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Unformatted text preview: oul and render native cultures into just cogs in the Western machine Ngugi Wa Thiongo, Decolonising the Mind, James Currey Ltd, 1986, p. 3. The oppressed and the exploited of the earth maintain their defiance: liberty from theft. But the biggest weapon wielded and actually daily unleashed by imperialism against that collective defiance is the cultural bomb. The effect of a cultural bomb is to annihilate a people's belief in their names, in their languages, in their environment, in their heritage of struggle, in their unity, in their capacities and ultimately in themselves. It makes them see their past as one wasteland of nonachievement and it makes them want to distance themselves from that wasteland. It makes them want to identify with that which is furthest removed from themselves; for instance, with other peoples' languages rather than their own. It makes them identify with that which is decadent and reactionary, all those forces which would stop their own springs of life. It even plants serious doubts about the moral rightness of struggle. Possibilities of triumph or victory are seen as remote, ridiculous dreams. The intended results are despair, despondency and a collective death-wish. Amidst this wasteland which it has created, imperialism presents itself as the cure and demands that the dependant sing hymns of praise with the constant refrain: `Theft is holy'. Indeed, this refrain sums up the new creed of the neo-colonial bourgeoisie in many `independent' African states. Pushing Western values is colonialist and oppressive; Black victims will backlash against them Frantz Fanon, 1964, postcolonial psychologist, Toward the African Revolution, p.43
As soon as the native begins to pull on his moorings, and to cause anxiety to the settler, he is handed over to well-meaning souls who in cultural congresses point out to him the specificity and wealth of Western values. But every time Western values are mentioned they produce in the native a sort of stiffening or muscular lockjaw. During the period of decol...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.
- Fall '13