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Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 25, Issue 1, Spring 2019

José A. Haro
Pages 27-34

Colonialism and Ressentiment

In this paper I apply Friedrich Nietzsche’s critique of European morality to the Western colonial context. I specifically focus attention on his notions of ressentiment and slave morality, and how his critique implicates these as being exported and imposed upon the people Western powers colonized. However, the process of colonization reveals that the imposed morality is transformed into a distinct type of ressentiment that Nietzsche does not to consider. I call this type of ressentiment “colonial ressentiment” in distinction to Nietzsche’s slave morality. To provide the content to clearly distinguish colonial ressentiment from that of slave morality, I utilize Frantz Fanon’s description of the colonial drama to help illuminate their differences. To conclude the paper, I discuss some of the upshots of colonial ressentiment and their relation to present day struggles.

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