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Cesaire: The Discourse On Colonialism Essay

1206 words - 5 pages

In the Discourse on Colonialism, Cesaire illustrates a compelling relationship between colonized states and the proletariat class. He conveys that the proletariat socio-economic class allows for the possible unification of society against the powers of colonialism. Interestingly, the comparison reflects as these elements extend from constructed illusions to unequivocal creeds. By isolating and juxtaposing the two groups, Cesaire is able to elaborate on how he believes that race and class unite to dominate 'inferior subjects' in nations throughout the globe. Throughout the essay, Cesaire provides reasoning for the socially constructed experiences of those dictated by colonial imperialism, ...view middle of the document...

Therefore, the precedent of racism and colonial expansion against the uncivilized societies eventually leads the European nations to end up brainwashing their own mindset. In such a way, Cesaire believes this assists the application of decivilization into Europe, which in turn illustrates that the Nazism is just a form of colonialism. As a result, Cesaire states “at the end of capitalism, which is eager to outlive its day, there is Hitler. At the end of formal humanism and philosophic renunciation, there is Hitler” (Cesaire 1955).
Cesaire believed that colonialism originates from imperialism, which results from capitalism as a system of complete world order. Thus, racism comes about because of capitalism, not only as fallout to it. The concept of materialism in a historical sense eventually leads to Cesaire's conclusion that the proletariat, not the colonized, are necessary to lead the revolution against colonialism as one element of capitalism. He explains that this civilization, “at a certain point in its history, finds itself obliged, for internal reasons, to extend to a world scale the competition of its antagonistic economies” (Cesaire 1955). In Cesaire's mind, capitalism is a direct source of colonialism. This assumption directly implies that the proletariat class cannot not function as a parallel to the colonized nations. It seems as though the proletariat and colonizers do not share relatable experiences of oppression and subjugated persecution. Instead, the colonized civilizations experience their suffering due to inability of the proletariat to form a revolution against European capitalistic ideals.
Despite Cesaire's beliefs on how the injustice of capitalism within Europe, especially the proletariat results in racism and colonialism, he also focuses on their inherent relationship. He states his beliefs on capitalism “between colonizer and colonized there is room only for forced labor…brainless elites, degraded masses. No human contact, but relations of domination and submission which turn the colonizing man into a classroom monitor, an army sergeant, a prison guard, a slave driver, and the indigenous man into an instrument of production. My turn to state
an equation: colonization = 'thingification' ” (Cesaire 1955). He clearly emphasizes the standardized objectification of human, maintained by self-contradictory appeals from a European mentality that believes in wealth and production above the equal human life. Oppression and tyranny of society are inevitable fallouts from these idealogies that create a class structure. Cesaire draws upon institutional detachments in society such as the military, jails and judicial system rather than the corruption of personal beliefs for the basis of objectification. In other words, each colonizer does not intentionally decide to commit inhumanities just because they hate each colonized individual. Instead, each colonizing nation...

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