Deconstructing The Colonial Narratives Surrounding Migration — Part 4

9 min readJan 23, 2022

The Colonial Drain

The world is globalized for centuries

A very common narrative in today’s mainstream is that globalization started in the 20th century, therefore nationals need time to adapt to the encounter with foreigners. The lack of familiarity would be the explanation for racism (“I’m not used to people who don’t look like me therefore my reaction to them is different than to those who do”).

That argument is very misleading since it only applies to a limited area (western Europe) where a certain ethnic and cultural homogeneity is supposedly the rule since the 15th century. Not to mention that racism is not a “natural reaction” to alterity but rather a constructed system that was designed and implemented through ideology and legislation.

What’s wrong with globalization today is not multiculturalism (which was the norm in pre-modern societies: empires mixed populations and created multi-ethnic dynasties) but rather the colonial mindset (see the work of Dr. Karim Bettache on the psychology of colonialism).

“Colonialism is not only pathological but pathogenic as well. It is not only an outcome of a form of psychopathology but also induces psychopathology in the colonised societies. One can easily infer this conclusion after reading Dr Frantz Omar Fanon’s (1925–1961) work, published in his lifetime and posthumously.” From Frantz Fanon, psychopathology and colonialism, by Dr. Akhtar Ali Syed

European nation-states’ colonialism uses concepts like “sovereignty” and “national interests” to deploy violence for the sole purpose of supremacy and the perpetuation of a specific hierarchy. Although nation-states are now a norm worldwide, it is important to recall that structure is the byproduct of white nationalism.

Borders are used to separate the ones who possess (the colonizer/) from the ones who do not possess (the colonized) mimicking the Roman concept of Limes but with an ethnic application that privileges whiteness: in all European colonies, the applied model of governance was based on the South African Ethnostate in the aftermath of the Boer wars (Hannah Arendt, the Origins of Totalitarianism: Volume II: Colonialism).

Alkebulan, a creative reconstitution of pre-colonial Africa by Nikolaj Cyon. While the research effort is considerable, the application of clear border lines to the continent is biased and anachronic. The concept of borders in the pre-modern era remains to be studied thoroughly.

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