Numéro 55. Frantz Fanon

Avril 2014

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[Sommaire]   [Auteurs]    [ Abstracts]

Philosophe et penseur politique majeur, auteur francophone, Fanon est curieusement peu discuté dans sa langue. Les études réunies veulent faire ressortir la force d’une philosophie qui s’est nourrie d’une confrontation avec l’existentialisme de Sartre et de Beauvoir, et d’une appropriation originale de Marx et de Freud. Elles soulignent la richesse des rapports de Fanon avec le marxisme, qu’il soit « orthodoxe » et soumis à la critique, ou qu’il soit puisé à d’autres sources, celles de l’existentialisme et du marxisme des luttes du Tiers-Monde. Plus de quarante années après sa mort, elles suggèrent que son œuvre et ses prises de position restent une source de renouvellements philosophiques et politiques décisifs pour les débats de notre temps.   

DOSSIER : FRANTZ FANON
Judith BUTLER, Violence, non-violence : Sartre, à propos de Fanon
Matthieu RENAULT, Le genre de la race : Fanon, lecteur de Beauvoir
Lewis GORDON, Fanon, critique du « fétichisme méthodologique »
Nadia Yala KISUKIDI, Vie éthique et pensée de la libération. Lecture critique des usages senghoriens
de Marx à partir de Fanon

Peter WORSLEY, Frantz Fanon et le lumpenprolétariat
Hourya BENTOUHAMI, De Gramsci à Fanon, un marxisme décentré
 

INTERVENTIONS
Lilian TRUCHON, Luttes idéologiques et conscience de révolution chez Lénine
Philippe CORCUFF, Le Marx hérétique de Michel Henry : fulgurances et écueils d’une lecture philosophique
Tony ANDREANI, La morale et l’éthique au regard du discours politique chinois
Fabrice FLIPO, Marxisme, lutte des classes et écologisme
 

EN DÉBAT
Gérard DUMÉNIL et Dominique LÉVY, À propos de La Grande Bifurcation. En finir avec le néolibéralisme

AUTEURS

 Tony Andréani est professeur émérite de sciences politiques à l’Université de Paris 8. Il a publié plusieurs essais de philosophie politique et consacré trois livres à la théorie du socialisme : Le socialisme est (a)venir (Syllepse, 2 tomes, 2001 et 2004) ; Dix essais sur le socialisme du XXIe siècle, (Le temps des cerises, 2011). Il a dirigé divers ouvrages de science politique et d’épistémologie des sciences sociales. Il a publié de nombreux articles sur la Chine.

 Hourya Bentouhami est maître de conférences en philosophie sociale et politique à l’Université de Toulouse – Le Mirail. Ses travaux portent sur le renouvellement de la théorie critique à l’aune des théories féministes et postcoloniales. Elle a publié notamment, en co-direction, Le souci du droit. Où en est la théorie critique ? (Sens et Tonka, 2010), et Conflits et démocratie. Quel nouvel espace public ? (L’Harmattan, 2010). Elle a récemment dirigé le numéro de Tracés (n° 25, 2013/2) intitulé Éducation : émancipation ?

 Judith Butler est professeure de rhétorique et littérature comparée à l’Université de Californie à Berkeley, et Visiting Professor of the Humanities à Columbia University (New York). Théoricienne du genre, elle est l’auteur de l’ouvrage pionnier dans les études queer, Trouble dans le genre (1990 ; La Découverte, 2005). Elle a publié de nombreux autres ouvrages sur la violence sociale et politique aux croisements de la psychanalyse, de la théorie foucaldienne et des théories féministes poststructuralistes : Le pouvoir des mots. Politique du performatif (Amsterdam, 2004) ; Vie précaire. Les pouvoirs du deuil et de la violence après le 11 septembre 2001 (Amsterdam, 2005) ; Humain, inhumain. Le travail critique des normes (Amsterdam, 2005) ; avec Gayatri C. Spivak, L’État global (Payot, 2007). Elle vient également de publier en français Vers la cohabitation. Judéité et critique du sionisme (Fayard, 2013).

 Philippe Corcuff est maître de conférences de science politique à l’IEP de Lyon et membre du CERLIS (Centre de recherche sur les liens sociaux, Université Paris Descartes/CNRS). Il est l’auteur notamment de Bourdieu autrement (Textuel, « La Discorde », 2003), Où est passée la critique sociale ? (La Découverte, « Bibliothèque du MAUSS », 2012) et Marx XXIe siècle. Textes commentés (Textuel, « Petite Encyclopédie Critique », 2012). Il est par ailleurs membre du Conseil Scientifique de l’association altermondialiste ATTAC et militant de la Fédération Anarchiste.

 Gérard Duménil est économiste, anciennement directeur de recherches au CNRS, membre du Comité de Rédaction d’Actuel Marx. Il a publié : Le concept de loi économique dans « Le Capital », avant-propos de Louis Althusser (Maspero, 1978) et Marx et Keynes face à la crise (Economica, 1977). Avec D. Lévy : The economics of the profit rate: Competition, crises and historical tendencies in capitalism (Edward Elgar Publishing, 1993) ; La dynamique du capital, un siècle d'économie américaine (PUF, 1996) ; Au-delà du capitalisme (Actuel Marx Confrontations, PUF, 1998) ; Crise et sortie de crise. Ordres et désordres néolibéraux (PUF, 2000) ; en anglais : Capital Resurgent (Harvard University Press, 2004) ; The Crisis of Neoliberalism (Harvard University Press, 2011). Ils viennent de publier : La grande bifurcation. En finir avec le néolibéralisme (La Découverte, 2014).

Fabrice Flipo est philosophe, maître de conférences à Telecom & Management SudParis (Institut Mines-Télécom) et chercheur au Laboratoire de Changement Social et Politique (Paris 7 Diderot). Il a notamment publié Justice, nature et liberté (Parangon, 2007), La décroissance (La Découverte, 2010) et La face cachée du numérique (L’Échappée, 2013).

 Lewis Gordon est professeur de philosophie, d’études afro-américaines et d’études juives à l’Université du Connecticut ; il est également Nelson Mandela Distinguished Visiting Professor, à Rhodes University, en Afrique du Sud, et a occupé la chaire Europhilosophie à l’Université de Toulouse 2. Il a publié les ouvrages suivants : Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism (Humanities, 1995, 1999) ; Fanon and the Crisis of European Man  (Routledge, 1995) ; Her Majesty’s Other Children (Rowman & Littlefield, 1997) ; Existentia Africana (Routledge, 2000) ; Disciplinary Decadence (Paradigm, 2006) ; An Introduction to Africana Philosophy (Cambridge UP, 2008) ; avec Jane Anna Gordon, Of Divine Warning (Paradigm, 2009). Il a également co-édité : Fanon: A Critical Reader  (Blackwell, 1996) et Existence in Black (Routledge, 1997).

 Nadia Yala Kisukidi est agrégée et docteur en philosophie. Elle est actuellement assistante en éthique à l’Université de Genève et Directrice de programme au Collège International de Philosophie. Ses recherches portent sur l’histoire de la philosophie française (particulièrement  la pensée de Bergson), sur la généalogie du discours de l’universalisme et ses critiques notamment dans la philosophie africaine contemporaine, et sur la question des liens entre mission et colonisation. Son dernier ouvrage paru : Bergson ou l’humanité créatrice (CNRS éditions, 2013).

 Dominique Lévy est économiste, directeur de recherches au CNRS (PSE, Paris). Il a publié en collaboration avec G. Duménil : The economics of the profit rate: Competition, crises and historical tendencies in capitalism (Edward Elgar Publishing, 1993) ; La dynamique du capital, un siècle d'économie américaine (PUF, 1996) ; Au-delà du capitalisme (Actuel Marx Confrontations, PUF, 1998) ; Crise et sortie de crise. Ordres et désordres néolibéraux (PUF, 2000 ; en anglais : Capital Resurgent (Harvard University Press, 2004) ; The Crisis of Neoliberalism (Harvard University Press, 2011). Ils viennent de publier : La grande bifurcation. En finir avec le néolibéralisme (La Découverte, 2014).

 Matthieu Renault est docteur en philosophie politique de l’Université Paris 7 Diderot et de l’Università degli Studi di Bologna. Il est actuellement chercheur postdoctoral à l’Université Paris 13 Nord dans le cadre du projet Sorbonne Paris Cité « L’écriture de l’histoire depuis les marges ». Il est notamment l’auteur de Frantz Fanon : De l’anticolonialisme à la critique postcoloniale (Amsterdam, 2011).

 Lilian Truchon est doctorant en philosophie (Université de Nantes). Sa thèse en cours a pour sujet l’histoire du darwinisme en Chine, sa réception et son influence à la fin du XIXe siècle et au XXe siècle. Il est l’auteur de Lénine épistémologue. Les thèses de Matérialisme et Empiriocriticisme et la constitution d’un matérialisme intégral (Delga, 2013). Il a également contribué à des ouvrages collectifs sur le darwinisme, notamment à Darwin et la bataille des idées (L’Harmattan, 2012).

 Peter Worsley (1924-2013) était un sociologue et anthropologue marxiste, spécialiste des théories du développement. Il est l’introducteur du terme de tiers-monde en langue anglaise. Membre fondateur de la New Left Review, il est l’auteur notamment de : The Third World (Georges Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1964) ; Marx and Marxism (Tavidstock Publications, 1982) ; The Three worlds : Culture and World Development ( University of Chicago Press, 1984).

ABSTRACTS

Gérard DUMÉNIL and Dominique LÉVY, The Great Bifurcation. Doing away with Neoliberalism

Bruno Tinel questions Duménil and Lévy (DL) about their new book, La Découverte. Besides the paths currently taken by the United-States and Europe in the wake of the 2008 crisis—the continuation of a dynamics weighted in favour of upper classes—there is an alternative path to the left that is here opened up: hence the “bifurcation”. DL go further in their Marxist-inspired diagnosis. Neoliberalism is described as a social order strategically biased to the power and income of capitalist classes and their allies, the managerial classes.  The book draws a contrast between American-English neoliberalism and the configurations observed in Europe. A series of new findings provides the basis for a concrete analysis of the worldwide structures of ownership and control; the crisis in Europe is investigated by way of the contrasting trajectories of France and Germany, while special emphasis is placed on the Spanish economy. DL argue that, as was the case in the decades immediately following World War II, a new alliance between popular and managerial classes is required, to be established  at a European level, but with the aim of transcending the latter level.

Keywords: Neoliberalism, capitalist, managers, popular classes, structures of ownership, crisis.

 Hourya BENTOUHAMI, Gramsci, Fanon: A Decentred Marxism

Through its joint reading of Fanon and Gramsci, the article seeks to underline the affinities between these two authors, both heirs to and heretics within the Marxist tradition.  The “decentred Marxism” of the two authors is highlighted. From the critique of coloniality to the implementation of a theory of action attentive to the revolutionary power of which the subaltern populations are the bearers, from the exposure of the “racisation” and “subalternisation” of the peasant and proletarian masses of pre-war Italy to the establishment of a “dividing line of colours” in the French colonial system, the two strategists and theorists relentlessly address the task of articulating the various modes of domination (class, race, sex) as components of the same process. Emphasising the necessity of ensuring that critical theory is a counter-hegemonic theory, the article reads as a call to rethink historical materialism and revolutionary praxis by demanding of the theorist that she or he should reconnect with the people, becoming more attentive to the originality of the modes of expression of popular revolts.

 Judith BUTLER, Violence, Non-Violence : Sartre on Fanon

The article examines Sartre’s highly controversial preface to The Wretched of the Earth. Its aim is to identify what, in the various modes of address,  are elements in an economy of violence and what, on the contrary, participates in a process of recognition. The examination of the addressees of the address leads to a correlative transformation of the very notion of the author, commonly equated with the merely singular individual. What is at stake here is to grasp what makes Fanon, as it does any political theorist, not merely an author but also a “movement emerging”. The exploration of discursive regimes also leads to a reflection on what, within the habitual practices of interpellation, participates in a gendered division of the conversation and companionship of struggles.

Matthieu RENAULT, The Gender of Race: Fanon as a Reader of  Beauvoir

Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks and Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex display numerous theoretical and critical affinities. These stem from the appropriations and translations which both works operated in relation to the Hegelian dialectic of master and slave,  with a view to the conceptual apprehension of relations of gender (man/woman) and race (White/Black). From this starting-point, what is engaged is a comprehensive dialogue on the questions of the body (gendered, racialised), love, and violence. However even more than these affinities, what we can identify is the extent of the influence of Beauvoir’s writings on Fanon. If this aspect has for the moment come in for very little emphasis and even less study, it is because Fanon never quotes Beauvoir’s theses and would even appear to have striven to hide any intellectual filiation.  We need to understand the causes of such a “disappearance”, not only to comprehend Fanon’s work, but also so as to understand their shared source, which is also, to a certain degree, a shared birth, that of feminism and anti-colonialism in the years following the Second World.

Lewis GORDON, Fanon as a Critic of « Methodological Fetishism »

In this interview Lewis Gordon reexamines the way the political analyses drawn up by Fanon have contributed to a displacement and renewal of the epistemology of the human sciences. Gordon thus argues that it is “methodological fetishism” which often prevents the analyst from apprehending at a theoretical level the problems of social reality. For a proponent of a “postcolonial phenomenology” such as Gordon, the notion of crisis, as reworked by Fanon in terms of a meaning that is both psychiatric and political, inaugurates a meta-critical movement the effect of which is to question the hidden colonial presuppositions to be found in the European sciences.

Peter WORSLEY, Frantz Fanon and the “Lumpenproletariat”

The article focuses on the work which had the widest circulation in the context of the liberation struggles of the 1960s and 70s: The Wretched of the Earth. Peter Worsley stresses the originality of a work which emphasised the need for a theoretical and practical rehabilitation of the lumpenproletariat, that underclass denigrated by orthodox Marxism. Thus while Fanon’s intellectual genealogy reveals his primary interest for black demands, for Worsley, he is above all a thinker of the revolution, in the Marxist sense of the term, whose contribution was a rethinking of the notions of class and revolutionary strategy. It is in particular through his efforts to think through the alliance between the peasantry and the urban under-proletariat that Fanon manages to grasp the originality of the social formations of the emerging Third World. 

 Nadia Yala KISUKIDI, Ethical Life and the Conception of Liberation: Drawing on Fanon to Read Senghor’s Usages of Marx

In Senghor’s writings, the focus on the theme of liberation, between the end of the Second World War and the accession to independence of African states in the 1960s, along with the challenge of formulating an African path to socialism, rests upon a specific practical and theoretical usage of the thinking of Karl Marx, in articulation with the notion of négritude. Such a usage of Marx opens up, in Senghor’s thought, a site for the questioning of the meaning of the ethical life that is organised in terms of the affirmation of the primacy of culture as a path to de-alienation and as a condition of the genesis of man. This strategic option would be called into question by Frantz Fanon as early as in Black Skins, White Masks (1952). What is at stake in the critical analysis of Senghor’s usage of Marx, by way of Fanon’s thought, is to highlight, from the perspective of praxis, tensions within the theory of liberation formulated by the thinker of négritude, in the context of anticolonial struggles after 1945.

 Tony ANDRÉANI, Morality and Ethics in the Light of Chinese Political Discourse

In their stated objectives, the Chinese authorities have given a high profile to the issue of morality, something that, in the current context, is clearly under duress. The question raised is thus whether such discourse is rooted in a morality or ethics particular to Chinese society, insofar as it displays certain aspects that are part of a civic morality of a socialist orientation, along with other features drawing on Confucianism or other components of Chinese culture. The moral injunction would however be empty, if it were not coupled with a politics of well-being, something which must be grounded in an anthropology. Such an anthropology (the search for harmony, consensus, the dynamic equilibrium between contraries) differs significantly from that which prevails in the West. It can therefore be highly instructive for us. The article concludes with some considerations on the Chinese political system.

 Lilian TRUCHON, Ideological Struggles and the Consciousness of Revolution in Lenin

Lenin’s thesis in What is to be done? (1902) concerning the a priori exteriority to the working class of the socialist consciousness is today regarded as scandalous, even though recent historiographical research by Lars T. Lih has demonstrated that the source of such a negative judgement is to be sought in the subsequent (1904) biased accusations leveled by the Mensheviks, Lenin’s opponents at the time within Russia Social Democracy. This prejudice has significantly restricted any examination of the philosophical substance of the Leninist thesis, in particular regarding its coherence and its theoretical development within the Marxist perspective. Lenin actually manages to propose a solution to the aporia on ideology found in Marx and Engel’s German Ideology (1846), coming down on the side of the materialist thesis of the non-innocence of ideology and its trans-class dimension.

 Fabrice FLIPO, Marxism, Class Struggle, Ecologism

Unlike many studies that are too exclusively conceptual in their analysis of the relations between workers’ movements and ecologism, the present article seeks to locate its approach within a firmly anchored Marxist tradition: the analysis of social movements, of the “concrete movement that abolishes the real”. Provided we take these movements seriously, Marx thus helps us to think them. His analysis of capitalism indicates the location of ecologist action: in the moment corresponding to the crystallisation of value. This explains the superficial kinship between ecologists and liberals. For both, the paramount aim is to modify demand. The ecologist struggle thus has no direct hold on the exploitation of labour. Only indirectly is it confronted with it. By contrast, the struggle against labour  exploitation has the inverse effect of preserving the existing structure of production. This explains their divergence of approach: the pursuit of growth cannot be the ecologist principle. It also explains the location and chief modalities of the ecologist struggle, undertaken away from the factories and involving a considerable symbolic dimension, inasmuch as “needs,”  in the case of human beings, are very largely a function of culture.

 Philippe CORCUFF, Michel Henry’s Heretical Marx: The Dazzling Insights and the Dangers of a Philosophical Reading

The article analyses Marx, the important work published in 1976 by Michel Henry (1922-2002), the non-Marxist phenomenological philosopher, in terms both of its decisive contributions and certain shortcomings it displays. It does so by way of a dual reading, within the “game of knowledge” (a notion drawn from Ludwig Wittgenstein), of critical sociology and within the framework of an emancipatory political philosophy. Henry enables us to reposition the question of individuality as an axis of a revitalised critique of capitalism and a renovated politics of emancipation. His reading of Marx remains however caught up in a philosophistic presupposition concerning the coherence of the work, a postulate which Michel Foucault effectively called into question. Henry’s subjectivist inclination furthermore leads him to neglect the importance of intersubjectivity, that is, of social relations, in Marx. However the balance is not equal, between Henry’s dazzling insights about Marx and his omissions. It is the former which are predominant, with the result that Henry’s Marx is a work that is too little known and that is unquestionably worth rediscovering.