First and foremost, the paracolonial marks the consciousness shift from the “colonial” (or post-colonial) to “coloniality.” Following the democracy movements of the twentieth century, the controlling relationships of “colon-”, to a certain extent, transcended the economic and political domination of nations or ethnicities, or the cultural domination discussed in late-twentieth-century post-colonial theory. However, those relationships cannot explain and confront the context of twenty-first-century globalization, with the conflicts that have appeared around the world and the tighter yet more mobile control of money and power.
The paracolonial refers to the relationships governing money and power (namely, coloniality) in the context of democratization and global flows, including certain relationships of control that are derived from the ethical order determined by symbolic frameworks, or relationships of secondary coloniality that hide beneath the controlling relationships. In the minute connections woven into various relationships, these accompanying or latent money-power relationships have come to play a notable role in democratic societies, even creating visible tensions that may be difficult to explain using past concepts of the colonial or post-colonial.
Thus, the paracolonial is a description of relationships governing money and power colored by ideas about ecosystems and cybernetics. “Colon-” is really not a negative quality or action in an ethical sense; it is a dynamic biological phenomenon in organisms and ecosystems. The imbalanced state that results from this dynamic life has created all kinds of oppression and expropriation in human social networks. When humans look at society, institutions, biospheres, and even the Earth, they confront these extremely complex and diverse relationships governing money and power—paracolonial relationship networks. Faced with this plural coloniality, we must create negotiated and buffered spaces in order to dissolve the oppression of coloniality. This is a process of dis-colonization, rather than de-colonization.1
-  For more on these ideas, see Gerald Vizenor. Manifest Manners: Narratives on Postindian Survivance. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999; Michel Serres, The Parasite, Vol. 1, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013; Félix Guattari, The Three Ecologies, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2005; and Chien-Hung Huang, Fragments on Paracolonial, Taipei: The One Production Studio, 2019.