Half a century later Aimé Césaire’s Discourse on Colonialism has lost nothing of its dynamism and incantory power. Robin Kelley’s introduction is a valuable tool. Discourse on Colonialism [Aimé Césaire, Joan Pinkham] on * FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Césaire’s essay stands as an important. Discourse on colonialism. By: Philip Janzen. Today marks ten years since Aimé Césaire’s death. What would he have thought about the state of.

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Discourse added to the themes developed in his poem Cahier d’un retour au pays natal “Notebook of a Return to the Native Land”which he wrote in response to leaving France and returning to Martinique. He writes that Hitler differed in the eyes of the Europeans because he “applied to Europe colonialist procedures which until then had been reserved exclusively for the Arabs of Algeriathe ‘ coolies ‘ of India and the ‘ niggers ‘ of Africa”, meaning that, by persecuting white Europeans, Hitler produced violence most commonly reserved for non-white populations.

At this oj in his analysis, Cesaire makes a startling but very authentic claim. He writes in poetic prose as, “a method of achieving clairvoyance, of obtaining the knowledge we need to move forward”. In inflicting horrors on the colonized peoples, Europe was engaged in a process of self-destruction.

And he is appalled at the hypocrisy and ignorance with which the cream of French society pretended that the French people were a superior race, destined to rule the world and to keep the black and yellow peoples in their own discokrse. Jallow Cesaire begins his Discourse on Colonialism with a severe indictment of Western civilization.

He bases his argument on the claim that, “no one colonizes innocently, that no one colonizes with impunity either; that a nation which colonizes, that disciurse civilization which justifies colonization—and therefore force—is already a sick civilization, a civilization which is morally diseased, which irresistibly, progressing from one consequence to another, one denial to another, calls for its HitlerI mean its punishment”.

Europe is only concerned with the rights of man in relation to the White man, not Coolies and Niggers. Colonialism, Cesaire argues, decivilizes, dehumanizes, brutalizes and degrades the colonizer. Ultimately, what these statements prove is that colonization dehumanizes the colonizer.

Discourse on Colonialism – Wikipedia

It is to Cesaire’s credit that he understood that it was much easier discouse formally dismantle colonialism, than to get rid of the colonial state itself. The entire gamut of European elites, Cesaire argues – from journalists, to sociologists, theologians and academics – share responsibility for the crime of colonialism. Even more absurd, Cesaire argues, are claims by M. University of Miami, His only colonialosm, he writes, “is that periods of colonization pass, that nations sleep only for a time, and that peoples remain” p.


Discoyrse is nothing new to man, Cesaire admits. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The hypocrisy inherent in colonialism, Cesaire points out, is actually of recent origin because the earliest European explorers never claimed that the people they encountered in their voyages of discovery were without civilization.

The country of foreign races must become once again a country of serfs, of agricultural laborers, or industrial workers.

The very idea was an oxymoron. To further highlight the barbarism of colonization, Cesaire quotes a number of colonial officers recounting some of their actions against colonized peoples. In seeing and treating other people as animals, the colonizer transforms himself into an animal. The bourgeoisie, as a class, “is condemned to take responsibility for all the barbarism of history, the tortures of the Middle Ages and the Inquisition, war-mongering and the appeal to the kn d’Etat, racism and slavery, in short, everything against which it protested in unforgettable terms at a time when, as the attacking class, it was the incarnation of human progress” p.

Claiming to civilize barbarism, colonization negates civilization.

Aime Cesaire – Discourse on Colonialism | Baba Jallow –

He puts it all plainly. But before then, they did not call it Nazism or Fascism. Nevertheless, Cesaire was right in insisting that colonized peoples had great civilizations, reminiscent of Mazrui’s Romantic Gloriana – empires, kingdoms; large, elaborate, well organized bureaucracies. As an example that such a marriage between past and present was possible, Cesaire, suggests, disxourse can look to the Soviet Union” p.

Mannoni that colonialism was a divinely ordained mission of the West, and that all the Madagascan craved crsaire to be able to depend on somebody else: American domination, he warns, discourss “the only domination from which one never recovers. Monthly Review Press, Not far from my apartment was a centre commercial with a McDonalds, a bakery, and a Carrefoura French supermarket chain.

All who supported the plundering activities of colonialism deserved condemnation as “inventors of subterfuges. The societies plundered by the forces of colonialism were democratic, cooperative and fraternal societies, not the backward, uncivilized, culturally void societies that colonialism claimed they were.


Discourse on Colonialism

The space I need for my rage was taken from me long ago. Free and French in the Caribbean: Colonialism – French colonialism in particular – Cesaire argues, could only contemplate the idea of other cultures being integrated into the French family. A civilization that uses its principles for trickery discourwe deceit is a dying civilization.

The salvation of Dolonialism, he concludes, “is not a matter of a revolution in methods. What he is doing, he says, is helping create a news society, “a society rich with all the productive power of modern times, warm with all the fraternity of olden days” p. It is “about societies drained of their essence, cultures trampled underfoot, institutions undermined, lands confiscated, religions smashed, magnificent artistic creations destroyed, extraordinary possibilities wiped out.

The West, Cesaire argues, did not invent science or ethics or morality, as M. He castigated the casual complicity of Western bourgeoisie in all forms of violence and oppression around the world.

And here, Cesaire sends a plaintiff cry to heaven: A civilization that chooses to close its eyes colonnialism its most crucial problems is a stricken civilization. Didcourse rejects his critics’ accusation that he is calling for a return to some past civilization.

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Discourse on colonialism

But, as history has shown, the Soviet model, for whatever reasons, was doomed to failure and has since been relegated to the dustbin of history. By no stretch of the imagination is colonialism out to do any good.

Callois, Cesaire indicates, are significant not only because they reflect the mind of the Western petty bourgeoisie, but also because while it touted the virtues of humanism, Europe was at that material point in time the furthest in reality from practicing the humanity it so loudly mouthed.

The colonialist knows that he is engaged in acts of violence against fellow human beings, but he refuses to acknowledge the fact because his is a sick civilization. Retrieved from ” https: