fanon: accidental revolutionary

Posted: December 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

Frantz Fanon. The prophet scorned. Fifty years after his death, the audience still listens.Vintage violence…

…At this point, Fanon could go no further, because, although he had discarded the white mask in his book,in his life he still wore it. In 1953 he received two of the rewards that came with wearing it: he married a white girl he had met in a Lyon lycee, Josee Duble, and he passed the formidable Medicat des hopitaux psychiatriques, the examination required in order to practice psychiatry in France. Each year, two thirds of the candidates fail. Fanon went through forty-eight hours of written tests, followed by an oral in which he had to examine several mental patients before seven solemn white-robed professors who gave him half an hour to prepare his diagnosis. Now he was thoroughly whitewashed.

— Many Leftists who flirt with Benjamin want to speak of some “spectral” violence that never really happens, or they adopt an attitude like Agamben’s and simply wait for some magical intervention. I’m sorry, but Benjamin is pretty precise. An example he gives of divine violence is a mob lynching a corrupt ruler! That’s pretty concrete. In a new book I’m writing on violence, I’m going to address this issue. Franz Fanon has suffered a similar fate. He was very clear about the role of violence, and he certainly wasn’t speaking of some “transcendental” violence. He meant killing, he meant terror. But this dimension of their work is not present in contemporary commentators. We have a softened, “decaffeinated” Fanon and Benjamin.—Read More:http://percaritatem.com/2010/10/10/guest-post-2-violence-and-christian-holy-writ-the-il-logic-of-divine-un-favor/

Lenin was a revolutionary at sixteen. Che Guevara and Fidel Castro led student rebellions in their university years. By comparison, Fanon had a late vocation. He became a revolutionary in his thirties, and the part that circumstances played in the convesion makes it seem almost accidental. Fanon’s aim after passing his Medicat was tp practice psychiatry outside France, preferably on the island of his birth. But there was no psychiatric hospital in Martinique. He took a temporary post in the dreary town of Pontorson, near Mount Saint Michel.

Everyday, Fanon checked the Journal Officiel for vacancies in government hospitals. When he saw an opening for a chef de service in Algeria, he applied, was accepted, and in November, 1953, moved to the city of Blida. There he busied himself trying to reform a hospital headed by men with colonialist mentalities who kept native and French patients segregated and who believed in strait jackets and chains rather than therapy. ( to be continued)…

--So when Žižek begins to talk about the high standard of living in Europe as one of the “achievements” of contemporary capitalism, let us remind him what Frantz Fanon in The Wretched of the Earth, among many others, have already said before: “This European opulence is literally scandalous, for it has been founded on slavery, it has been nourished with the blood of slaves and it comes directly from the soil and from the subsoil of that underdeveloped world” ---Read More:http://karlomongaya.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/a-hasty-reaction-to-this-zizek-video/

–So when Žižek begins to talk about the high standard of living in Europe as one of the “achievements” of contemporary capitalism, let us remind him what Frantz Fanon in The Wretched of the Earth, among many others, have already said before: “This European opulence is literally scandalous, for it has been founded on slavery, it has been nourished with the blood of slaves and it comes directly from the soil and from the subsoil of that underdeveloped world” —Read More:http://karlomongaya.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/a-hasty-reaction-to-this-zizek-video/


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