Please explaın Frantz Fanon's "The Pitfalls of National Consciousness" in The Wretched of the Earth.
1 Answer | Add Yours
The Wretched of the Earth is a highly ideological study of decolonization, which Fanon saw occurring around the world. He hoped not just to promote the end of colonialism, but to help shape the course that decolonization would take. In the chapter entitled "The Pitfalls of National Consciousness," Fanon argues that colonization tends to exacerbate, or even create, class divisions within the colonial society, even as it also creates a revolutionary national consciousness. Colonialism created a bourgeoisie that was a sort of false bourgeoisie in a Marxist sense because it lacked capital to generate productivity. Moreover, this bourgeois class tends to run the government for its own benefit, and in a way that does not promote the development of local industry:
To them, nationalization quite simply means the transfer into native hands of those unfair advantages which are a legacy of the colonial period.
Typically these cash-strapped leaders would invite in European capital, leaving the decolonized nations to remain simply producers of raw materials. Then, Fanon says, this middle class becomes "intermediaries" for capital. As the only educated people, they become lawyers and bureaucrats, securing for themselves the best possible positions to accumulate wealth. As such, they go from being the agents of a national consciousness to being the "transmission line between the nation and a capitalism, rampant though camouflaged, which today puts on the masque of neocolonialism." Like their colonial predecessors, their very raison d'être would be the exploitation of the lower classes, who will remain poor, backward agricultural laborers.
Join to answer this question
Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.Join eNotes