Colonialism and Neocolonialism by Jean-Paul Sartre

By Jean-Paul Sartre

Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism is a vintage critique of France's regulations in Algeria within the Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties and encouraged a lot next writing on colonialism, post-colonialism, politics, and literature. It comprises Sartre's celebrated preface to Fanon's vintage Wretched of the Earth. Colonialism and Neo-Colonialism had a profound effect on French highbrow existence, inspiring many different influential French thinkers and critics of colonialism akin to Jean-Francois Lyotard, Frantz Fanon, Pierre Bourdieu and Jacques Derrida.

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Colonialism is a System * I would like to put you on your guard against what might be called ‘neocolonialist mystification’. Neocolonialists think that there are some good colonists and some very wicked ones, and that it is the fault of the latter that the situation of the colonies has deteriorated. This mystification consists of the following: you are taken around Algeria, you are obligingly shown the extreme poverty of the people, which is dreadful, you are told about the humiliation the Muslims suffer at the hands of the wicked colonists.

To increase the yield of the land, dams and a whole irrigation system were constructed. But as you know, water can only feed the land in the valleys. Now, these lands have always been the best in Algeria, and the Europeans have taken them over. The text of the Martin law acknowledges that three-quarters of the irrigated land belongs to the colonists. Just try and irrigate the pre-Saharan south! Second, it is denatured in such a way that it is rendered ineffective. The status of Algeria is monstrous in itself.

So he is a eunuch: but what more could he do, at his age, if he were not? The picturesque is wiped away, farewell European poetry; what remains is the material truth, the poverty and greed of an old parasite of the fallen regime. This peasant is having lunch. He has come to the town to sell the produce of his land. At this moment he is eating rice soup, in the open air, in the midst of the townsfolk who ignore him, with the voracity of country people: famished, weary, solitary, he has brothers, at this very moment, in all the world’s large farming towns, from the Greek who drives his sheep along the boulevards of Athens to the Chleuh, who has come down from his mountains and is wandering through the streets of Marrakech.

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