Disourse on Colonialism by Aime Cesaire

Discourse on Colonialism by Aime Cesaire is one of the most important texts in terms of the Negritude Movement and postcolonialism.

This work traces different definitions of colonization and how historical accounts have affected colonialism. Europe is the villain and there are accounts of the brutality of colonialism. European civilization has given rise to to problems: “the problem of the proletariat and the colonial problem” (9).

“What is serious is that ‘Europe’ is morally, spiritually indefensible” (10).

What is colonization? “To agree on what it 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” (10). The decisive actors in colonization are: “the adventurer and the pirate,  the wholesale grocer and the ship owner, the gold digger and the merchant, appetite and force, and behind them, the baleful projected shadow of a form of civilization which, at a certain point in its history, finds itself obliged, for internal reasons, to extend to a world scale the completion of its antagonistic economies” (10-11).

Christianity=civilization, paganism=savagery” (11).

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