Adopting the Role of the Other-in-Submission: Colonialism Today within Modern Societies

Monday, 11 July 2016: 16:45
Location: Seminar 34 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Andrew BLASKO, IPHS, BAN, Bulgaria
This presentation investigates how the work of W.E.B. DuBois and Franz Fanon concerning the character of European colonialism and the psycho-social results of slavery in the United States may be useful in an effort to understand how structures of domination operate in contemporary societies. Fanon’s studies of how European colonialism generated neurotic and psychotic states in both colonizers and those colonized, coupled with DuBois’ concept of double consciousness, casts important light on how power is exercised in developed countries such that citizens become inclined to willingly submit to those in power over them. The relations which previously obtained between the colonial metropole and the others who were colonized are analogous in a certain sense to relations in advanced societies between elites and those whom they control. There are masters and servants, and the wealth of elites is constructed through the power they exercise over those who serve them. However, a substantial difference exists between the two sets of relations noted insofar as the colonized slave acknowledged that others exercised power over him, and eventually came to struggle against them, while the citizens of modern societies believe they are sovereign individuals, even as the power and wealth of those who rule expands. European-style colonialism was exercised in the international arena by nations who regarded themselves as superior to the other nations they controlled as their own property. In contrast, the analogous forms of domination that exist in today’s advanced societies are exercised in the domestic arena by elites over those who regard themselves not only as free, but also as essentially equal with those who control power. The present discussion endeavors to cast light on how what may be termed an internalization of the power exercised by another leads those who are controlled to both seek and approve of their submission.