J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 05-16-2018

The Compassionate Story-Telling Project

THE COMPASSIONATE STORY-TELLING PROJECT. This innovative project aims to bring together twelve 18-23 year olds would- be story tellers drawn from adherents of four major faiths and cultures: Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus; and from those who have no faith background. They would be trained and accredited as story tellers and would be required both to create and research stories that demonstrate compassion from their faith community and secular perspectives. A collation of these stories including some tips on reading and storytelling will be published in book form illustrated with children’s work. The trained story tellers will be expected to become advocates of the compassionate story telling approach as well as disseminators of the stories in a range of contexts. 

PROJECT OUTPUTS The publication of a Treasure Trove of compassionate stories for those aged 8 and above. 12 trained story tellers who will be committed to a cross cultural, interfaith, compassionate approach and who will be available to visit schools, colleges, libraries, parent groups and other institutions. 12 trained story tellers who will be expected to become advocates for the approach and to in turn train others in the art of story telling Performance in two CoED events in 2015. A developing network of story tellers who will be committed to building compassionate cross cultural and interfaith links to use the medium as way of breaking down myths and stereotypes about people of different faiths. PROJECT OUTCOMES A greater mutual understanding between the adherents of the four faith groups and those of no faith which will be transmitted to a range of audiences through story telling performances and workshops. An on-going commitment to building compassion and cohesion through the power of story telling. A realisation that the power of storytelling can help to address areas of conflict in the world and can become an effective healing word. 

A significant rise in the profile of storytelling and building a more compassionate society in the hearts and minds of young people who, hopefully, will be inspired by the many stories they experience. 

Keywords: [“story”,”tellers”,”COMPASSIONATE”]
Source: http://www.coedfoundation.org.uk/pages/projects_storytelling.html

The only way to pay workers an adequate compensation is to pay them 100% of the income, since they do 100% of the work, and to pay them based on how hard they work, which you do by limiting differences in income between workers to only what is necessary to get them to do hard jobs and to give their maximum performance in performance based jobs. Allocating income in this way would pay workers from $115k to $460k per year for working just 20 hours per week. Workers shouldn’t have to work for free for 6 months every year just to pay off the gambling winnings of investors. There is something terribly flawed with a system that pays Kim Kardashian hundreds of times more than a brain surgeon for each hour worked. Half of all the income workers produce gets paid to the lucky who do no work and most of what’s left over gets paid to the scarce. 

The vast majority of the workers who produce everything – the engineers, doctors, construction workers, factory workers, miners, farmers, teachers – have to fight over the few crumbs that remain. Even though worker productivity is $65 per hour, enough to make every worker wealthy, most workers are broke because they only get paid a tiny fraction of the $65 per hour they produce. Of course, the lucky and scarce claim that they are getting paid adequately, that the other workers are not getting exploited because it is fair to pay them 50 to 150,000 times more for being lucky or scarce. If consumers had a direct say on how workers were valued, no worker would ever be able to earn thousands of times more income than another worker because they would never be able to convince consumers to take a huge pay cut at their job in order to pay their inflated salaries. The only economic reason for paying one person more than another is to get them to work harder. 

We don’t need to pay people 50 to 150,000 times more income to get them to work harder. The only fair economic system is socialism, as explained here, which makes everyone an equal owner of the planet’s resources and pays you based on how hard you work in converting those resources into useful goods and services. 

Keywords: [“work”,”pay”,”income”]
Source: http://occupywallst.org/forum/simple-explanation-of-why-capitalism-is-unfair

The only way out: the struggle for workers’ democracy

The radicalisation of the struggle is such that demands like the nationalisation, under workers control, of factories in crisis clearly connect with the experience of wide layers of the population, and are seen as something that is urgently needed. Despite all the slanders of the government, the piqueteros, the militant unemployed workers who organise roadblocks to demand food and work, and the popular assembles, continue to grow in influence daily. In the current situation, a Constituent Assembly would be no more than a variant of a bourgeois parliament! Faced with the collapse of capitalism and its institutions, there is no alternative in Argentina but workers power, and agitation must be stepped up and organised to patiently explain, to win over the majority of the population to this programme. A shift to the left of the middle classes or their neutrality towards the struggle of the working class. 

This condition unfortunately does not exist at present, but there is little doubt that the workers of Argentina are moving towards the transformation of the existing social order. Many analysts have said that the working class has not joined the struggle against the system. From a scientific point of view, the middle classes are a section of society that both works and owns its means of production, unlike the working class. The lowest layers of the middle class live and work in conditions very similar to many workers, whilst its top layers have much in common with bourgeoisie. Due to their living and working conditions, they cannot play an independent role in society and they continually hover between either supporting the bourgeoisie or supporting the workers. 

The last 25 years in Argentina have seen a vicious attack by the bourgeoisie on all the gains that the working class won through decades of struggle and which had lifted the country to fifth or sixth place in the world in terms of living standards. There is only one way forward for Argentina – the fight for workers’ power and a socialist programme. Immediate reduction in the working day without loss of pay in order to share out work. 

Keywords: [“work”,”Argentina”,”class”]
Source: http://www.marxist.com/argentina-only-way-out.htm

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 05-12-2018

Compassionate Capitalism – by Sanjiv Mehta at the #India2022Exchange

Sage launches Sage Foundation to lead social philanthropy

Sage’s 2+2+2 community model sets benchmark for FTSE 100 companies. Sage today launches the Sage Foundation which sets the standard for Corporate Compassionate Capitalism around the world. Each of Sage’s 14,000 employees will be able to contribute five days per year in work time to volunteer with any non-profit organization they elect to support. The Sage Foundation will also give grants to create entrepreneurial opportunities for the young and disadvantaged within communities, as well as grants to match employee charitable donations and fundraising. The Sage Foundation has created a model of ‘2+2+2’: donating 2% of employee time each year, 2% of free cash flow* and 2 of Sage’s smart technology products for any charity, social enterprise or non-profit organization. 

This model demonstrates Sage’s commitment to philanthropic leadership in the FTSE 100. Driven by Sage’s ambition to connect its customers, colleagues and communities within an integrated model, the Sage Foundation will be open for business globally from 1st October 2015. With tens of thousands of non-profit organizations as existing Sage customers, the Sage Foundation will enhance Sage’s relationship with charity and social enterprise. Non-profit organizations will be able to apply for donated Sage One, Sage Life or X3 products, through the newly created Donation program. The Sage Foundation will benefit from Sage revenues from the non-profit sector; notionally ‘2%’ of free cash flow is equivalent to revenue gained from non-profit sector in FY2014. 

Sage has reimagined business and brings energy, experience and technology to inspire our customers to fulfil their dreams. Sage is a FTSE 100 company with 14,000 employees in 24 countries. 

Keywords: [“Sage”,”community”,”organization”]
Source: http://www.sage.com/company/news-and-events/2015/06/02/sage-launches-sage-foundation-to-lead-social-philanthropy

Compassionate Capitalism

Whenever Jan Stravers came home from the mission field, she brought crafts made by the Philipino women she worked with to sell to the churches she visited. The crafts were from family businesses that the Christian Reformed Church missionary and her husband had helped to start, and her supporting churches were among their main clients. In the 10 years that the Straverses worked as missionaries in the Philippines, they saw how small businesses can provide food, education, clothing, and a hope for the future to the poor in developing countries. After retiring from the mission field 10 years ago, Jan Stravers jumped at the chance to run International Arts and Gifts, a South Holland, Illinois, store selling handmade products made by artisans in the developing world. Slowly, the idea has been catching on among Christians that fair trade is a unique way of supporting missions and providing jobs to the world’s poor. 

Fair trade is a rapidly growing industry where companies like the Mennonite-run Ten Thousand Villages work directly with artisans in the developing world, offering better prices for handmade arts, crafts, and clothing. To be certified by the Fair Trade Federation, workers must earn enough to support their families, pay for education, and food. Fair-trade products must also be environmentally friendly and created under safe conditions, and the Western stores must commit to building long-term relationships with the workers. 

Keywords: [“work”,”Church”,”made”]
Source: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/novemberweb-only/11-10-31.0.html

How Individuals and Corporations Participate 02/15 by Karen Rands

Karen Rands, founder of the Compassionate Capitalist Movement for Angel Investors, talks with author Mark Faust, trusted advisor to Corporate Executive Teams and author of Growth or Bust and High Growth Levers, about how individuals and corporations use Compassionate Capitalism to create wealth and grow their business. As a nationally recognized expert on Angel Investing, Karen has written the best selling book Inside Secrets to Angel Investing as a step by step guide for learning how to invest in private companies to bring innovation to the market, create jobs and create wealth for all those involved – Compassionate Capitalism. She believes busy executives can effectively diversify their portfolio to invest in entrepreneurs as a wealth creation strategy, and enjoy the passion and excitment of an entrepreneurial endeavor without incurring all the risk and challenges of being an entrepreneur. Mark’s company, Echelon Management International, works with both leaders of successfully growing companies who want to raise the bar as well as with companies in turnaround. Mark has worked with and interviewed many Fortune 500 CEO’s, hundreds of number one sales performers, and thousands of his client’s top customers. 

From this experience and insight, he discovered a corporate version of Compassionate Capitalism that is part of the pattern for success for those companies and executives. 

Keywords: [“company”,”invest”,”Compassionate”]
Source: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/karen-rands/2018/02/15/compassionate-capitalism–how-individuals-and-corporations-participate

I am a “compassionate capitalist.”

The business teaches poor/middle class how to file taxes. It’s meant as a check against corporations and rich folks getting all the breaks. It’s to level the playing field to the common person. Other capitalists who’ve seen this business model are entering the market. It works! 

In year two, we get enough customers to keep the business afloat. We level the playing field against corporations! Success! Now, any labor simply must come from overseas, paying as close to nothing as I can manage. The tax code change is good sort of! 

I don’t need new customers; the new tax code means they all have to come back for re-education! So, it works! People buy just enough to pay lobbyists, pay new accountants, keep website running, expand. I’ve made the world a better place, no doubt! The playing field between common folk & corporations is more leveled than before, surely! 

Until the next year. My business is gone, so money I paid to lobbyists to keep tax code frozen has dried up. Similar services offering tax education also dry up. Corporations pay a vastly smaller percentage of taxes than common folk. 

Keywords: [“business”,”pay”,”tax”]
Source: https://medium.com/@RickPaulas/i-am-a-compassionate-capitalist-6b80e1d643c4

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 01-31-2018

The Divine Mercy Chaplet

The message of mercy that Sister Faustina received is now being spread throughout the world; she has been recognized by the Church as a “Saint”; and her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul, has become the handbook for devotion to The Divine Mercy. Through Saint Faustina, Jesus also revealed special ways to live out the response to His mercy-one of which is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, as both a novena and a prayer for the three o’clock hour-the hour of His death. At the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts the Chaplet is preceded by two opening prayers from the Diary of Saint Faustina and followed by a closing prayer. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us. Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. Our Lord said to Saint Faustina: Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you … Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death … When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between my Father and the dying person, not as the Just Judge but as the Merciful Savior … Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. We, too, can make a novena of prayer for these intentions and others, especially by praying the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Second DayToday bring to Me THE SOULS OF PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS. Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service, that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy.

Keywords: [“Mercy”,”Soul”,”Jesus”]
Source: http://www.catholicity.com/prayer/divinemercy.html

Sympathy for the Comfortable: The New Conservative Theory of Compassion

Now, Mulvaney has been installed as Donald Trump’s budget director, and his job is to try to explain to the American people why Trump’s proposed deep cuts in small-but-crucial social programs are the path to economic nirvana and social justice. What is especially interesting about Mulvaney’s approach so far is that he has decided to try to convince people that he is being “Compassionate” even as he proposes to stop feeding hungry people and take away programs on which the most vulnerable Americans rely. Mulvaney has turned out to be what we might think of as an even less impressive version of House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has been trying for years to dress up harsh cuts to the least fortunate among us as freedom-enhancing, empowering opportunities that will allow people to throw off the shackles of dependency. Perhaps more interestingly, Mulvaney’s new definition of compassion exposes a telling gap in the new conservative vision of social justice. Mulvaney takes the completely obvious point that these spending programs take tax revenue, and he then claims that “Compassion” requires that we stop the spending because some people pay taxes but do not receive anything from the programs. To be exceedingly generous to Mulvaney, maybe we can reinterpret his statement as simply a reminder that there are people who must pay taxes in order to support various programs. The one thing that is probably most widely agreed upon is that better-off people gain less utility from each dollar than worse-off people receive from the same amount. Mulvaney proves once again that there is always someone who is willing to say anything to advance the interests of the greedy people who put people like him in office. The American people recognize that the nation’s tax burden should be shared progressively, not proportionately, because some people are struggling and should not be forced even closer to starvation by paying federal taxes. Even in non-recession years, our policies should allow people like Mulvaney’s imaginary single mother in Detroit to get by at least on the little pay that they can earn-plus programs like subsidized school lunches for their kids. The big picture shows that conservatives like Trump and Mulvaney want to attack the working poor for earning income but not paying federal income taxes, but then they trot out those same working poor for sympathy because they should not be expected to pay for social programs for other people. The fact is that those social programs can be-and, at least for now, are-paid for by wealthier people who can afford to pay those taxes with much less pain than the pain that such programs alleviate.

Keywords: [“people”,”Mulvaney”,”pay”]
Source: https://verdict.justia.com/2017/03/23/sympathy-comfortable-new…

JR Test Site News for 01-17-2018

The Neuroscience Of Enlightenment

The Corporate Governance Green Paper: enlightened capitalism tempered by prudent reality

The Green Paper looks at the 2013 reforms to quoted company pay. Strengthen the UK Corporate Governance Code to provide greater specificity on how companies should engage with shareholders on pay, including where there is significant opposition to a remuneration report. In addition to suggesting means to strengthen shareholder powers on pay, the government also wants to look at ways of encouraging shareholders to make full use of their existing and any new powers on pay, and engage in active stewardship of the companies they own. The government recognises the “Challenging” role of remuneration committees in balancing a range of competing interests and considerations in setting executive pay, but believes that some committees are not “Sufficiently or visibly pro-active in consulting formally with shareholders and with the company’s workforce. There are concerns too, that some lack the authority or inclination to take positions that may not align with the CEO or wider executive team’s expectations.” Reducing the ability of companies to rely on “Commercial sensitivity” exemptions to the existing requirement to disclose bonus targets, either by increasing non-legislative pressure on future reporting through relevant governance bodies such as the FRC, or by requiring retrospective disclosure of previous targets within a specified date range. The government notes investor criticism of some aspects of current long term incentives plans, which are “The model of choice for almost all quoted companies. They aim to align directors’ incentives with the long-term interests of the company, on the basis of share awards which must be held for a set number of years, usually at least three years.” These criticisms include the relative crudeness of success measures such as earning per share or total shareholder return, and the encouragement of short-termism through short holding periods. The Green Paper argues that a consideration of wider stakeholder interests benefits both companies and society as whole. Section 172 Companies Act 2006: Duty to promote the success of the company. A director of a company must act in the way he considers, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole, and in doing so have regard to -. The Green Paper discusses the current obligation on all companies to prepare a strategic report to provide shareholders with information that will enable them to assess how the directors have performed their duties under section 172 of the Companies Act 2006. It notes that the “UK’s strongest corporate governance and reporting standards are focused on public companies where the owners or shareholders are distant from the executives running the company. These standards provide independent shareholders with reassurance that the company is being run in their interests and that they have the information needed to hold the executive to account”, and that to date the differing ownership structure of private companies has meant that the governance standards expected of listed companies has not been extended to these businesses. The renewed focus on stakeholder interests and the Government’s view that “Society has a legitimate expectation that companies will be run responsibly in return for the privilege of limited liability” has led the Government to revisit where the corporate governance demarcation line is drawn. Applying enhanced governance standards through a new voluntary code for private companies – essentially a modified version of the UK Corporate Governance Code reflecting the different circumstances of private companies; and. Whilst the Government is inviting input on what threshold should apply to any future governance requirements for private businesses, the Green Paper does highlight the number of private companies and LLPs with over 1,000 employees, which perhaps provides some indication of the size of business the Government has in mind. The thoughtful alternatives put forward provide a constructive framework to advance discussion of the proper role that the consideration of stakeholder interests should play in the prudent management of companies.

Keywords: [“company”,”pay”,”government”]
Source: http://www.osborneclarke.com/insights/the-corporate-governance-green-paper-enlightened-capitalism-tempered-by-prudent-reality/

In the first part of the paper, a taxonomy is presented that describes the different types of economists interested in this subject-market economists, regulatory economists, and enlightened economists-and illustrates the extent to which each tribe has been captured by the concept of self-interest. A recent analysis of mentions of the term “Economist” in The New York Times shows that one in every hundred articles on all topics refers to the views of an economist, dwarfing the influence of other academic disciplines. Winston Churchill recognized this inequality of outcomes when, during a speech in the British House of Commons, he compared the merits of capitalism and socialism: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings,” he stated, “And the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”3 1.2 Economists as Tribes The capitalist model presented above has captured the interest of a variety of economists and moral philosophers. Using this schematic model as a guide, we can subdivide economists into four tribes: market economists, regulatory economists, macro economists, and enlightened economists. 10/14/2015 7 Regulatory Economists: ‘Constrain Freedom’ While market economists have focused on how to improve the efficiency of organizations by leveraging self-interest, a second group of economists-regulatory economists-are interested in the second term of the capitalist model: freedom. Macro Economists: ‘Predict and Stimulate Aggregate Demand’ For the sake of completeness, I include a third tribe-macro economists. Because of the potentially injurious outcomes of the policies promoted by market economists and the drag of the policies of regulatory economists, a third group of economists is emerging-enlightened economists. “22 In response to these sentiments, enlightened economists are seeking radically new solutions to the seemingly intractable problems of our time. They attempt to think outside the box of existing paradigms. But there are limits as to how far outside the box any serious economist can venture. Unlike moral philosophers, no economist who wants to be taken seriously by professional peers can abandon self-interest as a first-principle organizing concept: Miller, for example, claims that self-interest is the”cardinal human motive” in the 21 In response to a question on the Phil Donahue Show in 1980. 23 Because self-interest is so deeply ingrained in the DNA of economists, enlightened economists have been forced to redefine the concept of self-interest to make it fit with their theories and normative prescriptions. At the heart of their argument, enlightened economists insist that business executives must subjugate their self-interest and freedom to benefit the common good. Not surprisingly, the theories of economics purportedly offer solutions-whether developed by market economists, regulatory economists, or enlightened economists. Market economists are animated by opportunism and modelling the principal-agent roles of stockholders and CEOs; regulatory and enlightened economists focus on the interests of a broad range of stakeholders that might be harmed by errant corporate behavior. In practice, such intrinsic drivers are rarely consequential in the models of organization developed by economists. 2.3 Implications for Business Schools The economic theories used to describe business practices-whether promulgated by market economists, regulatory economists, or enlightened economists-have had, and will continue to have, enormous impact. Rather than the plethora of rules and regulations advocated by regulatory economists or the highly-leveraged CEO rewards favored by market economists, economists might become interested in understanding the nature of the boundary systems that managers use to declare certain behaviors and initiatives off-limits, thereby staking out the domain for creative innovation and risk-taking and, at the same time, inoculating the business from wrongdoing.

Keywords: [“Economist”,”self-interest”,”business”]
Source: http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/16-045_2276e3cd-ab73-4ee8-b494-59488e6e1f0b.pdf

JR Test Site News for 01-16-2018

RSA ANIMATE: 21st Century Enlightenment

The Corporate Governance Green Paper: enlightened capitalism tempered by prudent reality

The Green Paper looks at the 2013 reforms to quoted company pay. Strengthen the UK Corporate Governance Code to provide greater specificity on how companies should engage with shareholders on pay, including where there is significant opposition to a remuneration report. In addition to suggesting means to strengthen shareholder powers on pay, the government also wants to look at ways of encouraging shareholders to make full use of their existing and any new powers on pay, and engage in active stewardship of the companies they own. The government recognises the “Challenging” role of remuneration committees in balancing a range of competing interests and considerations in setting executive pay, but believes that some committees are not “Sufficiently or visibly pro-active in consulting formally with shareholders and with the company’s workforce. There are concerns too, that some lack the authority or inclination to take positions that may not align with the CEO or wider executive team’s expectations.” Reducing the ability of companies to rely on “Commercial sensitivity” exemptions to the existing requirement to disclose bonus targets, either by increasing non-legislative pressure on future reporting through relevant governance bodies such as the FRC, or by requiring retrospective disclosure of previous targets within a specified date range. The government notes investor criticism of some aspects of current long term incentives plans, which are “The model of choice for almost all quoted companies. They aim to align directors’ incentives with the long-term interests of the company, on the basis of share awards which must be held for a set number of years, usually at least three years.” These criticisms include the relative crudeness of success measures such as earning per share or total shareholder return, and the encouragement of short-termism through short holding periods. The Green Paper argues that a consideration of wider stakeholder interests benefits both companies and society as whole. Section 172 Companies Act 2006: Duty to promote the success of the company. A director of a company must act in the way he considers, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole, and in doing so have regard to -. The Green Paper discusses the current obligation on all companies to prepare a strategic report to provide shareholders with information that will enable them to assess how the directors have performed their duties under section 172 of the Companies Act 2006. It notes that the “UK’s strongest corporate governance and reporting standards are focused on public companies where the owners or shareholders are distant from the executives running the company. These standards provide independent shareholders with reassurance that the company is being run in their interests and that they have the information needed to hold the executive to account”, and that to date the differing ownership structure of private companies has meant that the governance standards expected of listed companies has not been extended to these businesses. The renewed focus on stakeholder interests and the Government’s view that “Society has a legitimate expectation that companies will be run responsibly in return for the privilege of limited liability” has led the Government to revisit where the corporate governance demarcation line is drawn. Applying enhanced governance standards through a new voluntary code for private companies – essentially a modified version of the UK Corporate Governance Code reflecting the different circumstances of private companies; and. Whilst the Government is inviting input on what threshold should apply to any future governance requirements for private businesses, the Green Paper does highlight the number of private companies and LLPs with over 1,000 employees, which perhaps provides some indication of the size of business the Government has in mind. The thoughtful alternatives put forward provide a constructive framework to advance discussion of the proper role that the consideration of stakeholder interests should play in the prudent management of companies.

Keywords: [“company”,”pay”,”government”]
Source: http://www.osborneclarke.com/insights/the-corporate-governance-green…

Discourse On Colonialism

Césairean Négritude, as Rabaka observes, “Is wide-ranging and grounded in black radical politics and a distinct pan-African perspective; a purposeful perspective aimed not only at ‘returning’ to and reclaiming Africa, but perhaps more importantly, consciously creating an authentic African or black self.” A concern for solidarity with all colonized and enslaved people of African descent occupied Césaire and will likewise be Fanon’s concern. Césaire voices his pan-African perspective toward the end of his interview with Depestre. As part of his aim to establish a positive black identity, Césaire drew from various elements of his French educational training and created something new, something bearing the distinctive marks of the African spirit. Césaire in no way denied the French influences shaping his work. “Whether I want to or not, as a poet I express myself in French, and clearly French literature has influenced me.” Even so, Césaire states emphatically that while elements of the French literary tradition function for him as a “Point of departure,” his goal has always been “To create a new language, one capable of communicating the African heritage.” Here one might draw an analogy between Négritude’s relation to French culture and literature and the relation between African American jazz and European classical music. “French was a tool that I wanted to use in developing a new means of expression. I wanted to create an Antillean French, a black French that, while still being French, had a black character.” With this new language as his weapon, Césaire begins his Discourse on Colonialism with a triple staccato firing of single sentence paragraphs, each carefully crafted to condemn Europe’s so-called civilizing mission. Unlike the white Marxists, including Sartre, Césaire and the Négritude writers could not separate the class problem from the race problem, nor did they overlook the connection between capitalism and colonialism. As Rabaka observes, “Césaire understands European civilization to rest on the colonization of non-Europeans, their lives, labor and lands. His Negritude, like Du Bois and James’s discourse, was a revolutionary humanist enterprise”, attuned to the sufferings of all those exploited by the machinery of colonialism and slavery. As Césaire puts it, the Communists “Acted like abstract Communists” in their failure to address the “Negro problem.” In contrast, the colonized and enslaved, given their concrete experience of racialized existence past and present, do not have the option to overlook the race question; thus, concludes Césaire, Négritude has a crucial role to play in the ongoing reformation of Marxism. Césaire goes on to explain his interests in the surrealist movement and how it became for him a way to “Return” to Africa. Having described surrealism as a “Weapon that exploded the French language,” he then states “[s]urrealism interested me to the extent that it was a liberating factor. I said to myself: it’s true that superficially we are French, we bear the marks of French customs; we have been branded by Cartesian philosophy, by French rhetoric; but if we break with all that, if we plumb the depths, then what we will find is fundamentally black”. Having just noted that “[f]rom From Mallarmé to the Surrealists,” the goal of French poetry seems to have been the “Self-destruction of language” , Sartre goes on to say that the Negritude poets “Answer the colonist’s ruse by a similar but reverse ruse: because the oppressor is present even in the language they speak, they speak that language in order to destroy it. The contemporary European poet attempts to dehumanize words in order to return them to nature; the black herald intends to de-Frenchify them; he will crush them, he will break their customary associations, he will join them violently”. Of the capitalism of his day, Césaire writes, “Capitalist society, at its present stage, is incapable of establishing a concept of the rights of all men, just as it has proved incapable of establishing a system of individual ethics”.

Keywords: [“French”,”Césaire”,”civilization”]
Source: http://percaritatem.com/tag/discourse-on-colonialism