JOHN L. COMAROFF
In The Campaign, a Carlos Fuentes novel of colonialism and liberation in South America, there lurks, amidst a welter of heroic acts and epic events, a brief, enigmatic exchange:
'The Law', says one revolutionary, 'is the greatest thing imaginable.' 'That's true', answers his compadre, 'because it's absurd.'
A luta continua. The battle goes on. But the revolutionaries--alibis all for Fuentes' reading of history--agree to one thing: the almost absurd centrality of law in both European overrule and the struggle against it.1
As with Latin America, so with Africa. It has become commonplace to remark the salience of the legal culture of Britain in the colonization of the continent; commonplace to assert its role in the fashioning of new European hegemonies, in the creation of subjects of Empire, in the rise of various forms of resistance, in the demands of so-called 'Third World' peoples for both individual rights and collective entitlements.2____________________