Dictionary of Terrorism

By John Richard Thackrah | Go to book overview

F

Fanon, Frantz

b. 1925; d. 1961

Frantz Fanon was born in Martinique and served in the French army during the Second World War. In 1954 he joined the Algerian Liberation Movement, after training as a psychiatrist. He edited the Group's newspaper and rapidly became a revolutionary theorist of some standing, and an exponent of terrorism. He was a prolific author on such subjects - his most widely read work being The Wretched of the Earth.

Fanon argued that violence directed against oppressors made native populations fearless and restored their self-respect. He argued that when people had taken part in national liberation struggles they would allow no one to set themselves up as 'liberators'.

He was a supreme advocate of violence to achieve one's end, and insisted on maintaining this view as the colonial system was a function of violence. Armed struggle was vital and liberation could only be achieved by force. Fanon was hostile to all aspects of imperialism, colonisation and Fascism.

Developing countries have used terrorism as the last resort to repudiate the core's economic, military and political dictatorship. Fanon firmly believed that peasants were capable of leading a violent revolution.

He believed that the intelligentsia and bourgeoisie played a part in the structures of terrorism, as they organised the 'confiscation' of natural resources from the Third World. He argued that Imperialists had used the lumpen-proletariat against the natural liberation struggle. These were the amorphous social groups below the proletariat consisting of criminals and tramps.


Reference
Fanon, F. (1983) The Wretched of the Earth, London: Pelican Books.

Further Reading
Sonnleitner, M. (1987) 'Of Logic and Liberation - Fanon on Terrorism', Journal of Black Studies, vol. 17, no. 3 (March), pp. 287-304.

FARC

The Revolutionary Armed Force of Colombia (FARC) led by Manuel Marulanda and Jacobo Arenas started in 1964. These rural-based guerrilla movements were opposed by large landowners who organised armed and paid 'self-defence' groups. They conducted their activities in the 1970s; but in 1980 they reached an agreement which led to a ceasefire between them and to the adoption of political, social and economic reforms. In 1991 the government met with FARC and other guerrilla groups to discuss demobilisation of guerrillas, the subordination of the armed forces to civilian authority and the dismantling of paramilitary groups. Guerrilla fighters were encouraged to reintegrate into areas where they could exert political influence. The peace process, however,

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