What Fanon taught us - EFF

Nationalists scared of losing whites because they think without whites, Africa will revert to "barbarism"


Sunday, 06 December 2020

The EFF marks the 59th Anniversary of Frantz Fanon's death. On this day, in 1961, the great son of Martinique died after battling with leukaemia for many years. The EFF recognises Fanon as an important ideological thinker for our own struggle for the economic emancipation of Africa and its people. His ideas serve as theoretical tool for the diagnosis of colonialism, in particular anti-black racism.

Fanon was not just a skilled theoretician, but a revolutionary activist whose conviction about human freedom led him to fight Nazism in France from a young age of 18. He joined the Allied Forces in World War II as a soldier, putting his own life at risk to defeat the murderous Hitler regime. Fanon would later study psychiatry at the University of Lyon in France where he also attained his PhD. His thesis was then published into the now celebrated and influential text "Black Skins, White Masks". Fanon gave the rest of his adult life into Algerian Independence. He worked hard for the unity of the continent and its total decolonisation.

We in the EFF are inspired by his activism and his ideas. From him, we draw our understanding of colonial power, pitfalls of liberal nationalism, the post-colonial state, and the significance of African unity.

Fanon teaches us about the centrality of the land in decolonisation — that in the mind of our people the greatest sign and rightfully so, of their freedom, is the land. He cautions us that liberal nationalism tends to abandon the program of decolonisation based on return of the land due to their fear of a world without whites. To keep whites around, interested and part of the independent societies, most liberation movements compromise on the land question and strategic heights of the economy like minerals and the banks.

It is Fanon, who teaches us in the Pitfalls of National Consciousness that the character of liberation movements in Africa becomes that of compromise and a breeding of unity without purpose.

Fanon instructively guides us to reject former liberation movements whose role is to remind us of struggles waged in the past, as they further their agenda of self-enrichment and dependency on the former colonizers, We must learn from Fanon that the liberation struggle supersedes decaying former liberation movements, and that the future is with the disgruntled youth, armed with revolutionary consciousness, to build a true post-colonial and independent Africa. Fanon indicates that the greatest fear nationalists have is a world without white people, they are scared of losing whites because they think without whites, Africa will revert to "barbarism". As a result, they conceded to perpetual white supervision,

In memory of Fanon, we reject this phenomenon as the EFF, the total decolonisation of black people based on attainment of the land must be absolutely non-negotiable. Above all, we must believe in Africa and its people, their capacity to run their own affairs without any white supervision. The self-determination and sovereignty of Africa must never be compromised at the altar of immediate conveniences,

In memory of Frantz Fanon, we call on the South African Department of Education to dedicate resources to translate his works, such as "Black Skins, White Masks" into indigenous languages, This will make his powerful ideas more accessible to all our people, young and old.

May the undying spirit of Fanon continue to guide the African Socialist Revolution until its completion,

Mayibuye iAfrica!

Issued by the EFF, 6 December 2020