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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article comments on a number of issues associated with the colonial present and how it is shaped by brute imperial power. It considers how dominance and oppression govern a world that is reminiscent of a divided settler regime described by Frantz Fanon in (1961). Understood primarily through reference to thinkers such as Judith Butler and Giorgio Agamben, it suggests that the colonial present appears to be a time of maximum vulnerability and exposure to power. It cites aid-induced passivity and depoliticization, brokered by national government organizations, that further confirms Paulo Freire’s claim that “true generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity.” It also contends that discussions of the colonial present leave a number of unanswered questions, such as whether the new phase of imperialism is a distinctively neoliberal variant of the “highest phase of capitalism.” More specifically, it assesses the extent to which the “war on terror” is part of a broader contemporary crisis in global capital accumulation. Finally, the article looks at other forms of biopolitics that are being practiced in Africa and other parts of the globe that subvert the imperial ambitions of the colonial present.

Keywords: colonial present, oppression, Frantz Fanon, Judith Butler, Giorgio Agamben, depoliticization, imperialism, capitalism, war on terror, biopolitics

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