The Legacy of the Algerian Revolution

1960s: Days of Rage

Still from ‘Battle of Algiers’ (1966).

“The Algerian revolution against French settler colonialism, which marks its anniversary today, March 19th, stands as one of the most iconic victories for Third World liberation. In the furnace of the brutal, seven-year-long struggle, Franz Fanon forged The Wretched of the Earth. The Front de Libération Nationale’s (FLN), victory was remarkable not only because of the brutality of the French settler colonial project but because, although splits within the FLN certainly existed, there was a general consensus that political independence was not the end of the revolutionary process. The next stage was to transform Algerian society and reverse what the FLN understood as the economic and social backwardness caused by colonial exploitation, through a sweeping project of nationalization, centralization, and planning. The experience of Algeria’s revolution then, serves as a powerful example of both the achievements and failures of a revolutionary program put…

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