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Quotes of the day: Frantz Fanon
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Published Saturday, July 19, 2014 @ 9:38 PM EDT
Jul 19 2014

Frantz Fanon (July 20, 1925 - December 6, 1961) was a Martinique-born, French Creole psychiatrist, philosopher, revolutionary, and writer whose works are influential in the fields of post-colonial studies, critical theory, and Marxism. As an intellectual, Fanon was a political radical, and an existentialist humanist concerning the psychopathology of colonization, and the human, social, and cultural consequences of decolonization. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)

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Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity.

Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.

Fervor is the weapon of choice for the impotent.

He who is reluctant to recognize me opposes me.

I ascribe a basic importance to the phenomenon of language. To speak means to be in a position to use a certain syntax, to grasp the morphology of this or that language, but it means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization.

Imperialism leaves behind germs of rot which we must clinically detect and remove from our land but from our minds as well.

Mastery of language affords remarkable power.

Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn't fit in with the core belief.

The business of obscuring language is a mask behind which stands the much bigger business of plunder.

The oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves.

The peasants alone are revolutionary, for they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The unpreparedness of the educated classes, the lack of practical links between them and the mass of the people, their laziness, and, let it be said, their cowardice at the decisive moment of the struggle will give rise to tragic mishaps.

There is a point at which methods devour themselves.

They realize at last that change does not mean reform, that change does not mean improvement.

Violence is man re-creating himself.

We believe that an individual must endeavor to assume the universalism inherent in the human condition.

What I call middle-class society is any society that becomes rigidified in predetermined forms, forbidding all evolution, all gains, all progress, all discovery. I call middle-class a closed society in which life has no taste, in which the air is tainted, in which ideas and men are corrupt. And I think that a man who takes a stand against this death is in a sense a revolutionary.

What matters is not to know the world but to change it.

When people like me, they like me 'in spite of my color.' When they dislike me; they point out that it isn't because of my color. Either way, I am locked in to the infernal circle.

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(Today is also the birthday of Ernest Hemingway.)


Categories: Frantz Fanon, Question of the day


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