Sunday, 14 August 2011

Reimagining the Revolutionary Vanguard: Frantz Fanon and the Task of the Intellectual

by Adaner Usmani

At a time when dreams of radical social transformation wither in the corporate air of the modern university, it might seem presumptuous to wonder from within its halls whether the intellectual can find a home in projects striving for social upheaval. Often, one runs the risk of being declared an anachronism—an intransigent dilettante who has yet to heed Fukuyama's call to disarm. At the very least, it will be argued that the aspiring ―revolutionary intellectual purposefully forgets the privilege that makes him possible. To the Right, this makes him a hypocrite; to the Left, this signs a lack of self-awareness. Wary of the insufficiencies of such objections, I suggest here that the possibility of rehabilitating the enterprise of the radical intellectual depends on our willingness to jettison the binaries that ground these caricatures.

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