Thursday, January 20, 2011


"The colonial does not exist, because it is not up to the European in the colonies to remain a colonial, even if he had so intended.  Whether he expressly wishes it or not, he is received as a privileged person by the institutions, customs, and people. From the time he lands or is born, he finds himself in a factual position which is common to all Europeans living in a colony, a position which turns him into a colonizer.  But it is not really at this level that the fundamental ethical problem of the colonizer exists; the problem of involvement of his freedom and thus of his responsibility.  He could not, of course, have sought a colonial experience, but as soon as the venture is begun, it is not up to him to refuse its conditions.  If he was born in the colonies of parents who are colonizers themselves, or if, at the time of his decision, he really was not aware of the true meaning of colonization, he could find himself subject to those conditions, independent of any previous choice."  (Memmi)

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