Fanon’s significance to the present moment seems to me to hinge in large part on his identification of the lumpenproletariat as revolutionary subject, an identification that was anathema then (and largely remains so now) to traditional Marxism. Surely all remember Marx’s magnificent litany in the Eighteenth Brumaire of “vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged jailbirds, escaped galley slaves, swindlers, mountebanks, lazzaroni, pickpockets, tricksters,  gamblers, maquereaux, brothel keepers, porters, literati, organ grind-ers, ragpickers, knife grinders, tinkers, beggars—in short, the whole indefinite, disintegrated mass,” subject to the sway of whoever held the day, notably Bonaparte, “chief of the Paris lumpenproletariat”. (Marx 2003, 170–71)
read here
Scroll to Top