While noncooperation is figured by Fanon as a kind of staging area for or a preliminary version of a more authentic “objectifying encounter” with colonial oppression (a kind of counter-representational response to power’s interpellative call), his own formulations regarding that response point to the requirement of a kind of thingly quickening that makes opposition possible while appositionally displacing it. Noncooperation is a duty that must be carried out by the ones who exist in the nearness and distance between political consciousness and absolute pathology. But this duty, imposed by an erstwhile subject who clearly is supposed to know, overlooks (or, perhaps more precisely, looks away from) that vast range of nonreactive disruptions of rule that are, in early and late Fanon, both indexed and disqualified. Such disruptions, often manifest as minor internal conflicts (within the closed circle, say, of Algerian criminality, in which the colonized “tend to use each other as a screen”) or muscular contractions, however much they are captured, enveloped, imitated, or traded, remain inassimilable (231). These disruptions trouble the rehabilitation of the human even as they are evidence of the capacity to enact such rehabilitation. Moreover, it is at this point, in passages that culminate with the apposition of what Fanon refers to as “the reality of the ‘towelhead’ ” with “the reality of the ‘nigger,’ ” that the fact, the case, and the lived experience of blackness—which might be understood here as the troubling of and the capacity for the rehabilitation of the human—converge as a duty to appose the oppressor, to refrain from a certain performance of the labor of the negative, to avoid his economy of objectifi cation and standing against, to run away from the snares of recognition (220). This refusal is a black thing, is that which Fanon carries with(in) himself, and in how he carries himself, from Martinique to France to Algeria. He is an anticolonial smuggler whose wares are constituted by and as the dislocation of black social life that he carries, almost unaware.
Fred Moten « The Case of Blackness » Criticism n° 50 Project Muse 2009 p. 177–218