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THE REVOLUTION OF EVERYDAY LIFE - VANEIGEM
Decompression and the Third Force - Page 27

From this moment, the point of contact between the two powers becomes the point of decompression. To identify the enemy with Evil and crown one's own side with the halo of Good has the strategic advantage of ensuring unity of action by canalising the energy of the combatants. But this maneuver demands the annihilation of the enemy. Moderates hesitate before such a prospect; for the radical destruction of the enemy would include the destruction of what their own side has in common with the enemy. The logic of Bolshevism demanded the heads of the leaders of social-democracy; the latter hastily sold out, and they did so precisely because they were leaders. The logic of anarchism demanded the liquidation of Bolshevik power; the latter rapidly crushed them, and did so inasmuch as it was hierarchical power. The same predictable sequence of betrayals threw Durrutti's anarchists before the united guns of republicans, socialists and Stalinists.

As soon as the leader of the game turns into a Leader, the principle of hierarchy is saved, and the Revolution sits down to preside over the execution of the revolutionaries. We must never forget that the revolutionary project belongs to the masses alone; leaders help it, Leaders betray it. To begin with, the real struggle takes place between the leader of the game and the Leader.

The professional revolutionary measures the state of his forces in quantitative terms, just as any soldier judges an officer's rank by the number of men under his command. The leaders of so-called insurrectionary parties dismiss the qualitative in favour of a quantitative expertise. had the 'reds' been blessed with half a million more men with modern weapons, the Spanish revolution would still have been lost. It died under the heels of the people's commissars. The speeches of La Pasionaria already sounded like funeral orations; pathetic whining drowned the language of deeds, the spirit of the collectives of Aragon -- the spirit of a radical minority resolved to sever with a single stroke all the heads of the hydra, not just its fascist head.

Never, and for good reason, has an absolute confrontation been carried through. So far the last fight has only had false starts. Everything must be resumed from scratch. History's only justification is to help us do it.

Under the process of decompression, antagonists who seemed irreconcilable at first sight grow old together, become frozen in purely formal opposition, lose their substance, neutralize and moulder into each other. Who would recognize the Bolshevik with his knife between his teeth in the Gagarinism of doting Moscow? Today, by the grace of the Ïcumenical miracle, the slogan "Workers of the World, unite" celebrates the union of the world's bosses. A touching scene. The common element in the antagonism, the seed of power, which a radical struggle would have rooted out, has grown up to reconcile the estranged brothers.

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