Césaire challenges the widely-held notion that colonization is the best way of establishing contact between civilizations. White Westerners may believe that the colonial project is a noble civilizing mission, but this isn't the case at all. Between colonization and civilization there is a huge gap; the two are not, as many in the West would claim, synonymous. According to Césaire, despite all the colonial expeditions that have been undertaken, all the colonial statutes that have been drawn up, and all the memoranda written by colonial ministries, there has not come a single recognizably human value.
This is because colonization, at its core, is an utterly inhuman project. It cannot therefore produce anything of enduring human worth. It brutalizes and decivilizes both the white European colonists and the indigenous people they conquer. For Césaire, a civilization that justifies colonization, and therefore, force, is a sick civilization. Any country that participates in that exploitation is a civilization that is morally diseased.
Despite its alleged civilizing mission, colonization is nothing more than an attempt to civilize barbarism, to ennoble it with a veneer of respectability it patently does not deserve. Far from being the epitome of civilization, as partisans of the colonialist project would have us believe, it is actually the negation of civilization.