The Reductive Rhetoric of African Anticolonialism

Neil Lazarus

The general rhetoric of anticolonialism was reductive. It implied that there was only one struggle to be waged, and it was a negative one: a struggle against colonialism, not a struggle for anything specific. ... The register of anticolonialism actively sought abstraction, desiring above all to remain free of ideological factionalism. To it, there was only today and tomorrow, bondage, and freedom. It never paused long enough to give its ideal of "freedom" a content. Specifically, it implicitly rationalized, exposed the movement to the risk of division. Typically, therefore, the radical anticolonial writers tended to romanticize the resistance movement and to underestimate-- even theoretically to suppress-- the dimensions within it. Their heavy emphasis on fraternalism blinded them to the fact that within the movement there were groups and individuals working with quite different, and often incompatible, aspirations for the future. (Resistance in Postcolonial African Fiction, New Haven: Yale UP, 1990, 5; [added by GPL])

Postcolonial OV discourseov Bibliography