Discourse on Colonialism is an essay by Aimé Césaire, a poet and politician from Martinique who helped found the négritude movement in Francophone. 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. Aime Cesaire – Discourse on Colonialism By Baba G. Jallow Cesaire begins his Discourse on Colonialism with a severe indictment of Western civilization.
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Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Nearly “Cesaire’s essay stands as an important document in the development of third world consciousness–a process in which [he] played a prominent role. Nearly twenty years later, when published for the first time in English, Discourse on Colonialism inspired a new generation engaged in the Civil Rights, Black Power, and anti-war movements and has sold more than 75, copies to date.
Aime Cesaire eloquently describes the brutal impact of capitalism and colonialism on both the colonizer and colonized, exposing the contradictions and hypocrisy implicit in western notions of “progress” and “civilization” upon encountering the “savage,” “uncultured,” or “primitive. It is equally necessary to decolonize our minds, our inner life, at the same time that we decolonize society. Paperbackpages.
Published January 1st by Monthly Review Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Discourse on Colonialismplease sign up. What is the place of publication? See 1 question about Discourse on Colonialism….
Lists with This Book. It is claimed that it is one of the pioneering works in the study of post colonialism. Here Aime Cesaire does not write like a theorist or an academician. So, naturally his writing is poetic than academic.
But that does not mean it is purely fictional. It may be a first ever realist take on colonialism. Colonialism is founded on a venomous ideology – an ideology of racial and cultural hierarchy.
Discourse on Colonialism
He proves it citing many examples from the historical, religiou It is claimed that it is one of the pioneering works in the study of post colonialism. Coloniakism proves it citing many examples from the historical, religious, philosophical and literary records. More importantly that ideology should help in numbing the conscience of the colonizer. Thus was born the idea of racial hierarchy. Dsicourse races love to be ruled because they cannot rule themselves.
Monthly Review | Discourse on Colonialism
In the process, any kind of violence is silently approved by the white people of Europe. The irony was that alme thoughts evolved in Europe when humanism was the ruling philosophy. Obviously, Discougse mocks at the humanism of Europe. It is humanism of white men. In fact, Cesaire finds the origin of fascism in colonialism. He writes that when millions of blacks were tortured in Africa, coolies were killed in India, people were tortured in Madagascar the people in Europe never raised an objection.
This he says paved the way for fascism.
Later when Hitler took the same measures of treatment reserved for the colonized to the white people of Europe, the Europeans could not understand. According to them Hitler’s crime was not the crime against cesajre being or a human dignity. Besides, Cesaire also says that colonization results in dehumanizing both the colonizer and the colonized.
For the colonizer, it dicivilizes him.
To calm his conscience born out of tortures rendered to the colonized or the mass killinghe considers the colonized as mere animal. Thus, all his base elements are given free reign that result in brutish behaviours. For the colonized it is a humiliation and a perennial fall into the inferiority complex.
Cesaire writes all coponialism in a passionate way and one cannot but be moved. And for me, a person from a colonized country the impact was powerful.
Also, it is not a mere illogical blabber. He gives evidences to his theories and they are shocking and revealing at the same time. This edition also contains an excellent introduction by Robin D. Kelly which is titled as “A Poetics of Anticolonialism.
View all 14 comments. Apr 16, Hadrian rated it really liked it Shelves: An angry snarl of resentment and righteous didcourse, an indictment of centuries of crimes. It hides under the rather innocuous title ‘Discourse of Colonialism’, but instead might be appropriate ‘Damn you and damn your hypocrisy and hate that led to hundreds of years of atrocities’, or something like that.
The book moves from condemnation of wars and injustice, to attacks on now-obscure colonial theorists and ‘racialists’. Cesaire makes the bold statement that Nazism is so infamous in Europe because An angry snarl aije resentment and righteous anger, an indictment of centuries of crimes.
Cesaire makes the bold statement that Nazism is so infamous in Europe because it committed the same atrocities that the Europeans did to other, non-white nations. Cesaire does stray into a few grey areas, though. He cites the Soviet Union as a possible source of post-colonial liberation. That state is just imperialism with a new coat of paint. He also does make a few wrong statements which modern anthropology has corrected, but he’d likely be fine with that.
In fact, he’d be proud to see the advances in some of these fields. These little nitpicks do not detract from the overall strength of his feeling. The book itself is not without flaws, but it helped to spark a movement, of peoples rising up and a radical change in intellectual discourse.
That alone gives it a place in history. Of course, there remain a few small collonialism that resist this doctrine. To wit, the invention of arithmetic and geometry by the Egyptians.
To wit, the discovery of astronomy by the Assyrians. To wit, the birth of chemistry among the Arabs. To wit, the appearance of rationalism in Islam at a time when Western thought had a furiously pre-logical cast to it.
Car on vous jugera pn jugement dont vous jugez, et l’on vous mesurera avec la mesure dont vous mesurez. Tout bon arbre porte de bons colonialis, mais le mauvais arbre porte de mauvais fruits. View all 5 comments. Dec 22, Hussain Laghabi rated it it was amazing Shelves: One of my beautiful experiences of reading post-colonial literature along with Edward Said’s Orientalism.
This style looks very unique to me and could be one of the most beautiful styles of writing I’ve ever read in both Arabic and English and can’t imagine how more beautiful it must be if read in French ,the original language of the text. Feb 19, Ioana rated it it was amazing Shelves: Colonization rips the soul out of both, driving the colonizers to violence and race hatred, and the colonized towards psychic and soulful death.
I thought this was brilliant. What I love most, is the power it gives me, as an Arab, to aiime those who try to convince me of their racial superiority, or those who are acting on self-imposed sense of authority to go fuck themselves.
Or those who try to convince me that killing languages, cultures, and countries in the name of common good -AKA the good of the white man- I thought this was brilliant. Or those who try to convince me that dicsourse languages, cultures, and countries in the name of common good -AKA the good of the white man- is justified.
I will be a dam to coloniallsm waves of imperialist, racist thinking, that are crashing against us, even if it will tear me down. I read the English version and it’s available in PDF online. It’s a very short read, but very powerful. It was a really nice and simple style used to describe and analyse a question that long has been on top.
It’s that “Europe is Undefinable”, that’s quite right. I think the writer is taking the scope to defend the African culture that long has been a source of fun and envy. Colonizers says that they are discpurse to improve the life of Barbary, but in fact they come just to accomplish their profit, and this is what they are doing for the moment. One of the most essential books for anyone committed to freedom.
Oct 03, Zulqarnain Ali Zaki rated it it was amazing Shelves: Colonizers treat others like they are less human and needs to be tamed while colonized starts suffering from inferiority complex and gets alienated with his own identity.
This essay is a precursor to the powerful writings of Franz Fanon, Edward Said and many other post-colonial writers. If someone is interested in decolonising her mind, this books is a must read. Aug 27, Jeune Fille rated it it was amazing Shelves: For my part, I make a systematic defense of the non-European civilizations.
Every day that passes, every denial of justice, every beating by the police, every demand of the workers that is drowned in blood, every scandal that is hushed up, every punitive expedition, every police van, every gendarme and every militiaman, brings home to us dlscourse value of our old societies. They were communal societies, never societi “They talk to me about civilization, I talk about proletarianization and mystification. They were communal societies, never societies of the many for the few.
They were societies that were not only ante-capitalist, as has been said, but anti-capitalist.