Economics Dictionary of Arguments

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Brocker I 917
Tyranny/Postcolonialism/Mbembe/Herb: (...) [Mbembe provides] a meticulous analysis of the specific relations of subjugation established in Sub-Saharan Africa after the withdrawal of the colonial powers. Mbembe subsumes these relations under the concept of "command", the new basic word of colonial and post-colonial rule. Colonial sovereignty can be defined for Mbembe - following Derrida - in three ways: as founding, meaningful and ratifying violence. Their interaction ensures that the original violence is transformed into lawful rule. Such authorizing authority constantly communicates the legitimacy of its own actions without being able to conceal the "injustice of means and the illegality of ends" (2016(1),75 f.). Mbembe shows the arbitrariness and violence of the colonial regime in an exemplary way with the so-called
Brocker I 918
"indigenous regime" (78). It not only deprives the locals of any political participation, but also subjects them to continuous state dressage. The indigenous people are tamed and trained within the framework of comprehensive surveillance and punitive practices (83). He becomes a completely lawless subject in animal form, which "can never really enter the realm of human possibilities" (78).
Instead of the rule of law, the personal rule prevails (102). This lawlessness of the colonized is further increased by the dependence of the market on the state. The work of the colonized does not only function here as a commodity on the market. The remuneration of labour rather serves as a "resource to buy obedience and gratitude and to link the population to disciplinary dispositives" (106). >Postcolonialism/Mbembe.
Brocker I 921
For Mbembe, the post-colonial power of command (...) does not rely solely on surveillance and punishment. >Simulacrum/Mbembe, >Government policy/Mbembe). Rather, it establishes an "intimate tyranny" (Mbembe 2016(1), 208) between commanders and subjects. This intimacy belongs almost to the "driving forces of tyranny in Black Africa" (216), without of course assuring the tyrants of the loyalty of their subjects. The recognition of state power as a fetish is only "played". Mbembe points out, for example, "that the body of the post-colonized subject, by dancing publicly for power, affirms its subjugation and, in passing, ratifies the existence of an unquestionable institution in order to be able to play with it better and change it at the first opportunity" (209).
MbembeVsBachtin: In this game of fidelity and betrayal, as Mbembe asserts against the "Mistake of Bachtin" (216), all inmates of the postcolony are trapped: ruled and ruled. All of them, without exception, are involved in the game of life and death.

1. Achille Mbembe, De la postcolonie. Essai sur l’imagination politique dans l’Afrique contemporaine, Paris 2000. Dt.: Achille Mbembe, Postkolonie. Zur politischen Vorstellungskraft im Afrika der Gegenwart, Wien/Berlin 2016

Karlfriedrich Herb, „Achille Mbembe, Postkolonie (2000)“. In: Manfred Brocker (Hg.) Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt/M. 2018

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Mbembe, Achille
Brocker I
Manfred Brocker
Geschichte des politischen Denkens. Das 20. Jahrhundert Frankfurt/M. 2018

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