THE REVOLUTION OF EVERYDAY LIFE - VANEIGEM
In all conflicts between opposing sides, an irrepressible upsurge
of individual desires takes place and often reaches a threatening
intensity. To this extent we are justified in talking of a third
force. From the individual's point of view, the third force
is what the force of decompression is from the point of view of
power. The small chance of every struggle, it radicalizes insurrections,
denounces false problems, threatens power in its very structure.
It is what Brecht was referring to in one of his Keuner stories:
When a proletarian was brought to court and asked if he wished
to take the oath in the ecclesiastical or the lay form, he replied
'I'm out of work.'" The third force does not hope for the
withering away of constraints, but aims to supersede them. Prematurely
crushed or incorporated, it becomes by inversion a force of decompression.
Thus, the salvation of the soul is nothing but the will to live,
incorporated through myth, mediated, emptied of its real content.
On the other hand, their peremptory demand for a full life explains
the hatred incurred by certain gnostic sects or by the Brethren
of the Free Spirit. During the decline of Christianity, the struggle
between Pascal and the Jesuits spotlighted the opposition between
the reformist doctrine of individual salvation and compromise
with heaven and the project of realizing God by the nihilist destruction
of the world. And, once it had got rid of the dead wood of theology,
the third force survived to inspire Babeuf's struggle against
the million doré, the Marxist project of the complete
man, the dreams of Fourier, the explosion of the Commune, and
the violence of the anarchists.
Individualism, alcoholism, collectivism, activism... the variety
of ideologies shows that there are a hundred ways of being on
the side of power. There is only one way to be radical. The wall
that must be knocked down is immense, but it has been cracked
so many times that soon a single cry will be enough to bring it
crashing to the ground. Let the formidable reality of the third
force emerge at last from the mists of history, with all the individual
passions that have fuelled the insurrections of the past! Soon
we shall find that an energy is locked up in everyday life which
can move mountains and abolish distances. The long revolution
is preparing to write works in the ink of action whose unknown
or nameless authors will flock to join Sade, Fourier, Babeuf,
Marx, Lacenaire, Stirner, Lautréamont, Léhautier,
Vaillant, Henry, Villa, Zapata, Makhno, the Communards, the insurrectionaries
of Hamburg, Kiel, Kronstadt, Asturias -- all those who have not
yet played their last card in a game which we have only just joined:
the great gamble whose stake is freedom.
'XusNET and the Scenewash Project 20003 originate in the Capitol Hill/Stadium Armory section of Washington, DC.