About DTM

Decolonizing the Mind is a theoretical framework for analyzing important scientific and social matters from a decolonial perspective.


Decolonizing The Mind rests on three pillars

First, the critique of Scientific Colonialism (SC). Scientific Colonialism is a school of thought that is rooted in the concepts produced by the White Enlightenment. Without a systematic critique of the concepts and theories of western science there is no decolonizing the mind.

Second, the development of alternative concepts and theories that an stand the challenge of test and critique. If western science was founded on false premises, what then should the alternative foundation be?

Third, the translation of critique and alternative into policies for changing the legacy of colonialism: politically, economically, socially and culturally. Many policies of institutions are based on “scientific” knowledge. If we challenged that knowledge, naturally we will challenge their policies.

These pillars can not stand on their own. The critique of concepts and theories of Scientific Colonialism will immediate invoke the question of the alternative. The alternative is not just the antithesis of a proposition. It should have a legitimacy of its own and vested in an epistemology that goes beyond the critique.

Once an alternative is formulated then the question of power will arise, because critique is challenging the authority of knowledge. The articulation of alternatives will inevitably challenge the dominant power relations.

In DTM colonialismis analyzed as a system of oppression and exploitation that started five hundred years ago and was set up and developed in five interrelated dimensions:

  1. Geographical dimension: the rise of a global system in which people, nations and states have been destroyed, relocated, or redesigned and world wide (forced) migration of people have been set in motion. The global world was divided in one subservient geographical part that served the enrichment of another geographical part.
  2. Economic dimension: the rise of a colonial world economy with new international industries based on a combination of “free” wage labor and forced labor in different forms, the creation of new economic systems and the integration of existing economic systems into one global colonial world system.
  3. Social dimension: the organization of social relations in different societies based on race, skin color, ethnicity and class in which the white European culture socially dominated and still dominates the other cultures. An essential part of these relations is the development and maintenance of a social layer of collaborators among the colonized people with the white colonial power. Ethnicity is more important in organizing social relations than class.
  4. Political dimension: the creation and maintenance of political, military and judicial structures and institutions to control, repress and break any resistance against colonialism and maintain its domination.
  5. Cultural dimension: the creation of mechanisms of colonizing the mind (mental colonialism) and structures and institutions that provides legitimacy to colonial relations. Important institutions are the institutions of knowledge production (universities, research institutes) and knowledge distribution (educational system, media, cultural institutions).

So there is no postcolonialism, because although in the political dimensions there might have been changed, in the other dimensions there is still a lot of work to be done.

Institute for Decolonizing The Mind (DTM)