Working hypothesis for this course’s project; any comments, criticisms, feedback, or suggestions are most welcome
In this essay, I argue that Amíclar Cabral’s praxis prior to and during Guinea-Bissau’s decolonial revolution provides an example of a lived articulation of an African biopolitical socialism that challenges the trajectory typical of some European biopolitical historiographies. The analysis of such a contestation not only allows one to move discourses on biopolitics to a transnational register without recourse to diffusionist philosophies of history, but also offers a manner in which to rethink revolutionary biopolitical socialism. First, the historical formation of Cabral’s biopolitical and revolutionary art of governance calls into question the often-implicit continental diffusionism to be found at work in European bioplitical histories. That is, to say that biopolitics itself ‘emerges in the West’ not only overlooks colonial historical geographies which often prove to be testing grounds for violent biopolitical management, but also assumes that the very notion of ‘the West’ proves useful for historical-philosophical analysis. Secondly, Cabral’s revolutionary biopolitical socialism challenges Foucault’s (Eurogenic) biopolitical history in which racism constitutes an endogenous sine qua non. Cabral and the PAIGC’s persistent attempts to combat Portuguese colonialism and not ‘the Portuguese’ or ‘Europeans’ as a biological race exemplifies an attempt to inaugurate an explicitly antiracist biopolitical socialism, and this complicates the borders of the Foucauldian narrative. Finally, insofar as Cabral framed Guinean decolonization as part of the process of the rehistoricization of Africa; and insofar as Cabral’s revolutionary biopolitical socialism aided in the overthrow of five hundred years of colonial rule; one need not simply track various inherent “Western” biopolitical tendencies from Greece to their explosion in Nazi biocracy. In its qualified yet noteworthy successes, and against the materially and socially inscribed inertia of five hundred years of slavery, labor-extraction, violent exploração, and so forth, the revolutionary and biopolitical art of governance articulated by Cabral aids in the accomplishment of one of his primary goals (as Tsenay Serequeberhan notes), namely, in reclaiming the self-creative historicity of Africa by means of revolutionary thought and action.
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——————-. Guinée, Cap Vert, face au colonialisme portugais.
——————-. Unity and Struggle.
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———————. Society must be Defended.
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Serequeberhan, Tsenay. The Hermeneutics of African Philosophy.