Existentialist Perspective On Violence

956 Words 4 Pages
The existentialist philosophers wrote largely about the negative side of humanity. Their focus on the negative aspects of human life and human consciousness led to a philosophy centered on war, suffering, and violence. This focus on violence remains when they discuss the French colonization of Algeria. The existentialist philosophers Simone de Beauvoir, Frantz Fanon, and Jean-Paul Sartre all believe that violence is the only means of casting off the chains of colonial oppression. Although they are correct in this assertion, they fail to recognize the full implications of this claim, namely, the promise of future violence and the impossibility of lasting peace. Frantz Fanon writes, in “Concerning Violence,” about a project of colonization focused on dehumanizing the native group. He writes about the oppressed, and how the oppressor attempts, and largely succeeds, in turning the native population into something …show more content…
Violence is only a temporary solution. Violence will not create lasting peace. Fanon, for instance, writes on the dehumanization of the oppressed and their attempts to become rehumanized. If one were to follow his vision, one would see the perpetuation of violence. When the dehumanized are powerless, they need to fight to become humanized. They are at the bottom of a social pyramid, fighting to be at the top. However, once the oppressed reach the top of the social pyramid, they will become the oppressors. This is, at best, a simple role reversal. Because the oppressed have been powerless for so long, they will, upon reaching a state of relative power, desire to express that power. To express that power, they will become oppressors. They will, after achieving freedom from oppression, perpetuate that oppression. The so-called “end of oppression” will not be the end of a race, but the beginning of a new cycle of

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