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The Colonizer and the Colonized. Albert Memmi. Albert Memmi (Arabic: أﻟﺒﺮت. ﻣﯿﻤﻲ. ; born December 15, in Tunis) is a Tunisian Jewish writer and es-. Confiscated by colonial police throughout the world since its publication, The Colonizer and the Colonized is an important document of our times. Memmi's book, The Colonizer and the Colonized (part of which has also been published under the title, Portrait of the Colonizer), is one of.
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The leftist colonizer tried in the colonizer and the colonized to explain actions which seemed incomprehensible, shocking and politically absurd. For example, the death of children and persons outside of the struggle, or even of colonized persons who, without being basically opposed, disapproved of some small aspect of the undertaking.
The Colonizer and the Colonized by Albert Memmi |
At first he was so disconcerted that the colonizer and the colonized best he could do was to deny such actions; for they would fit nowhere in his view of the problem.
That it could be the cruelty of oppression which explained the blind fury of the reaction hardly seemed to be an argument to him; he can't approve acts of the colonized which he condemns in the colonizers because these are exactly why he condemns colonization.
Then, after having suspected the information to be false, he says, as a last resort, that such deeds are errors, that is, they should not belong to the essence of the movement. Although Memmi bases his examples on events in North Africa, he states that the dynamics he describes are similar in any colonial system.
During its colonial period, Tunisia was home to French colonizers, Italians, Tunisian Muslims, and a minority of Jews.
The Italians, although not as well off as the French, were also privileged.
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The Muslim majority was the most oppressed. Although the Jews were also oppressed, Memmi describes the Jews as more willing to try to assimilate to the French.
Memmi writes of the Jews: Unlike the Muslims, they passionately endeavored to identify themselves with the French.
The Colonizer and the Colonized Quotes
To them the West was the paragon of all civilization, all culture. The Jew turned his back happily on the East.
They chose the French languagedressed in the Italian style, and joyfully adopted every idiosyncrasy of the Europeans. The Jews joined the French in the streets of Algiers during independence uprisings.
Although Memmi joined the colonized rather than the colonizer, he says he understood why the Jews chose the side of the French. Its key tools are racism and terror.
Racism is ingrained in every colonial institution, and establishes the subhumanity of the colonizedfostering poor self-concepts in the colonized as well.
By using terror to quell any reactionary uprising, the colonizers reinforce fear and submission. The colonial system favors population growth.
The Colonizer and the Colonized Quotes by Albert Memmi
In order to keep the salaries of the colonizers high and their cost of living low, there must be high competition among the native laborers. In other words, the birth rate must rise in order for the system to perpetuate itself. Since all resources go to the colonizer despite the need for increased resources by the growing colonized population, the standard of living of the colonized inevitably goes down.
The colonized could not rise above their social status and be permitted to assimilate: The colonizer and the colonized candidates for assimilation will then support the side of the colonizer.
The candidates for assimilation ultimately remain outcasts, the colonizer and the colonized, because for the colonial system to perpetuate itself, it must not allow assimilation. If the colonized had voting rights, for instance, as the majority they would have the ability to destroy the system.
The Colonizer Three factors typify the colonizer who, according to Memmi, means any European in a colony: Europeans living in colonies often consider themselves to be in exile.
They are not inclined to leave the colony for their mother country, however, because they are the colonizer and the colonized to live a more comfortable life in the colony.