December 18, 2010
Violence: Our Instinctual Reaction
Violence is as relevant to our human existence as nurturing, co-dependence, and desires. We thrive off of violence, off of what it means, what it represents, and more times than not it is a turning point in our lives which brings forth an alteration to the current flow of life. It is not to say that violence is justified in all circumstances, but it would be false to say that violence is never justified. Frantz Fanon discusses the intertwined relationship between a significant event such as decolonization, and violence. In The Wretched Earth, Fanon reflects on what he believes to be a natural human reaction, and stands in defense of violence because he views it as the only tool possible for the colonized peoples to overcome the oppressing ruling class of the colonialist foreigners in their land, and decolonize and liberate their nation at once (or at least set the precedent for change).
Decolonization needs violence, because without it, it is merely a struggle without substance, a fight without arms, and a negotiation without preparation. Fanon describes decolonization in his own words as “the substitution of one ‘species’ by another. The substitution is unconditional, absolute, total, and seamless.” (1) In order for such a thing to occur, there would need to be actions taken that words could not simply achieve. Violence is necessary in the fight against oppression; in fact without violence there is no struggle to even be heard of. Decolonization is always a violent event. When you wonder why violence plays a key role in the decolonization, or the end of the colonial rule in a country, you must first look back at the beginning of the relationship between the colonizers and the colonized. When history is examined to investigate why violence is so involved in the process of decolonization, you will find that the process of first colonizing the native peoples was also impossible to carry out...