New Agenda: South African Journal of Social and Economic Policy

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The trials and tribulations of national consciousness

Frantz Fanon


In his celebrated book “The Wretched of the Earth” Frantz Fanon penned his deep insights of the relations between colonizer and colonized which he  distilled from his years in Algeria during the period of its national liberation struggle. The book is a searing psychological analysis of colonial conquest and occupation and, as such, is often cited as the first of its kind. Writing in 1961, he combined psychological with class analysis, making his work not only revolutionary but highly original. In this chapter, he dissects the form and content of the liberation leaders who become the new elite (the underdeveloped bourgeoisie). Readers who can recall the litany of crimes of corruption and maladministration of  countries in their post-colonial era, will be in awe of his amazingly prescient mind.

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