“Fanon on the Role of Violence in Liberation: A Comparison to Gandhi and Mandela.”

In Lewis Gordon, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting & Renee White (eds.), Frantz Fanon: A Critical Reader. Oxford, U.K.: pp. 282-296 (1996)

Authors
Gail Presbey
University of Detroit Mercy
Abstract
Both Gandhi and Fanon used divergent medical models to come up with their analogies for political action. For Gandhi, non-invasive medicine (such as fasting), prayer, and vigil took a key role in his response to individual illness of the body. He counseled similar tactics to challenge ‘illness” or error in the body politic. Fanon, a psychiatrist trained also in medicine referred to colonialism as a gangrene germ that threatened the life of the body politic, and therefore needed to be amputated or surgically removed. Hence, he had greater willingness to use violence to achieve the goals of liberation. Mandela respected both of these views and walked a fine line between them, deciding his movement would engage in violence against property while trying its best to minimize human casualties.
Keywords Frantz Fanon  Mohandas Gandhi  Nelson Mandela
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