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Alexander HaydonPrompt #2The black man wants to be white. The white man slaves to reach a human level (Fanon, P. 3)In this essay, I will discuss that the experiences and writings of Franz Fanon, coupled with the film The Battle of Algiers form the basic anti-colonialist thought as a violent response to the physical and psychological oppression. Further I will analyze the thought of Fanon through the non-violent lens of Mahatma Gandhi, specifically his work the Hind Swaraj, which articulates Satyagraha, Ahimsa, and Swaraj to peacefully gain independence. At the base of our discussion, both Fanon and Gandhi describe the colonized world and its close relation to oppression. The descriptions provide a unique insight into the history of colonialism, domination, and oppression. This position is shown through the 1966 film, The Battle of Algiers, which placed a spotlight on the oppression that occurred in Algeria, a colonized piece of ‘french society’ (Samnotra, 2017). At the start of the film, set in 1954, Algeria is under the colonial rule of the French, who have ruled in Algeria for over one hundred years. This colonial rule isn’t one of equality and fair treatment, but instead a class of citizens looking to free themselves from physical and mental subjugation. The movement is fueled by the National Liberation Front, who leads a violent resistance against the French that resulted in mass killings and extreme violence on both sides (Samnotra, 2017). The French oppressed the Algerians for so long with violence, that the Algerians eventually responded with the exact same violence in return. This inhumanity and violence that accompanies colonization, in this instance French colonization, is all too familiar for Fanon. The foreword of Black Skin, White Masks, introduces Fanon by elaborating on his life as a man born in the French colony of Martinique, who left to play a significant role in the liberation of Algeria, even though he was unable to see the country acquire independence before his death (Fanon, vii). In Black Skin, White Masks, Fanon expands beyond the violence which occured in Algeria to explain the direct impact of the colonizer on the colonized. He describes a mental and psychological subjection as a result of colonization that forces the colonized to develop an inferiority complex and desire to become ‘white’. White in the context of colonialism is not solely skin tone, but a combination of skin tone, language, and overall culture that is pursued by the enslaved black men/women. On page twenty-one, Fanon looks to explain this absence of culture by stating that “when it comes to the case of the Negro, nothing of the kind. He has no culture, no civilization, no “long historical past”” (Fanon, 21). He infers in the surrounding paragraphs, that those living under colonial rule are forced to pick between being black and oppressed or white and human.Fanon takes the oppression of language, skin color, and culture as the basis of enslavement within the colonies. According to Fanon, “the negro enslaved by his inferiority, the white man enslaved by his superiority alike behave in accordance with a neurotic orientation” (Fanon, P. 42). This inferiority complex begins upon birth, with the decision of the French to prevent Creole, the native language of the Antilles, from being spoken in daily interactions as “the language spoken officially is French; teachers keep a close watch over the children to make sure they do not use Creole” (Fanon, P. 10). The decline of Creole and the increase of the French language (in this context, the French language representing the colonized ‘white mask’) comes from the desire for recognition, which as Fanon articulates will never be possibles because “the feeling of inferiority of the colonized is the correlative to the European’s feeling of superiority … It is the racist who creates his inferior” (Fanon, P. 69). Fanon touches on the importance of recognition throughout Black Skin, White Masks, however in the section on the thought of Hegel, Fanon looks at recognition in relation to violence and freedom. He describes the struggle to become recognized by another and that the recognition of the other determines an individual’s self-worth (Fanon, P.169). The struggle for those who were colonized, is that black men were told they are free but weren’t able to secure their own freedom and recognition (Fanon, P. 172). Therefore, Fanon argues that to truly become free, the black man must fight for his recognition and “needs a challenge to his humanity, he wants a conflict, a riot. But it is too late: The French Negro is doomed to bite himself and just to bite” (Fanon, P. 172). The black man however, is unable to fight, to scream, or to claim recognition and become his own person, therefore, he is stuck according to Fanon aspiring to become like the white man. The argument that Colonialism, which causes psychological damage and an inferiority complex, must be ended through violence is an opinion that Mahatma Gandhi would dispute. As an historical figure that produced a similar but non-violent form of anti-colonialism, Gandhi utilized specific religious principles. In our analysis, we must consider the Hind Swaraj, a comparative anti-colonialism work which contrasts the necessity for violence depicted by Fanon. According to our lectures and the Hind Swaraj, Satyagraha, Swaraj, and Ahimsa, each play a unique role in understanding the action of India to achieve independence from colonialism. Satyagraha the first principle for Gandhi, is a special form of non-violence which can be classified as civil disobedience or passive resistance, in other words, peaceful protest (Gandhi, P. 74). Satyagraha can be viewed in the non-violent actions that Gandhi took, specifically the ones which involved personal suffering. An uninformed interpretation could argue that Gandhi was entirely against violence, however, in The Hind Swaraj, he argues that “passive resistance is a method of securing rights by personal suffering” (Gandhi, P. 74) This Satyagraha, is the basis for the majority of the analysis between Fanon and Gandhi. It provides a scenario in which we can apply the actions and beliefs of Gandhi more clearly than the other principles, like Ahimsa, the second principle. Ahimsa according to our lectures third and final principle used by Gandhi, Ahimsa, ties together the essence of Dharma with non-violence against others (both people and animals). While Ahimsa isn’t described as thoroughly throughout the Hind Swaraj as the other two principles, it is the driving force behind Gandhi’s theory of nonviolence. Without non-violence, the two other principles are fairly ineffective and aren’t worth mentioning, however, after you factor in the truth that harming another is directly harming yourself, the final principle, Swaraj can be expressed. (Manu, Class Lecture 11/25).Swaraj, the final principle for Gandhi is the focal point of The Hind Swaraj and focuses on self-rule in both the civilization context but more importantly, the internal context of self-regulating. In the beginning of the Hind Swaraj, Gandhi states that Swaraj is something that “you and I and all the Indians are too impatient to obtain” (Gandhi, P.25). At this point in the discussion, Fanon and Gandhi could reach an agreement, that the cause of enslavement was the desire of the colonized for civilization. It was “because the sons of India were found wanting, its civilization has been placed in jeopardy… The whole of India is not touched. Those alone who have been affected by Western civilization have become enslaved (Gandhi, P. 60). India, according to Gandhi became enslaved when the Indians adopted the English civilization and allowed for the culture to create a presence in India (Gandhi, P. 62). Fanon, in my interpretation would also agree, that the continued desire to utilize the colonizer’s civilization results in a both a psychological and physical enslavement. Where Gandhi has been able to utilize Satyagraha, Swaraj, and Ahimsa to produce non-violent passive resistance, the FLN within Algeria (specifically the Battle of Algiers) chose to respond with pure violence. If Gandhi was present in Algeria during the revolt for liberation, he would have heavily argued against using violence to gain freedom. He provides logical reasoning for this statement by discussing Swaraj with the reader who wants to take India back by force to save the impoverished, overtaxed, enslaved persons in India. “You have drawn the picture well. In effect it means this: that we want English rule without the Englishman. You want the tiger’s nature, but not the tiger; that is to say, you would make India English. And when it becomes English, it will be called not Hindustan but Englistan. This is not the Swaraj that I want” (Gandhi, P.25)In the above quote, Gandhi argues, that by utilizing violence in the same way that the English have, we would turn India into a country that is fueled by the same issues. He is referencing the fact that India, specifically the reader, wanted the English to leave with the goal of keeping the ‘civilization’ which according to Gandhi wouldn’t fix the problem (Gandhi, P.25). In my opinion from the analysis of the Hind Swaraj, Gandhi would instead push the facilitators of the FLN and the violent actors within the Battle of Algiers to pursue Satyagraha. We have briefly seen an instance which articulates Gandhi’s perceived response of how Fanon would respond to Gandhi during the explanation of Swaraj, but how would Gandhi respond to the necessary violence of Fanon? Fanon paints a picture of violence inflicted upon the enslaved as almost natural and as a result, the country violence is the natural response. Gandhi would disapprove of the violence recommended by Fanon, in his conclusion, he offers the reader the following advice: “I have already described the true nature of Home Rule. This you would never obtain by force or arms. Brute-force is not natural to Indian soil. You will have, therefore, to rely wholly on soul-force. You must not consider that violence is necessary at any stage for reaching our goal” (Gandhi, P.92)The above quote gives a high level answer to the violence recommended by Fanon, and discards the violence completely. Gandhi in the Hind Swaraj would not have accepted or supported violent action by the enslaved against the colonizer, but instead he would encourage the enslaved to direct the violence inwards and focus on self-rule (Gandhi, P.92). This self-rule focuses on the necessity of the individual to control their actions and desires. One interpretation of the Hind Swaraj could be that Gandhi would encourage Fanon, the FLN, and any other person enslaved by colonialism to reflect inwards to free themselves. He would not have accepted the idea that the colonized cannot overcome the psychological enslavement through a form other than violence.  This self-rule and deviation from the ‘necessities’ of English civilization allowed for the Indians to regain not only self but focus on nonviolence and civil disobedience.In my opinion, the works of both Fanon and Gandhi describe in detail the effects of colonization, but the non-violent beliefs and practices of Gandhi are more appealing in my opinion. Gandhi looks to avoid the endless conflict and strife, and in my opinion sees a solution that will allow the enslaved to gain liberation while avoiding future battles. Through meditation and self-rule, individuals who were enslaved by the English or French civilization would be able to clear the objects from their heart and mind. Overall, the argument for passive disobedience and turning the violence inwards ends the vicious cycle of violence. References:Fanon, F. (2008). Black Skin, White Masks. Retrieved from, M. (2014). Hind Swaraj. Retrieved from M. 2017, Comparative Political Theory, lecture notes, The Battle of Algiers, University of South Florida delivered: November, 2017

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