Similar and difference ideas of Fanon and Freire
Frantz Fanon and Paulo Freire come up with some realistic arguments through their writings on Concerning violence and Pedagogy of the oppressed. Both of them have some similar ideas on their own work, and at the same time, they have some contrast views too. Freire describes how the oppressed can achieve liberation from their state of oppression through intellectual understanding and realization of themselves, which is less effective than Fanon’s argument. Fanon argues that to overcome from the colonization, violence is the most effective way. I agree with his perspectives because I believe that using violence is effective than motivating ourselves to get freedom.
First, Fanon’s main theme is based on colonized and decolonized people, and Frier’s theme is humanization and dehumanization. Though both of them have similar points and perspectives, the way they approach the theme and the words choice are different from each other. For example, Fanon said “Decolonization is the meeting of two forces, opposed to each other by their very nature, which in fact owe their originality to that sort of substantification which result from and is nourished by the situation in the colonies” (Fanon, 79). At the same time, Friere said “Dehumanization, which marks not only those whose humanity has been stolen, but also (though in a different way) those who have stolen it, is a distortion of the vocation of becoming more fully human” (Freire, 44). Basically, Fanon’s idea on decolonization and Friere’s idea on humanization go together. Similarly, Fanon’s idea about colonization and Freire’s dehumanization go together. So, I would say that the main theme of Fanon and Freire are connected to each other.
Second, Freire describes how the oppressed can achieve liberation from their state of oppression through intellectual understanding and realization of themselves. At the same time, Freire emphasized that “freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift” (Freire, 47). Following him, Fanon also accepts that colonized people should think about themselves to overthrow the colonized power from them. For instance, when Indian people thought that they wanted to get freedom from colonized power, they broke the rules of British and got freedom. It occurred because each and every Indian felt that freedom would not be given by the oppressors, rather, it should be gained by each and individuals of India. According to the history, we could see that Fanon and Freire agree that to overcome from power, people should be able to realize the struggle of colonized power by themselves.
Third, in order to get freedom, Fanon argues that violence is the only way. When he discusses about it in his book he said, “Colonialism is not a thinking machine, nor a body endowed with reasoning faculties. It is violence is its natural state and it will only yield when confronted with greater violence” (Fanon, 84). In this point, he strongly believes that violence would be justified in order to achieve independence. Freire also agrees in some points that violence is important to overcome from oppressors’ power. However, he argues that love has a special motive to achieve independence too. This concept of love was not addressed by Fanon, which I identify as the contrast idea between Freire and Fanon. Freire said “Consciously or unconsciously, the act of rebellion by the oppressed (an act which is always, or nearly always, as violent as the initial violence of the oppressors) can initiate love” (Freire, 56). It was not clear enough on the text that how much of love will be effective to overcome from the oppressor’s power. Freire’s idea about love is unclear. Does Freire say that oppressed people should love the oppressor to get freedom? Does it work?
Additionally, considering Fanon and Freire’s work, Fanon argued that power is important in colonial world. He argues that settler’s world rule over power with violence. Moreover, he said that because of power, colonizers colonized other states and got benefit from them and their resources. Colonized people cannot defend themselves suddenly against the colonizers because of the colonizer’s power. However, Freire’s argument did not stress much on power. Through his discussion, I found that in his arguments, there are lots of lacking places for power and he did not actually lay on power. I do not agree with Freire on his point about power, because if the oppressors are not power full, how can they oppress the people?
In addition to that, though I have agreed with Fanon, I have still found some weaknesses or lack of strengths in his work. He pointed out some realities in his work however; he did not give any solution for that. He argued that violence is the only way to overcome the colonized power, but he did not mention what kind of violence should be used? Again he approved that violence with limitation is justified in some situation, but what did he mean by limitation and in what kind of situations violence can be used?
Moreover, in case of Freire’s idea, I do agree with him that violence occur because of power and that power come from wealth. I would say that when people have excess of wealth, they desire to colonize many countries to prove their power. If we take current world as an example, America has power due to the overindulgence of wealth and it tries to use its power on powerless countries. If we take a moment to think, how can they dominate other countries because they have power that came from wealth?
All in all, I Would like to conclude this paper by saying that though Fanon and Freire had similar thoughts regarding decolonized and oppressed people, they have some different thoughts too. The reason which made me to agree with Fanon is the way he believes on his arguments and he takes the side of colonized people to support them.
Franz Fanon. “Concerning violence”. In On Violence: A reader. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007.
Paulo Freire. “Pedagogy of the Opp