Good Essay About Globalization And The West
Mahatma Gandhi, Frantz Fanon, Mark Mazower, Nicolas Sarkozy, Achille Mbembe and Olivier Roy talk about the issues of violence, colonization-political and economical and of the mind, the attitudes of the colonial power and the struggles of the colonized.
Gandhi led India’s independence movement and called for non-violent means to achieve it. He was a politician and an activist who took on the teachings of Thoreau, Jesus and Hinduism to form his own brand of non-violence. Gandhi’s idea of non-violence is not the acceptance of everything that the colonial power does; it is not passive resistance but a conscious suffering. Although Gandhi does not say one has to do away with violence completely, he says that the oppressed need to understand his true powers and then take an action that eschews violence. This idea of non-violence is just the absence of physical violence and civil disobedience and other acts of refusal also is a form of violence. Non-violence of this form becomes a sort of paradox; there is an absence of physical violence and a constant presence of a psychological war. Gandhi admits that peace does not have a chance unless every individual gives it a try and gives in to universal love. His hope that one day this shall happen may sound saintly but is idealistic. Fanon trained as a psychiatrist but is famously known for his writings on post colonialism. Fanon’s view on violence and the colonial power however is different from that of Gandhi. Fanon does not condemn violence but admits that violence leaves an indelible mark on both the oppressor and he oppressed. Violence against the colonial power is what transforms the individual and brings together the colonized society as one. Fanon is right when he says that the colonized do not tremble with gratitude when aid pours in from Europe. Rather they see it as reparation- For the colonial power cannot let go of the colonies even after independence, it needs to continue the torment by withdrawing everything form the newly independent states. Struggle of the masses as Fanon says is indeed as continuous process, if at first they had to fight against Europe now they have to fight against poverty, hunger and sickness. Mark Mazower, a professor of history at Columbia University talks about the image of Europe, its current status and its former as a colonial power. He says that what holds Europe together is not the ideas of democracy but rather the success of capitalism and what kept it together was not intellectual tradition, thought and feeling but rather the violence between the New Orders. He is right when he says that he does not know what Europe is anymore and that the common European in spite of their rich ‘political heritage’ are largely apolitical and support a system that does not intrude much on his or her personal life.
Nicolas Sarkozy’s speech asking the African students to look towards the future and come out of their shackles of the past reeks of White man’s burden. He first assumes that the modern man (the white man) is perfect and is right in his thinking and wishes that everyone else be the same. It is symbolic of the new generation of European leaders as Mbembe says and is an insult and an affront to the African people by leaders who are ignorant of the African culture and heritage as well as proud of themselves. France and the rest of the colonial powers simply lack the moral credibility through which they can ask the colonized people to change. Olivier Roy talks of violence too but a meaningless violence, something that does not have a clear goal. Roy is spot on when he says Osama Bin Laden’s technique is no different from that of his arch enemy America. They both have successfully started a war but have no idea about what to do next. They both are similar in the sense that they count support from unreliable allies. They were also less informed about the ground realities.
The truth is that colonialism has not really ended. The violence it needed to survive and the violence it perpetrated continues on to this day. There still exists a complicated relationship between the independent countries and their former colonial powers. The colonial powers still have a hold on these countries, in it that these countries see their former masters as an idea of what they need to be and strive to be.