In Politiques de l’inimitié, Achille Mbembe focuses on what he believes to be today’s main global issues: the shrinking of the world and the growth of its population, a possible redefinition of humankind within the frame of a planetary geography, the transformation of capital into algorithmic capital, the power of capital in relation to its ability to radically change the human. In order to deal with these issues, the author traces the genealogy of the contemporary world in the economic and racial system of
the plantation, the violence of colonialism and its consequences on the articulation of race and social relations worldwide. Mbembe sees the border as that key and haunting figure that, from early slave and colonial modernity, reaches out to our world, where and when the violence of the border is the main governmental tool. The author’s critical references range from W.E.B Du Bois to Ralph Ellison, from James Baldwin to Paul Gilroy, from Jacques Derrida to Frantz Fanon, to whom an entire chapter is dedicated. Through Fanon, Mbembe goes back to the tragic colonial scene, in order to understand where a possible history and the origin of contemporary wasted lives exactly lie, and thus imagining the figure of the “passerby” as human beings’ only chance to regain their humanity.
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racism, frontier, colony, postcolony, democracy