Jean Paul Sartre in the preface to, ‘The Wretched of the Earth: The European elite manufactured a native elite by picking up promising adolescents, branded them with western culture, stuffed them with high sounding phrases, brought them to the ‘mother country’ and sent them back’ white washed’, where they echoed European slogans.1
The third world is not a homogeneous place. It has phony independence, under constant threat of aggression. Imperialists keep feudal rulers in their pay, have created native bourgeoisie, divisions in opposing groups, racial prejudices, urban proletariat, puppet bourgeoisie, lumpenproletariat of shanty-towns lining up with the rural masses. In colonies with stunted development peasants make a revolutionary class as it suffers more than town workers.
When native bourgeoisie takes over, power remains in the hands of imperialists. Liberal hypocrisy hides dialectics. In the 19th century AD, the middle class included the working class in its own species, free to sell their labor. Violence in the colonies dehumanized them, wiped out traditions and culture and substituted their language with that of the foreign rulers. Peasants were forced into labor, land taken away, inundated in dams. Fingers (East India Co in Bengal cut off the hands of Muslim weavers of Dacca), and hands cut off in the Congo; lips pierced so they could be padlocked. Slaves were called sly boots, lazy bones and thieves and that they only understood violence. 2
Different tribes fought each other since they could not face up to the real enemy. An obsessed person flies from his helplessness by binding himself to certain observances like fundamentalists do. Possession by spirit and mumbo-jumbo is defense against humiliation. They danced all night, crowded in churches to hear mass, and had bewitching. 3.
Population explosion, famines and life were feared more than death as in the siege of Gaza. 4
The oppressed cures himself of neuroses through the force of arms. The rebel’s weapon is a proof of his humanity but agents of colonialism keep up the differences in the working class.
During a rebellion, military, political and social necessities cannot be separated.
Oppressors respond with mopping up operations, population transfers, reprisals and massacres. Suicide bomber has lost his brother, father or a friend and prefers victory to survival (which he thinks he is bringing nearer). He finds his humanity destroyed beyond torture and death. 5.
Non-violent ideas are conditioned by millennia of violence; passivity places the oppressors in bad light, but it is useful only till the oppressed gather the strength to fight.
North America is a super European monstrosity. Liberty, equality, fraternity, love, honor and patriotism are mere slogans. Europeans became men by creating slaves; over a million died. In the Algerian war of independence, innumerable persons were tortured. 6.
Decolonization is quite simply replacing a certain ‘species’ of man with another ‘species’ of man. It is the creation of new men. Colonial world with prohibitions, (European and Native Quarters, Schools and Apartheid) can be called into question only by violence. 7. Police and soldiers are spokespersons of rulers.
In the post-colonial era, native elites replaced the colonists in European Quarters, well maintained and serviced. Lower classes have shanty towns, potholed roads, poor to non-existent municipal services, garbage on streets and unclean water. 8.
In colonies, governing classes come from somewhere else. In post-colonial society, they are the progeny of collaborators. Pakistani ruling class is the prime example.
. Native intellectual over-stresses details and forgets that defeat of the bourgeoisie is the real object; loses sight of the unity of movement. People want bread and land. A belief in fatality removes blame from the oppressor, and is attributed to God. 9
National political parties never lay stress on armed struggle because their objective is not a radical overthrow of the system. Elites are violent in words and reformist in attitude. Non-violence is in the interest of native elite and colonist bourgeoisie.
In the 1789 French revolution, even the smallest French peasant benefited. 10. But in underdeveloped countries, independence does not benefit 95% of the people. Land-owners (*Pakistan), capitalists (*India) take over.
International opinion is formed by the Western press, which is controlled by Global corporations. 11.
Death of one Israeli oppressor causes uproar but deaths of hundreds of Palestinians cause little reaction. Palestinians are called terrorists. (*Begin and Arafat were both terrorists once).
Capitalist power condemns the newly independent to regression (anti-Cuba economic sanctions). A regime of austerity is imposed on the rest. 12.
Europe is the creator of the third world. (The British museum is the largest collection of stolen property) Aid is due to the third world, which the West must pay. Global corporations get their governments to place bases in the third world to protect their investment. 13 Third world countries must not make up to capitalists. They are needed, not needy.
Feudal leaders form a screen between westernized nationalists and the bulk of the people. Occupying power was never their enemy, because they and their ancestors were collaborators. Peasants are the least organized, and reactionary.
Nationalist parties copy Western parties and ignore rural masses. Landless peasants in the third world go to town and constitute a lumpenproletariat. Bulk of Landless peasants stay in villages and think not as individuals, but as members of a community, regard town people as traitors or knaves, remain in thrall of landowners and are mobilized against progressive movement.
Tribalism gives way to regionalism in the national phase.
Left wing parties generally eschew armed struggle. There is no settling of scores after independence. New leaders have no base among the people so dictatorship of various kinds takes over. National government treats people as the colonial power did. Indian National congress condemned Navy sailor’s revolt in Bombay a year before independence).14. National trade unions, isolated from rural people and incapable of influence outside the town, become pawns of political parties. The national middle class inheriting the traditions of the colonial power uses its coercive military and police apparatus. Nationalist parties try to come to a friendly agreement with the colonial power. Official leaders brand demands of social/egalitarian reform as adventurism and anarchism. Colonists make advances to ‘moderates’.
You will never overthrow the relics of colonialism if you do not raise the consciousness of the rank and file.
National middle class coming into power is an underdeveloped middle class. Its psychology is that of businessmen, not that of captains of industry. Political parties are completely ignorant of the economics of their own country. It goes on sending out raw material. Nationalization (Bhutto of Pakistan) means transfer of unfair advantages that foreign rulers had into the hands of the local mercantile/feudal class. Behavior of landed gentry is practically identical with that of the bourgeoisie. They intensify the exploitation of agricultural workers and demand much more work in the name of the nation. From nationalization, they pass on to chauvinism and ethnic hatred.
Neo-colonialism like colonialism only extracts natural resources and makes a few natives rich. Competition for jobs left by colonists leads to ethnic rivalry. They choose single party domination (in Pakistan, the feudal class), which is the modern form of dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The dictator acts as a braking power on the political consensus of the people.
For the common masses nothing has changed. Army and the police advised (directed) by foreign experts function as pillars of the regime, whose powers are proportionate to stagnation. Foreign multinational corporations (MNC) capture all the assets through the World Bank, International monetary Fund and other agencies. 16. The racketeers and profiteers fall within the grasp of the army.
In underdeveloped countries, true bourgeoisie does not exist, only a little greedy caste, too glad to remain in thrall to global corporations with a caricature of its European counterpart. Assembly plants sprout consecrating neo-colonialist industrialization. Neo-colonists continue to rule through their agents who try to identify with the neo-colonialists. Initially civil service dominated (Pakistan 1947-1958). Traders/petty bourgeoisie strike demagogic attitudes.
Parties in certain districts are organized as a gang with the toughest person at the head and people admire him for striking terror into his closest collaborators (Altaf, Bhutto). In order to revive reforms, the party should be decentralized. District level organization keeps the rush to cities under control. 17 Future remains a closed book as long as people have low political consciousness.
Only the revolutionary leaders coming from the people can allow people participation. Less developed countries must guard against the tendency to perpetuate feudal traction of masculine superiority.
Role of the Intellectual in Liberation Struggles:
The native intellectual discovered with the greatest delight that there was nothing to be ashamed of in the past. By a kind of perverted logic, it (colonialism) distorts, disfigures and destroys the past of the colonized. The effect consciously sought by colonialism was to drive into the native’s heads that if settlers were to leave, they would at once fall back into barbarism, degradation and bestiality. Most often native intellectuals gather together all the historical determining factors that have conditioned them and take up a fundamentally “universal standpoint”. This is because the native intellectual has thrown himself greedily upon western culture…the native intellectual will try to make European culture his own. 19
We must try to understand why our ancestors remained silent or passive in the face of colonialism. The ruling class tries to blunt the edge of struggle by propounding economic doctrines. Colonized men of culture indulge in history instead of taking part in the struggle and discover dignity and glory in the past.
In an underdeveloped country, during the period of struggle, traditions are unstable and shot through with centrifugal tendencies. That is why the intellectual often runs the risk of being out of date. To fight for national culture means in the first place to fight for the liberation of the nation. A national culture is not folklore, nor an abstract populism. It is a whole body of efforts made by the people in the sphere of thought; it should therefore take its place at the very heart of the struggle for freedom.
There can be no two cultures, which are completely identical.
Bases of National Culture:
Colonial administration, very soon manages to disrupt the cultural life of a conquered people. This obliteration is made possible by the suppression of national identity, and new legal relations introduced by the occupying power and by banishment of the natives and their customs to outlying districts. Every effort is made to bring the colonized people to admit the inferiority of their culture and finally the imperfect character of their biological structure. While the masses of people maintain the traditions intact, the intellectuals ape the culture of the occupying power in a frenzied fashion. The national culture is destroyed in a systematic fashion.
After a century or two of occupation the national culture is gravely emaciated. That creates an aggression of the reflexive type in the native. International events support the native mindset, the native’s combativity. As a reaction, literature confines itself to the tragic and poetic style, later to novels, short stories and essays. Bitter and hopeless recriminations actually serve to reassure the occupying power. Stinging denunciations are in fact assimilated by the occupying power in a cathartic process.
Initially the native intellectual produces his work for the pleasure of the oppressor. The progress of national consciousness modifies his writings to take on the habit of addressing his own people. It is only from that moment that we can speak of national literature. Algeria is the shining example. From 1952-53 , they completely transformed their traditional methods. Colonialists proceeded to arrest these story tellers systematically. 20
As soon as the native comes to understand himself, he starts the struggle to force back the racist universe. The same trend comes from singing and dancing and traditional rites and ceremonies.
National culture is the expression of a nation, its preferences, taboos, values and its patterns. A national culture is the sum total of these appraisals. .
Conscious and organized struggle by colonized people to regain the sovereignty of the nation constitutes the most complete and obvious manifestation of culture. A struggle which mobilizes all classes of people will of necessity triumph. After national freedom has been obtained under these conditions, there would be no painful cultural uncertainty, which is found in certain countries after freedom.
Colonialism and mental disorders:
In Algeria, imperialism was the fertile purveyor for psychiatric hospitals in 1954.
Colonialism systematically negates and denies all attributes of humanity in the ruled people, and forces them to ask themselves the question “in reality, who am I?” The defensive attitudes created by violent bringing together of the colonized man and the colonial system integrate into a structure which reveals the colonized personality. Colonized people are not only simply dominated people. Under German occupation, the French remained men. In Algeria, there was not simply domination, but the decision not to occupy anything more than the land. The Algerians, the veiled women, the palm trees and the camels make up the landscape, the natural background to the human presence of the French.
Hostile nature is in fact represented in the colonies by the bush. Colonization is a success when this in docile nature has been finally tamed. In the period of colonization, not contested by armed resistance, the defensive attitudes of the natives gave way and they crowded the mental hospitals.
Clinical psychiatry classifies the different disturbances as ‘reactionary psychoses;. The events giving rise to the disorder are chiefly the blood thirsty and inhuman practices and the firm impression that people have been caught up in a veritable Apocalypse. (21).
- Fanon, Franz (Author), Richard Philcox (trans), “The Wretched of the Earth,” (Algiers: Grove Press, 1965).
- www.the guardian,com?newsworldnews? Gazalive
- Paul Kix, “The Truth About Suicide Bombers,” Boston Globe December 5, 2010; Khan, L, “A Theory of International Terrorism:Understanding Islamic Militancy,” (Boston: Brill Academic Publishers, 2006).
- Alistair Horne, “A Savage War of Peaxe: Algeria 1954-1962,” (New York: Viking, 1978); Maran, Rita, “Torture: The Role of Ideology in the French-Algerian War,” (New York: Praeger, 1989).
- Hatch, John Charles, “A History of Post War Africa,” (New York: Praeger, 1965).
- Madeleine Bunting, “Amartya Sen: India’s Dirty Fighter,” The Guardian, July 16, 2013.
- Ahmed, Rashid, “Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia,” (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000).
- Soboril, Albert, “The French Revolution: 1787-1799,” (New York: Vintage, 1975).
- Ashley, Lutz, “These Six Corporations Control 90% the Media in America,” Business Insider, July 14, 2012. (GE, News-Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, CBS.
- Jean Daniel, “Boycotting Cuba: Whose Interest Doesit Serve,” The New Republic December 28, 1963.
- ibid 1.
14, Bannerjee, Subrata, “The RN Strike,” (New Delhi: People’s Publishing House, 1954).
- Hassan, Dr Mubasshir, “The Mirage of Power: The Perceptive Paradise,” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).
- Hopkins, A. G (Ed),; “Globalization in World History,” (London: Norton, 2004); Ehtisham, Syed M.A. “A Medical Doctor Examines Life on Three Continents,” (New York: Algora Publishing, 2008).
- Siddiqi, Farhan Hanif, “The Politics of Ethnicity in Pakistan: The Baloch, Sindhi, and Mohajir Ethnic Movements,” (Oxford: Routledge, 2012).
- ibid 1.
I was born in Dewa Sharif, UP, India in 1939.
I went to school from the fourth to eighth class in Gonda, UP and the 9th grade in Jhansi, UP, India.
We moved to Quetta, Pakistan and went to school for the 10th grade and intermediate college in the same town.
I was in Karachi University 1954-57, then Dow Medical College 1957-62. I Was in the National Students Federation from 1954 to 1962, trained in surgery in the Civil Hospital Karachi 1962-65, proceeded to England 1965 and trained in General surgery and orthopedic surgery till 73, when I left for Canada 1973-74, USA 1974-83, back to Karachi 1983 and built a hospital and went back to the USA in 1991, been in the USA since.
I retired from surgery in 2005.
I have worked in various HR and Socialist groups in the USA.
I have Published two books ,:”A Medical Doctor Examines Life on Three Continents,” and ,”God, Government and Globalization”, and am working on the third one, “An Analysis of the Sources and Derivation of Religions”.