Latest News Editor's Choice

Opinion / Columnist

Human profits of decoloniality at large

23 Jul 2017 at 12:01hrs | Views
It was about to be a planetary truism that our world has become an information and even knowledge society.

In the present age of technological magic, the century of the social media and era of the glorified selfie it is a lot of work trying to deny that the human race has become an informed and an informing species that will be able to save itself and the planet.

But the same era of technological magic and the fetish of knowing and knowledge has become the season of "fake news" and "alternative facts" as the ruling ideas and philosophies of the world. When the Donald Trump regime, through presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway, enriched world vocabulary with the term "alternative facts" in sly reference to propaganda the American mandarin described a political fault of the present century.

Empire has always created an alternative universe with alternative history and alternative truths of itself and the world. The Western civilisation in its historical and political totality has been a civilisation of the fake that has projected a modernity whose rhetoric has been that of civilisation, peace and development when its actual meaning and logic in the world has been war, plunder and the pillage of resources of the Global South.

The first fake news and the principal alternative fact was that slavery and colonialism were meant for the good of the enslaved and the colonised.

Stephen Bantu Biko of South Africa, as a budding medical student, spoke for the entire millennium when he forcefully opined that it is the oppressed black people of the world that will rehumanise the world that Western modernity and civilisation have violently emptied of all content and meaning.

In a word, it is the Global South that remains with the potential to save humanity and the planet from the self-eating fakeness and madness that is presently consuming it under the stewardship of the Euro-American Empire.

The same reasoning that manufactured the nuclear bomb, which conceptualised and enacted vampiric capitalism, theorised and profited from racism cannot be the same reason that will secure humanity and save the planet.

Something other and alternative to the political and historical idea of the West has to rise. As a philosophy, decoloniality has risen from the ideological and political struggles between the forces of colonisation and those of decolonisation in the Global South.

As a philosophical and political antithesis of coloniality, decoloniality is an insurrection of thoughts and practices that seek to recover the world from war, dehumanisation and oppressive decay.

Any hope that political, economic and cultural ideas that will save the planet will come from Europe and North America is hope that is based on our sad drunkenness with the fake history and alternative political and philosophical universe that Empire has built for us. A universe of sand built on a shifty and slippery foundation.

On Pseudo Wars of the end of the world

George Orwell was perhaps correct in 1937 when he opined that all revolutionaries and promises of revolution seem to harbour a secret wish and belief that revolution must not take place. Seeds of anti-revolution seem to be concealed in every revolutionary person and movement.

The era of the spectre of Marxism and Communism once gave hope that the ideological left will one day recover the world from the corruption of the ideological and political right. The left and right divide, ideologically and politically, is itself a pseudo western division in a war that will never even save itself.

Interestingly, the idea of left and right thinking itself originated during the French Revolution in the seating arrangement of the National Assembly in1789.

Republicans and radicals located themselves to the left hand side of the Presiding Officer and the monarchists and conservatives sat to his right to avoid physical fights and uncomfortable proximity to political opponents in a struggle that was about saving the idea of the West and not the fate of the rest in the Globe.

It is not only Ramon Grosfoguel and Giorgio Agamben; even Slavoj Zizek, that one philosopher who is sworn to the idea of the West and the ideology of Eurocentricism, also believes that the Euro-American war against terror and the terror against the West are a fake war.

Political extremists and ideological supremacists in the West are engaged in war against religious fundamentalists and Third World supremacists from the non-West, and the reverse, in a costly conflict of elites that are pretending to be fighting for humanity, and are claiming to be saviours of the human race. In a strong way, those that are engaged in terror and the war against it are increasingly appearing to be the same type of political and social fanatics that are driven and consumed by the idea of a war of the end of the world.

Much forgotten in world political discourse is that the origins of terrorism are in the West. In 1795, during the French Revolution arose what is now called White Terror where the Secret Army (Organisation de l'Armée Secrète) carried out terrorist attacks. In 1866 Ireland was enmeshed in terror and counter terrorism. As late as 1954 to 1962 in the Algerian War a French General led a terroristic war against guerrillas and communists in the name of the human race.

In Western political and social philosophy Linda Martin Alcoff observed and wrote of "philosophy's civil wars" based on the high voltage exchanges and tension between the Analytical philosophers and the so called Continental philosophers. Analytical philosophers spit the hair debating the truth of objects in the world, the meaning of terms and statements while Continental philosophers pride themselves of seeking the meaning of life and that of the world at large in the long term and waste no time debating words and statements.

This "philosophical civil war" is another pseudo war that is based on differences of political and philosophical method and not revolution, the world and humanity. In this war are Western philosophers that are still engrossed in the idea of the West and are not about to be troubled by the plight of Africans, Asians and Latin Americans.

As it happened in the two World Wars and the subsequent Cold War, westerners in politics and philosophy are busy being full of themselves and other stuff pretending that their internal wars are world wars and wars of the entire human race.

The entire western driven Aid movement, donor regimes and developmentalist promises to end poverty and eradicate disease can be understood as fake news and alternative facts that serve as the propaganda of a civilisation that is at war with the rest of the world.

The Political Profits of Decoloniality

The Western definition of philosophy is in Greek the "Philos" of "Sophos" which is the love of wisdom. Bertrand Russel simplified it to mean deep reflection on life and the world.

It would seem that the Westerners have always had the love of philosophy and veneration of wisdom; which is what all human beings everywhere in the world have had, from the Asians, Latin Americans to the Africans. Deep thought about life and the world, the love of wisdom, is not a Euro-American invention. In actuality what the Westerners have excelled in is the love of philosophy and not the philosophy of love.

The peoples of the Global South on the other hand have shown a love of wisdom that is combined with the wisdom of love and peace. All liberation movements of the Global South that fought against western slavery and colonialism ended with policies of forgiveness and reconciliation with their former oppressors.

There are critically few cases where the former colonised conceptualised and carried out revenge against their colonisers and enslavers, even in such settings as post-apartheid South Africa where the former colonisers did not show any remorse but flaunted arrogance and contempt.

In its political and philosophical drive "against war" decoloniality perfects the paradigm of the "will to life" that has been advanced by thinkers and leaders of the Global South. In the political and philosophical project of liberating the oppressed as well as the oppressor decoloniality rehumanise the world by returning both the oppressed and the oppressor to their lost dignity as common members of the human family.

Where decoloniality has been mobilised in an armed struggle such as that of the Zapatista movement in the Chiapas part of Mexico it has been employed in a just war of liberation and not an insurgency for conquest and the domination of others. In promising peace, civilisation, human rights and progress in the world the Euro-American civilisation promised what it was not to deliver while the decoloniality movement as a political and philosophical movement is delivering what it did not promise.

The political promises of the West are the same fake news and alternative facts that are empty of the humanism of decoloniality and its fidelity to human life and nature. Where black peoples in particular have fought against white domination, peacefully or violently, they have always been met with violence. In America, fired by Christian social justice Martin Luther King Junior confronted the racist Empire with "soul force," peaceful means, claiming high moral ground.

Drinking from the radical Islamic theology, in the same setting Malcolm X demanded an eye for an eye in the struggle for black liberation. Both black leaders died of gunfire.

Black, philosopher or soldier, meets the same violent fate in the hands of Empire, an empire that is driven by the spirit and philosophy of war and nihilism.

If any philosophy has it, it is decoloniality that proposes the promise and profits of a rehumanised and liberated world as Western philosophy and politics remain the fake news and alternative facts that they have been throughout the ages.

Cetshwayo Zindabazezwe Mabhena writes from South Africa:

Source - sundaynews
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.