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The Discourse On Colonialism By Cesaire

550 words - 3 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, particularly Africans, and proletarian conflicts in Europe. In such a way, Cesaire suggests a critical course of colonialism, imperialism, capitalism and communism – fundamental themes in political and intellectual ...view middle of the document...

He states that this form of 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). Cesaire implores the reader to take a different perspective on how colonization affects the decivilization of the colonizer. In this position, for example, Nazism symbolizes a continuation of the European mentality on colonialism rather than a historical distortion. Therefore, the precedent of racism and colonial expansion against the “uncivilized” eventually causes the European nations to end up influencing their 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. "At the end of capitalism, which is eager to outlive its day,” thunders Cesaire, “there is Hitler. At the end of formal humanism and philosophic renunciation, there is Hitler” (Cesaire).

Cesaire believed that colonialism originates from imperialism, which itself comes from capitalism as a system of complete world organization. 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." In Cesaire's mind, capitalism causes colonialism. It does not exist alongside or in conjunction with it. This assumption directly implies that the proletariat class cannot not function as a parallel social group to the colonized nations. The proletariat and colonizers seemingly do not share understandable experiences of oppression and subjugated persecution. Instead, the colonized societies experience their suffering directly because the proletariat has not yet fomented revolution against the bourgeoisie in Europe

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