Violence for Frantz Fanon is the weapon of decolonization for Africa. His analysis is encapsulated in his theory of revolutionary socialism. Revolutionary socialism is the use of violence to fight colonialism, racism, slavery, imperialism and exploitation which have dehumanized the Africans. As an Algerian, Fanon experienced the effects of colonization because living in France confronted him with the racial contradictions of French republican ideology. Fanon opted for violent resistance as a result of the unbearable situation that Algerians in particular and Africans in general found themselves in the hands of the colonialists. He regarded physical violence as an accompanying characteristics of violence. Previous studies on Fanon’s violence dwelt much on the immediate benefit of violence as a tool for decolonization but little attention was given to the long term effect of using violence to fight violence. Though the weakness is that in some situations using violence to fight violence can be counter-productive, this study concludes that violence is a veritable tool for decolonization especially in situations where the colonialists unleashed terror on the colonized.
1.1 Background of the study
Before colonization, some African societies enjoyed a relative cultural stability and psychological tranquility. These were lost in her violent contact with the western world. The issue of the sad, inhuman and unforgettable events of the transatlantic slave trade 1441- 1856, partition and consequent colonization of the black continent 1884-1956 initiated and executed by the white men against the will of the black men brought about so many negative effects on the continent. It is clear that this business was brutal for it brought about a collapse of a whole vision of life, of all beliefs, of every authority, the loss of a people’s identity.
In addition, it brought exploitation, racism, inferiority complex, denigration, colonialism, a situation that was so unbearable that it made African nationalists to fight for their freedom and independence. Due to the fact that the colonial masters though not all of them used force to entrench their inhuman treatments on their colonies, the nationalists had to use force also in gaining their independence. That is quenching violence with violence for without that the colonialists would not have peacefully relinquished their hold on the colonized. As an Algerian, Fanon was confronted with colonial domination, oppression, denigration, and the racial contradictions of French republican ideology. As a result, Fanon maintained that the only way out of this inhuman treatment is to opt for violent resistance. In other words, violent revolution is both necessary and inevitable considering the plight of African nations.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Colonialism brought about so many negative effects on the black continent such as imperialism, denigration, neo-colonialism etc. So Fanon proposed violence in his Revolutionary Socialism as the solution to the liberation of Africa from the shackles of colonialism and neo-colonialism. So this work will investigate if Fanon’s violence in his Revolutionary Socialism can be a tool for liberation or freedom.
1.3 Thesis Statement
This study advances the thesis that the use of violence to fight violence may bring about liberation/freedom but not in all cases.
1.4 Purpose of the study
The purpose of this work is to expose the concept of violence in Frantz Fanon’s Revolutionary Socialism. It will also ascertain the plausibility of using violence as a tool for decolonization and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of violence in Frantz Fanon’s Revolutionary Socialism.
1.5 Significance of the study
The significance of this work is based on the fact that it is an eye opener because Frantz Fanon’s violence as encapsulated in his Revolutionary Socialism pays full attention to the long term effect of fighting or quenching violence with violence. It will also be a veritable resource material for researchers seeking for intellectual growth and empowerment.
1.6 Scope of the study
This study is particularly limited to the articulation and evaluation of violence in Frantz Fanon’s Revolutionary Socialism. Relevant materials and views of other philosophers and intellectuals that are related to his analysis of violence in his Revolutionary Socialism will be included when and where necessary.
The historical-descriptive design was used for this study. Data were sourced from books, journals, and biographies. The historical, expository, analytic, and evaluative methods were employed. The historical approach was used to bring to limelight the background of Frantz Fanon’s violence. The expository approach was used to elucidate Fanon’s violence as a tool for decolonization. The analytic approach was used to make Fanon’s violence understandable. The evaluative approach was used to point out the strengths and weaknesses of violence in Frantz Fanon’s Revolutionary Socialism.
1.8 Explication of terms
Revolutionary Socialism: Is the use of violence to fight colonialism, racism, slavery, imperialism and exploitation which have dehumanized the Africans.
Revolutionary: According to Oxford Advanced English Dictionary Revolutionary is of or pertains to revolution in government; tending to or promoting revolution; as revolutionary war, revolutionary measures, revolutionary agitators. It also pertains to something that portends of great change; overthrowing a standing mindset.