Decolonisation, Identity, Neo-Colonialism and Power
This paper explores the implications of “decolonisation,” first by focusing on the work of African thinker, Frantz Fanon’s work in this regard, particularly his insistence that decolonisation entails the creation of “new” people, before moving on to the related question of “identity.” Here the emphasis is on the work of Manuel Castells, specifically his examination of three kinds of identity-construction, the third of which he regards as being the most important category for understanding this process in the 21st century, namely “resistance identity.” It is argued that this casts the decolonisation debate in South Africa in an intelligible light. An interpretation of E.M. Forster’s paradigmatically “decolonising” novel, A Passage to India, is offered to unpack the meaning of the concept further, before switching the terrain to the question of the urgent need for a different kind of decolonisation, today, pertaining to the economic neo-colonisation of the world by neoliberal capitalism. The work of Hardt and Negri on the emerging world order under what they call “Empire” is indispensable in this regard, and their characterisation of the subject under neoliberal Empire in terms of the figures of the indebted, securitised, mediatised and represented, stresses the need for global decolonisation in the name of democracy. This part of the paper is concluded with a consideration of what decolonisation is really “all about,” namely power.
Copyright (c) 2019 Bert Olivier
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).