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The online edition of 'PAATOM' Magazine founded by MN Vijayan -

In the Context of diffusion of imperialist machinery into the Indian Communist movements PAATOM raises indignant resistance against the hell of ideology and praxis vitiated by the pseudo Marxist goons of imperium.

'PAATOM' is a resistance from the deepest of the racial sanctity of humanity nursed by the leftist political ethos. "PAATOM" is the voice of honest determination, that means to uncover the treacherous objects concealed beneath the mystery of hegemonic jargon.

We offer a laborious contribution to the truly humanist interventions that would enlarge the circumference and depth of emotional and intellectual perceptions.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Discourses of Disguise: Unmasking the post-colonial project

MN Vijayan Remembrance 2013
Keynote speech - S.Sudhish
Domestic Colonialism and Imperial Colonialism

Domestic colonialism? the term may sound a bit odd for most of us who are familiar with the imperial origins and expansion of colonialism in the ages of British empire in India. This is not an oxymoron but a key finding by Lenin in his studies on colonial questions.

Perhaps Lenin gave the best elaboration of the Colonial Question. Internationally, he critiqued the relations between oppressor and oppressed nations as closely related to the relations between classes within nations. ( )

Thus Lenin highlights the fact that while studying the national and colonial questions, the underlying class dynamics should not be forgotten. Colonization has been a development in the political economy of nations when imperialism achieved certain level of complex statecraft in the age of industrial capital. In the ages of feudalism and the days of monarchy, empires did not consist of remote or peripheral colonies. Empire signified the power for territorial expansionism and famous victories. The empires of Alexander, Genghis Khan and their likes were symbols of military wins across continents and seas. Later when the empires could amass and control significant amount of industrial capital they began to control the functions and political economy of the nations which they defeated. Thus the colonial nation states emerged. This was the colonialism from the above, or the imperialism. At the same time, as Lenin noted above, colonialism could exist within a nation state itself. The section of people with political and economic might within a nation state can exert power and exploit others. Caste system in India and the Apartheid suffered by African Americans are the good evidence for this.

Thus nationalism and a nation state as it is can be a site for domestic colonialism. The case of America in the time for British empire is a direct case for this. United States of America had a substantial native population when immigrants from Britain settled and occupied the land. When the British immigrants were fighting against the British empire, it was not based on any racial reasons. The reason was purely political and economic. The same immigrants were engaged in a fight with the natives at the same time. Thus the freedom fighters of America against British empire were colonizing the natives domestically. Thus U.S.A becomes a converging site of imperial and domestic colonialism.

Thus the thesis of domestic colonialism paved a way to a wider understanding of the Marxian analysis of a nation state within the class concept. 'Internationalism' was proposed as the outlook for the proletariat across the nations. Working class worldwide was urged to unite internationally. This view was actively supported by communist international ( Comintern) as well. 

Source: Fotopedia

Now domestic colonialism is no more heard in the research pursuits on the colonial question. Instead, the term 'Post-colonialism' has become the buzzword. In his famous work 'The Wretched Earth' Frantz Fanon deconstructed colonial question as a kind of oppressive effect and the residual effect of colonial hegemony. In 1978, when Edward Said published 'Eurocentrism' it reduced colonial question to a contradiction between the western imperialism and the oriental societies. After this, the thesis of post-colonialism emerged popular among academic circles and intelligentia. 

Thus the original thesis of domestic colonialism became largely unmasked and deconstructed in the inventiveness of post colonial narratives. In addition, post colonial studies could help the academic circles to sleep over the rising instances of neocolonialism using finance capital and the thesis of fragmentation of nation states. When post-colonial academicians like Homi Bhabha and Gayathri Chakravarthi Spivak continue to hunt the demigods of western imperial vestiges in the darkness of history, imperially funded NGO agencies and terrorist cells are tearing away every single site of political economy in the nation states. Thus post-colonialist thesis has become the dual mask to hide the residues of domestic colonialism and the intruding forces of neocolonialist finance capital, both eating away the political economy and the social fabric of nation states world wide.

Additional Notes:

  • Domestic and imperial colonialism: The dynamics of imperial colonialism - the contradiction between center and periphery. What about domestic colonialism? every nation will have center and periphery. 
  • Internationalism becomes the alternative to the nationalist ideology which confines the working class to the interests of the dominant class.
  • Episodes of American freedom struggle are one of the early historic sites for the contradiction between domestic colonialism and imperialist colonialism. Natives stood with British empire against American immigrant colonizers. Exploitation is the centripetal force to the domestic colonialism. 
  • Kerala caste hierarchy and the associated social fabric is another site of domestic colonialism. Indulekha as a site of contradiction of domestic colonialism. During freedom struggle, domestic colonialism becomes subdued. Saraswathivijayam in 1890 as a site of domestic colonialism. Caste as a dominant discourse in Saraswathivijayam. 
  • In the age of neocolonialism, domestic colonialism becomes a convenience. 
  • Internationalism as an opposition to domestic colonialism.