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"On Violence" Part2

Study Questions

1)On pg. 71 Fanon asks, “But how do we pass from the atmosphere or violence to violence in action? What makes the lid blow off?” What is his answer? What role do the settlers play in this moment? The national leaders? The colonized?


2) What does Fanon mean when he says “the reconstruction of the nation continues within the framework of cutthroat competition between capitalism and socialism”? (pg. 73)What are the tools of capitalism to maintain power over the colonies, and what are the obstacles to creating socialism?


3) Elaborate on the dialectic between violence and class consciousness, especially in regards to the historic moment of national independence.


4) Contrast the course of development for European countries and for the newly-independent colonies. What does this comparison betray about the West and the basis of its power?How does Fanon propose the blockades to development in the colonies be overcome?


5) On pg. 103, Fanon says “For if, through lack of intelligence (we won’t speak of lack of gratitude) the capitalist countries refuse to pay, then the relentless dialectic of their own system will smother them.” Explain the meaning of this statement. What implications does it have for us living in the most powerful capitalist country and our own revolutionary strategies?Study Questions for Sartre’s Preface to “Wretched of the Earth”


6) Sartre makes clear that Europeans are not Fanon’s intended audience, and that the aim of “Wretched of the Earth” is to teach the colonized people how to “beat us at our own game.” (pg. 10) Why is Fanon “not then afraid that the colonial power may take advantage of his sincerity?” (pg. 12)What does Sartre’s analysis of this question reveal about the nature of dialectics, contradiction, and violence?


7) If “Wretched” is not written for us, why then should we still read it? What is Sartre’s argument? Why do you think we should study this text?


8) Explain what Sartre means when he says “Blows will never suffice, you have to push the starvation further, and that’s the trouble with slavery”? (pg. 15)How does this statement reveal the primary contradiction of colonization?


9) Why does Sartre call decolonization “the moment of the boomerang”? (pg. 20)What is the reaction of the liberals to this moment? The left?


10) Unpack this sentence: “to shoot down a European is to kill two birds with one stone, to destroy an oppressor and the man he oppressed at the same time.” (pg. 22)


11) In what ways is the process of decolonization among Westerners the unrooting of ingrained liberalism, according to Sartre and in your our experience?

Reading Material

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