This article engages with Frantz Fanon’s writings on different responses by artists among colonised peoples to the fact of their colonisation. Fanon develops a dialectical account in which an initial stage of assimilation of Western techniques and paradigms is followed by a phase of immersion in African artistic traditions. These two phases then function as prelude to a third, combative stage which is presented as the most efficacious and authentic way for artists to play their part in decolonisation. The article problematises the temporal logic and implicit hierarchies of Fanon’s account. It does so by using Jacques Rancière’s redemptive reading of early working class mobilisations in 1830s and 1840s France, prior to the advent of Marxian proletarian politics, as a counterpoint. The article here finds a different, more affirmative, nondialectical and non-historicist way of evaluating the liberatory potential of artistic practices by the colonised prior to combative decolonisation.
Portrait of the Artist as Colonised Subject
Fanon, Rancière and the Struggle Toward Decolonisation on the Aesthetic Front
Marx and Engels on Constitutional Reform vs. Revolution
Their 'Revisionism' Reviewed
Friedrich Engels, in 1895, reissued Marx's 'The Class Struggles in France 1848-1850' (1850), with an Introduction endorsing peaceful political tactics. We review the primary evidence to bring order to a confusing picture that emerges from a range of conflicting interpretations of the document. Our conclusions are as follows: First, the 1895 Introduction does not signify a new position, considering Engels' recognition over several decades of political concessions by the British ruling class. Secondly, since from the 1840s Marx too had applauded the potential of the 'Social Democratic' route, at least under the appropriate conditions, we may be confident that he would have approved of Engels' Introduction. Thirdly, the case for universal suffrage was to set the foundations for a classless communist system; Engels, we show, would have found unacceptable a Parliamentary system generating a working-class majority unwilling to carry out a communist program, or a working-class electorate choosing to replace the party at the polls.
The Economics of Decolonisation
Institutions, Education and Elite Formation
education sector. Examples abound all around the continent: from the division of French and British educational systems in present-day Cameroon ( Dupraz 2015 ), to the persistence of racially defined education systems in South Africa ( Keswell 2010 ), the
‘No government can protect the rights of citizens without rigorous police, but the difference between a free regime and a tyrannical one is that, in the former, the police are employed against that minority opposed to the general good as well as against the abuse and negligence of the authorities; whereas, in the latter the State police are employed against the down-trodden who are thus delivered into the hands of injustice and impunity’.
This declaration was not a reaction to the Marikana massacre (16 August 2012), when a British mining company operating in South Africa had a special unit of the post-Apartheid South African Police Service murderously repress a mine workers strike, by means of mass shooting; many of those killed were later found to have been shot in the back as they ran away from the volley of bullets. It was made about two hundred and twenty years before, in April 1794, when revolutionary France was experiencing its most tragic moments. In the context of the Terror, and facing the necessity to discipline it, its author, Saint-Just (1767–1794), redeployed some of the most classical concepts in the History of Political Thought – freedom versus tyranny, general good versus particular interest, elite accountability versus impunity of power – in order to provide the ideological principles framing the organisation, within the web of the revolutionary police, of a special office in charge of the surveillance of the Executive and of public authorities.
In 1968, at the height of political unrest in Europe and North America, in the heyday of French existentialism, Marxism, and psychoanalysis, Emmanuel Levinas published an essay curiously opposed to the emerging “canon” of the time, in defence of humanism. Both with and against psychoanalysis’ and structuralism’s decentring of the subject and the Marxist critiques of bourgeois humanism, Levinas called for a different conception of humanism. He suggested that humanism had never been truly humanist because metaphysics (and ethics) had given priority to a conception of subjectivity characterized exclusively by activity and rationality. But Levinas did not toll the death knell of reason; rather he suggested that the rationalist subjectivity of humanism and idealism covered over depths of our intersubjective life. Against these, he proposed a humanism whose beginning would not be the self-positing of the ego, but rather would lie in the peculiar character of our sensuous vulnerability to other human beings. This vulnerability – whose ethical implications can be elucidated by an inquiry into the possibility of the sentiments of responsibility and obligation – belongs to a philosophical anthropology characterized by a certain optimism. Such an optimism is envisionable for Levinas even in the wake of skepticism over the meaning and coherence of ethical judgement. Thus, in the following passage Levinas summarizes his conception of the subject and the starting point of his humanism, using the Fichtean ego (inter alia) as its foil.
Part 2: After the Big Bang
The Fusing of New Approaches
responsibility of publishing a newsletter that later was turned into the journal, Contributions to the History of Concepts not least due to the efforts of Professor João Feres Júnior from Rio de Janeiro. The French members took it upon themselves to organize
The Environment as an Umbrella Concept; From Word to Historical Concept
Risto-Matti Matero and Juan Alejandro Pautasso
, provides an accurate synthesis of the spirit that traverses the book compiled by Fabio Wasserman. The book investigates the stabilities, shifts, and development of revolution between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries, in England, France, the Iberian
The Future of Representative Politics
On Tormey, Krastev and Rosanvallon
political representation that engages is a very broad study of the development of democracy, citing a wide variety of examples but focusing particularly on modern France. His Counter Democracy: Politics in an Age of Distrust ((Rosanvallon, French original
Le moment Lamennais
Modern Slavery and the Re-description of People (and Democracy) in Spain and Chile
book published that same year by the French author Hugues-Félicité Robert de Lamennais, titled Paroles d'un Croyant ( Words of a Believer ). 1 In his decree, soon translated into Spanish, the Pope asked all Catholics to prevent the spread of a work
Handbuch' s link to the French tradition of studying mentalities, although without buying into the decanonizing of sources entailed in replacing thought with mentality. He still insists on the need to climb the peaks (or canons) of political thought. He