Violence and victory: Guerrilla warfare, 'authentic self-affirmation' and the overthrow of the colonial state

Kaempf, Sebastian (2011). Violence and victory: Guerrilla warfare, 'authentic self-affirmation' and the overthrow of the colonial state. In War, peace and progress in the 21st century : development, violence and insecurity (pp. 129-146) London, United Kingdom: Routledge.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Kaempf, Sebastian
Title of chapter Violence and victory: Guerrilla warfare, 'authentic self-affirmation' and the overthrow of the colonial state
Title of book War, peace and progress in the 21st century : development, violence and insecurity
Place of Publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
ISBN 9780415588591
0415588596
Chapter number 8
Start page 129
End page 146
Total pages 18
Total chapters 15
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
This contribution critically investigates the ideas underpinning the armed struggle of colonial subjects against colonial states in the middle decades of the 20th century. It focuses in particular on two of the most influential texts that inspired and guided violent anti-colonial resistance, The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon and On Guerrilla Warfare by Mao Zedong. Both Fanon and Mao provided powerful analyses of the violent (psychological and military) underpinnings of colonialism and articulated strategies of resistance. This contribution argues that the persuasiveness of Mao's and Fanon's thought stemmed from their deep dialectical (ie Hegelian) understanding of war and colonialism. By demonstrating the dialectical foundations of Mao's and Fanon's thought—inspired intellectually by their readings of Carl von Clausewitz and Jean-Paul Sartre—the contribution illustrates how their understanding allowed them not only to fathom the interactive dynamics at the core of war and colonialism, but also to devise successful ways of unseating colonial power. Yet, while they shared a common belief in violent anti-colonial struggles, they nevertheless diverged fundamentally in their respective conceptions of violence. Mao (through Clausewitz) held an instrumental view of violence, whereas Fanon (through Sartre) understood violence in existential terms. This meant, as is argued here, that their respective conceptions of violence would not necessarily, on their own, have been sufficient to bring colonialism to an end. Taken together, however, their instrumental and intrinsic conceptions of violence complemented each other and helped armed anti-colonial struggles succeed around the globe.
Q-Index Code BX
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Institutional Status UQ

 
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Created: Sat, 26 Mar 2011, 06:43:45 EST by Elmari Louise Whyte on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies