First published in 1961.
Focuses on successful decolonization of the nation and the mind.
The Pitfalls of National Consciousness
Fanon defines the flaws of achieving national consciousness by displaying a pseudo national consciousness.
Exposes the “national bourgeoisie” as puppets and imitators of the colonizers= Neocolonial State.
“Retrogression” of the nation into separate tribes and groups in the “national liberation struggle.”
The “national bourgeoisie” is an assimilated group, aiding racist ideologies previously established by the colonizer.
Fanon views the national bourgeoisie as “intellectually lazy”, and their “greed” eventually leads to a neo-colonial state rather than an independent one.
Nationalist parties are completely ignorant of the economy of their country. They promote a “regime” without knowledge of what it entails.
National economy will focus on the minimal export of local products without building any industries, which is a “characteristic of the colonial period”.
Nationalism to the bourgeoisie is simply a transfer of power; it is Europe’s “intermediary”.
Western bourgeoisie aids national bourgeoisie through tourism. Tourism is the mask that allows the colonizer to intervene.
State and tribal tensions occur due to the African’s alertness to “spiritual rivalries” (religious differences) by the colonizer.
“Africa is divided into Black and White” which is South Africa, and North Africa. The national bourgeoisie of both divisions are completely assimilated with colonial ideologies.
Fanon calls for the “honest intellectuals” to replace the national bourgeoisie for successful independence.
On National Culture
The colonizer attempts to make the colonized person inferior, making them believe that their culture is inferior.
“Within the framework of colonial domination…there will never be changes in national culture.” (p 1587)
After colonial domination, we have “dregs of a culture.” (p 1588)
Colonial domination, exploitation, and poverty, force the native to revolt. The struggle for national freedom happens.
Colonialists encouraged bitter expressionistic literature by the native.
Now, the native intellectual writes for his own people, to aid the struggle for national liberation. This is “national literature” or literature of combat.
Awakening national consciousness: through new methods of story-telling, art, music (jazz), etc. The native “rebuilds his perception because he renews the purpose and dynamism of the craftsmen, of dancing and music, and of literature and oral tradition.” (p 1591)
For Fanon, culture is an expression “of a nation, of its taboos and patterns.” It is an expression of national consciousness.
The fight for national liberation and existence calls for culture and creations.
With national consciousness comes an “international dimension.” There will be a place for that nation in the world, a place in history. National Consciousness= International Consciousness.
The role of the intellectual is to “build up his nation…it is at the heart of national consciousness that international consciousness lives and grows…this is ultimately only the source of all culture.” (p 1593)
Shahd Al Shemmari