By Abu Watan – April 8, 2023
The Palestinian people are not in a simple “conflict” or territorial dispute, they are under repression of a colonial and colonizing entity from which they must free themselves. They are not fighting to temporarily move a colonial border, but to completely decolonize their land and their lives.
Frantz Fanon, in The Wretched of the Earth, one of the most important works ever written about the oppressed in the colonial system, describes that the violence that destroys the social forms, the economy, the aesthetics, and even the clothing of the natives, that violence, will be vindicated and taken up by the colonized masses from the moment they decide to become part of history. The Afro-Caribbean revolutionary writes that to put history in motion, the colonized peoples have to penetrate the forbidden quarters: to incite an explosion of the colonial world, an outburst that for the colonized people will be “a mental picture of action which is very clear, very easy to understand and which may be assumed by each one of the individuals which constitute the colonized people.”
Frantz Fanon was a physician and psychiatrist, born in European-colonized Martinique, and a veteran of the Second World War. He was a connoisseur of the Enlightenment, of European “humanist” universalism, and of the fact that, although all humanity is a priori deserving of so-called human rights, in practice one is stripped of one’s humanity if one insists on not assimilating to white Europe. The most extreme sector of what would be the “right wing” in European terms, as well as the so-called “moderate” party regarding this discourse, also think that a person should be stripped of their humanity along with their so-called human rights for being communist and/or pro-independence.
Unfortunately, quite often this communist or pro-independence activist “heading for utopia” will clothe themselves in this humanist rationale when it comes to pointing fingers at colonized peoples when they attempt to convert history into action. They threaten to withdraw support for noble causes if reason is sacrificed for the cause of resistance, if their advice is not accepted, if one does not want to consider the situation in the imperial core as the sole or primary contradiction, and they warn that they will stop flying our flags if these flags cease to represent a people that aspires to become “civilized.”
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This exemplary “comrade” in theory and praxis eventually met their match just on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea: in insurgent and revolutionary Algeria, a country that “civilized” and “humanist” colonialism had plundered and ravaged with blood and fire since the 19th century. This colonization was committed with the backing of the Encyclopedia, with the Bastille taken, and with a defeated feudalism, amputated and separated from its body by the artifact of Dr. Guillotin. A colonization fought tenaciously by a people who refused to be an object. A commodity. Fauna. Segregated by colonial borders, with one territory for colonists and a separate territory for colonized natives. With forbidden cities—colonies—settled across a timespan ranging from years to centuries, as well as other types of colonies more identifiable for European progressivism as something unfamiliar, with a process perhaps not as reversible. It would not be realistic to necessarily bet on their victory but perhaps, as opposed to the forbidden cities, there could be the hypothetical possibility in the realm of speculation in which the natives could partially recover to rise again as subjects. Of course, as long as they prove to have been “civilized,” as long as they prove to have recovered the “humanity” that natural law grants to the universally assimilable.
Fanon explains in his work that rupturing the colonial world does not mean that communication between the two zones will be repaired, not even after the formal abolition of borders. The historical experience is clear: “The destruction of the colonial world is no more and no less that the abolition of one zone, its burial in the depths of the earth or its expulsion from the country.”
After the anti-colonial victory, the mortal remains of our anti-imperialists went to rest in independent Algeria, in the Africa of their ancestors. Much closer to the land where they were born but earlier in history, a century and a half prior, a great revolution took place, a revolution that, although rarely mentioned, is often recognized as the first real contemporary revolution. Eclipsed by the bourgeois revolutions of “official” historiography, even these days this aforementioned revolution has not been forgiven for having turned the colonial and apartheid system, the structural and organizing element of the evolution of global capitalism, upside down. African slaves in the Caribbean broke their chains and rose in revolution against the “enlightened and humanist” owners. They put their “primitive and uncivilized” ideas of freedom before the freedoms of the merchants who had connected the ends of the planet for the first time in history. Not content with only that, they also gave their homeland the ancient name given to it by the exterminated natives: Haiti. That spirit of uncivilized, barbaric freedom came to influence many of the German and white Polish mercenaries who fought at first on the side of the masters but later turned their weapons to serve the revolution of the black slaves, risking their bodies and their futures.
Those damned black revolutionaries. Even today, their children’s children suffer biblical punishment as they continue to be omitted not only from bourgeois historiography, but also frequently by those who pride themselves on following the banner of the Reds. The revolution was downtrodden by capitalism, and finally upended. But just as it had sprung from its own revolutionary roots, it still left for humanity seeds that will grow into the future. During a time when the revolution was already in decline, a constitution containing some intriguing demands was promoted; in order to try to put a stop to colonialism and capitalism, they tried to dispossess the white colonizers by preventing them from immigrating to the country as owners, or from acquiring property. This initiative failed because even though capitalism is a mode of production that was born in Europe on the basis of original accumulation, developed with the so-called triangular trade, and with racism established as the organizing principle of the system, the truth is that at a certain point, it is not necessary for all proprietors to be white.
This constitution, whose article 13 establishes all the white families of the black revolutionaries as well as the white foreigners who changed sides and fought for the revolution as citizens, continues as follows:
Article 14. Necessarily, all color distinctions must cease among the children of one and the same family where the Head of State is the father; from now on, all Haitians will only be considered under the generic denomination of blacks.
All the more or less Eurocentric leftist groups—usually categorized under the oxymoron umbrella term the “Marxist orthodoxy”—or the so-called transforming left, and finally all the currents of utopian neo-socialisms with all the principles, finishes, and postmodern touches that one may wish, acquiesce in denigrating the real anti-colonial struggle. This contempt is also expressed with surprisingly similar parameters and vocabulary.
The Palestinian revolutionary forces are very clear in their approach:
- Defense of the struggle of the Palestinian people by all means at their disposal, including armed struggle.
- Return of the refugees to their places of origin.
- Liberation of all Palestine, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
The only legitimate representative of a colonized people is the forces fighting against colonization.
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In the so-called Oslo agreements, a powerful fraction of the bourgeoisie supported by imperialism usurped this legitimate representation. Through this agreement, the comprador bourgeoisie agreed to the establishment of the office of indigenous affairs of ‘Israel’ under the name of the Palestinian National Authority.
The Palestinian people have seen their living conditions worsen ever since. They have been more dispossessed; more bombed, more frequently shot at; more deprived of the right to water, energy, fishing, agriculture, trade, and movement. More deprived of freedom, more ignored, discriminated, and murdered: more colonized. That is why support for the fedayeen who sow freedom with their rifles and who teach others to cultivate it from the Palestinian Prisoners Movement is becoming more and more unanimous. The development of the contradictions of Zionist colonization does not fail to confirm Fanon’s postulates. However, in the face of this reaffirmation of our principles and our path, and in spite of the historical experience of national revolutions of the peoples subjected by colonialism and imperialism, our supposed allies—or potential allies if we appreciate the glass half full—despise our struggle for decolonization. They call it essentialist, sectarian. They accuse us of disregarding the class struggle and of not understanding capitalism as the base of our oppression, and they berate us for not sympathizing with the working class among the colonists as their hands are forced by the so-called “System,” and thus throwing the baby out with the bathwater. We are singled out for holding the settler responsible for building his life on our dispossession, on our stolen land; for drinking the water of our rivers taken from their artificially diverted courses, from our plundered aquifers. In a productive system that feeds on the original accumulation at the expense of our future, with the production and distribution of goods developed with raw materials, dead labor, and the experiences of colonization. Dates from our palm trees, wine from our grapes, sophisticated systems of repression tested on our freedom and dignity, mutilating and deadly weapons tested on the consistency of the tissues of our flesh.
We are accused of not understanding the system of capital despite having been sold out by the feudal and bourgeois lords who share our names, despite being colonized, despite suffering genocide and apartheid so that the invaders could install a system of imperialist bases. We are accused of belittling the class struggle, we: the disinherited masses, the starving legion. We are accused in spite of fighting against capitalism and its consequences, in spite of fighting at the same time against its highest phase and its primordial phase. The Palestinian people: the proletariat in the most literal sense of the term. Perhaps even an addition to the term, since the Roman proletarians at least had formal citizenship, some bread, and sometimes circuses.
The Palestinian people will continue to fight with all means necessary to liberate themselves and contribute to the liberation of the oppressed peoples by putting their bodies on the line to stop the military expansion of the colonizer. They will demonstrate at the cost of their lives that the prevailing capitalist system is an industry supported by the slaughter of human beings to all the oppressed masses of the world, including those in the imperialist center, and they will demonstrate that subversion and rebellion is possible. May our Western allies understand that capitalism as it has been practiced, as it is reproduced from the perspective of the majority of the world proletariat is not civilization spreading around the world, but the model of capitalist civilization from Europe invading the world. Decolonization is a recognized and longed-for necessity, and while reflecting on these approaches from the forbidden cities of colonized Palestine, the settler, even the so-called progressive settler, will have to understand that the outburst that for the colonized people is, in the words of Fanon, “a mental image of action,” will be for them the returning of the violence that they have perpetrated. And often it will be a literal explosion.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
scorinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/sahelicot92/May 27, 2023
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