime of colonialism.


Discourse on Colonialism – Wikipedia

I quickly added the books to my basket and headed for the checkout. And to buttress his point, Cesaire quotes Frobenius: White History Month Mar Mannoni that colonialism was a divinely ordained mission of the West, and that all the Madagascan craved was to be able to depend on somebody else: As an example that such a marriage between past and present was possible, Cesaire, suggests, “we can look to the Soviet Union” p.

A meditation on that space I need for my rage, or, an independence manifesto Gina Athena Ulysse The space I need for my rage was taken from me long ago. But colonialism’s civilizing mission, with all its Hitlerian undertones, was simply, Cesaire suggests, the parting whimpers of a dying civilization, a dying class, for “it is an implacable law that every decadent class finds itself turned into a receptacle into which flows all the dirty waters of history; that it is a universal ccesaire that before it disappears, every class must first disgrace itself completely, on all fronts, and that it is with their colonialsm buried in the dunghill that dying societies utter their swan songs” p.

He defines the relationship as one limited to ” forced laborintimidation, pressure, the police, taxation, theft, rape, compulsory crops, contempt, mistrust, arrogance, self-complacency, swinishness, brainless elites, degraded masses”. Yet another colonialist, Saint-Arnaud, gallantly declares: The statements of people like M.

History and culture and ethnography, contrary to the claims of colonial apologists like Callois, belong to a universal cosmology. Colonel colonialiam Montagnac, one of the conquerors of Algeria writes: In this multidisciplinary and ….

To further highlight the barbarism of colonization, Cesaire quotes a number of colonial officers recounting some of their actions against colonized peoples. It is “about societies drained of their essence, cultures trampled underfoot, institutions undermined, lands confiscated, religions smashed, magnificent artistic creations destroyed, extraordinary possibilities wiped out. Even more absurd, Cesaire argues, are claims by M.