The Boomerang Effect in our Modern Times
Reason, I sacrifice you to the evening breeze.
I agree with the assertion that Aime Cesaire made on Discourse on Colonialism that the process of colonialism inflicts a “boomerang effect” on the colonizer. It is important to determine that colonialism is defined as “a practice of domination, which involves the subjugation of one people to another...” by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Aime Cesaire prefers to define colonization as what is not:
…neither evangelization, nor a philanthropic enterprise, nor a desire to push back the frontiers of ignorance, disease, and tyranny, nor a project undertaken for the greater glory of God, nor an attempt to extend the rule of law.(32)
Cesaire’s words are aware of the European voices that excuse the horrors of colonialism behind the lie of bringing civilization to the savages. But colonizers didn’t know that they were planting the seeds of hate, the roots for fantastic tales about superior races and skin colors. Inevitable, the colonizers found themselves oppressed by the same savagery that they had tolerated during the colony.
Historically, the process of colonization was almost the same for any region since the discovery of the so-called New World in 1492. The king sends an ambassador to the new territory. The ambassador negotiates with local powers and other foreign power the borders of the new colony and establishes a central office as the new administrative power. This new office was in charge of the caudation of taxes, managing the army and giving justice. After some years the foreign power absorbs local powers thanks to its technological and military advances. The process to achieve domination is characteristic by its own violence. In order to control the “savages”, the civilization has to break the savage’s soul. In order to breaks savage’s soul, the civilization becomes savage. Robin D. G. Kelley explains in the introduction the first objective of Cesaire’s discourse:
This is a book about colonialism, its impact on the colonized, on culture, on history, on the very concept of civilization itself, and most importantly, on the colonizer. In the finest Hegelian fashion, Cesaire demonstrates how colonialism works to “decivilize” the colonizer: torture, violence, race hatred, and immorality constitute a dead weight on the so-called civilized, pulling the master class deeper and deeper into the abyss of barbarism. (8)
Furthermore, Kelley insists in the idea of pure barbarism as the primitive impulse that pulls mankind to condemn another group of people to the misery, “The instruments of colonial power rely on barbaric, brutal violence and intimidation, and the end result is the degradation of Europe itself.” (9) Even if Cesaire’s discourse was targeting the European colonialism, it is easy and practical to muse his work to denounce today's American imperialism. It is difficult to separate and establish differences between...