The Wrentched Earth
11 Pages 2676 Words
man and the soldier, by their immediate presence and their frequent and direct action maintain contact with the native and advise him by the means of rifle buts and napalm not to budge.” (pg.38) Fanon here provides a graphic account of violence as a form of social control. Fanon continues this argument in a political context, arguing that violence serves a political end of ensuring complacency among the natives. “It is obvious here that the agents of government speak the language of pure force.” (pg.38)
In regard to violence Fanon tackles the issue of European ethnocentrism. On page 41 it is shown that colonists vilify the natives by denouncing their culture as barbaric and obscene. This appears to be an obvious ethnocentric viewpoint. This ethnocentrism serves a political purpose by justifying the violence against the natives; since the natives are barbarians they deserve equal treatment. This affords the colonists a psychology of superiority, where as the natives are offered a psychology of inferiority. This statement is the begging of Fanon’s excellent psychological analysis. He continues to provide examples of psychological differences between colonists and natives, and their subsequent difference in behaviors.
Violence visited upon the natives is surely bound to have deep psychological effects. On page 54 Fanon makes the observation that among Algerians misguided anger finds its outlet not in revolution, but in infighting among natives themselves. This seems logical, since violence is a standard under the colonial system. And since colonists are seen as superior and natives hold an inferiority complex, violence is limited by the psychological constraints of inferiority. It just does not seem rational for a native to direct their anger of the colonial system toward the Colonist. However Fanon argues that a boiling point is reached where natives will no longer accept the violence of the colonial system, and begin to r...
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