Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Wretched of the Earth / Fanon - great summary

Overview and summary of The Wretched of the Earth

The Wretched of the Earth was the last book that Frantz Fanon wrote. It was published in 1961 in France accompanied by a preface by Jean Paul Sartre. The Wretched of the Earth is a psychiatric, political, cultural and historical diagnosis of the colonization in Algeria particularly and in Africa in general, in addition to constituting a call to the Third World to undertake the decolonizing struggle, that is, to create a new man. The book is also the culmination of the works of Fanon - disciple of Aimé Césaire-, an adaptation of Marxist theory to the colonial context, and a precursor of postcolonial studies. "Raised by the opposition to the war in Algeria, by the challenge to an already dying colonial system, recently encouraged the exaltation of the armed struggle for victory in Cuba of the Castro rebels; preaching a revolutionary Third World, crowned by the preface of a Sartre then at the height of his influence and glory, the book spread like wildfire. (…) In 1961, the year of the coup in Algiers and the opening of the negotiations of Evian, Fanon, seriously ill with leukemia, he works feverishly on the manuscript. Franz Fanon died in early December 1961. He is 36 years old. The Wretched of the Earth was an immediate success.

In The Wretched of the Earth, through critiques of nationalism and imperialism , Fanon presents a disquisition on personal and social mental health , the use of language (vocabulary) is applied to the establishment of imperialist identities, as "colonizers" and "colonized" , To teach and psychologically model the native and the colonist in their respective roles of "slave" and "master", as well as on the role of the intellectual in a revolution . Fanon proposes that revolutionaries should seek the help of the lumpenproletariatto provide the force necessary to carry out the expulsion of the settlers. In traditional Marxist theory, the lumpenproletariat is the lowest and most degraded stratum of the proletariat (especially criminals, vagrants, and the unemployed), people who have no class consciousness to participate in the anti-colonial revolution .

Fanon applies the term " lumpenproletariat " to colonial subjects who do not participate in industrial production, especially the peasantry , because, unlike the urban proletariat (the working class), the lumpenproletariat has sufficient intellectual independence from the dominant ideology of the class. dominant colonial, easily realizing that they can revolt against the colonial status quo and decolonize their nation. One of the essays included in the book is On National Culture , in which Fanon highlights the need for each generation to discover its mission and fight for it.

Detailed Summary by chapters of The Wretched of the Earth