The Return of The Revolution of Everyday Life

  • Posted on: 21 August 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>From <a href="">PM Press</a>

The Revolution of Everyday Life is at the printer now, and for those who can't wait, a PDF eBook is available now as well!

Originally published just months before the May 1968 upheavals in France, Raoul Vaneigem's The Revolution of Everyday Life offered a lyrical and aphoristic critique of the "society of the spectacle" from the point of view of individual experience. Whereas Debord's masterful analysis of the new historical conditions that triggered the uprisings of the 1960s armed the revolutionaries of the time with theory, Vaneigem's book described their feelings of desperation directly, and armed them with "formulations capable of firing point-blank on our enemies."

"I realise," writes Vaneigem in his introduction, "that I have given subjective will an easy time in this book, but let no one reproach me for this without first considering the extent to which the objective conditions of the contemporary world advance the cause of subjectivity day after day."</td><td><img title="It's alright but not all that" src=""></td></tr></...
Vaneigem names and defines the alienating features of everyday life in consumer society: survival rather than life, the call to sacrifice, the cultivation of false needs, the dictatorship of the commodity, subjection to social roles, and above all the replacement of God by the Economy. And in the second part of his book, "Reversal of Perspective," he explores the countervailing impulses that, in true dialectical fashion, persist within the deepest alienation: creativity, spontaneity, poetry, and the path from isolation to communication and participation.

For "To desire a different life is already that life in the making." And "fulfillment is expressed in the singular but conjugated in the plural."

The present English translation was first published by Rebel Press of London in 1983. This new edition of The Revolution of Everyday Life has been reviewed and corrected by the translator and contains a new preface addressed to English-language readers by Raoul Vaneigem. The book is the first of several translations of works by Vaneigem that PM Press plans to publish in uniform volumes. Vaneigem's classic work is to be followed by The Knight, the Lady, the Devil, and Death (2003) and The Inhumanity of Religion (2000).

About the Author:
Raoul Vaneigem (b. 1934) is a native of Lessines (Hainaut), Belgium, a small town whose traditional claim to fame was the production of paving stones but which in the twentieth century also produced the Surrealist painter René Magritte and the Surrealist poet Louis Scutenaire. Vaneigem grew up in the wake of World War II in a working-class, socialist and anticlerical milieu. He studied Romance philology at the Free University of Brussels and embarked on a teaching career that he later abandoned in favor of writing.

In late 1960 Vaneigem was introduced to Guy Debord by Henri Lefebvre, and soon after he joined the Situationist International, which Debord and his comrades-in-arms had founded not long before, and he remained in the group throughout the decade of the 1960s. There is a grain of truth in the stereotypical view that Debord and Vaneigem, as two leading lights of the SI, stood for two opposite poles of the movement: the objective Debord versus the subjective Vaneigem: Marxism versus anarchism: icy cerebrality versus sensualism: and, of course, The Society of the Spectacle versus The Revolution of Everyday Life --the two major programmatic books of the SI, written by the two men without consultation, both published in 1967, each serving in its own way to kindle and color the May 1968 uprisings in France.

Other works by Raoul Vaneigem already published in English translation include The Totality for Kids (London: Christoper Gray/Situationist International, 1966 ["Banalités de Base", 1962-63]); Contributions to the Revolutionary Struggle (London: Bratach Dubh, 1981 [De la grève sauvage à l'autogestion généralisée, 1974]); The Book of Pleasures (London: Pending Press, 1983 [1979]) The Movement of the Free Spirit (New York: Zone Books, 1994 [1986]); A Cavalier History of Surrealism (San Francisco: AK Press, 1999 [1977]); and A Declaration of the Rights of Human Beings (London: Pluto, 2003 [2001])

About the Translator:

Born in Manchester, England, Donald Nicholson-Smith is a longtime resident of New York City. As a young man he was a member of the Situationist International (1965-67), and his translations include Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle (Zone) and Henri Lefebvre's The Production of Space (Blackwell), as well as works by Jean-Patrick Manchette, Thierry Jonquet, and Paco Ignacio Taibo II. At present he is at work on Apollinaire's Letters to Madeleine, as sent by the poet from the trenches of Champagne in 1915.


IEF's republishing of the 1994 Zone edition of SoS also translated by this wanker

why would you post an advertisement for this?
you know we hate PM Press

download, do not buy, this book

Free things are cool and all but I would rather steal or even pay for the Zone editions book than have some free B-rate edition that has a dork in balaclava on the back and says "Online Insurrectuals!!!!!!!!1" Especially since it's too thick to staple. I mean this edition even has generic riot porn from Greece in it. CORNY.

Shut up Liam.

rubber band dog

Did not this shit already return earlier this year when LBC raced PM Press to press with their own edition of this work under the title "Treatise on Etiquette for the Younger Generations"? WTF is going on?

whoopwhoop!! hell yea: nerd fight!

Some people might want a printed copy that doesn't look like a wacky design experiment from 1992 on the cover and whose spine doesn't fall apart upon reading.

And those people shall be TOTAL DESTROYED!!!

PM, like AK before it, will publish and sell whatever makes them money within some vague range of "radicalim". we all see the hollowness of your project

I'm the poster you seem to be responding to, and I agree with your characterization of PM in particular, and AK to a large extent, although I think that AK takes a few more risks--still not many--publishing things that may be interesting to anarchists but that won't really make money. And furthermore, "vaguely radical" usually means Leftist.

But I can criticize LBC without being on the side of PM or AK, and in fact I can think that PM's version of this book will be better than LBC's without endorsing wholesale PM's project. This reminds me of when, on the comment thread for the LBC's announcement of this title, people were criticizing their decision to publish it, and someone responded with "Well, does PM donate money to anarchist prisoners?" That's irrelevant to the criticism. This is a ridiculous binary.

under AK anarchist exploits anarchist,
under LBC it's the other way around

capitalism makes monsters of all.

did you think you would escape?

I've already got a copy of LBC's re-print, but I'm going to steal a copy of this anyway. BECAUSE I'M CRAZY LIKE THAT

in the boiling, grey sea of the spectacle, vaneigam, dubord, the situationists, you, and i are just little drops of poison. may we bring a little death in the name of life.

Tom Waits doesn't smoke, instead he eats lit cigarettes

Burma Shave describes beautifully the alienated youth of capitalist USA.

I know this is way off topic, but I'd appreciate it if someone could tell me how I do create an event on here. I have an Event coming up that needs to be addressed to everyone here and wherever. Thanks.

I think you have to make an account and then post the event and wait for one of the workers to approve it.

I think you have to equip the Spectacle and destroy Experience in order to create the Event.

And the PM Press version will no doubt have plugs for memoirs of Maoist psychopaths from armed struggle sects of the 1970's on its cover, as do other PM Press publications.

Maoism is so hot right that I bet more than a few of you trend-fucksters will be Maoists in 2013.

Calm down, Signalfire. You have not yet replaced Applied Nonexistence.

How does one replace a void?

Speaking of such, what happened to Applied Nonexistence?

You know that sound when your head goes so far up your own ass that your physical body twists in to a doughnut shape and then disappears in to a quantum singularity? It's kind of like a sonic boom, but more like a wet fart with a pop at the end.

IGTT 10/10
Would read again

i saw kevin spacey play richard III. it was pretty cool.

whatever, serious answer to a serious question.
I tried emailing applied nonexistence after that "beyond the black bloc" bullshit article.

Eventually got a response months after I stopped caring, I asked "Mary Celeste" why exactly it was so difficult for windbag academics to make distinctions between kids wearing masks for the "edgy image" and people trying minimize very real and immediate risks to their health and personal autonomy.

If abstract theoretical masturbation is your thing ... kill yourself?

i get the feeling you are a very healthy person with lots of personal autonomy

I heard they're Maoists now.

Yeah they write for Signalfire now.

That's not what I heard. I heard once they finished up grad school their trust funds fully vested. They got a flat in the Lower East Side and do a ton of coke.

nope... they got married.

Ya, married to cocain.

Better to have Greek or Latin American nihilist psychopaths from armed struggle sects of the 2010s.

The Situationists wouldn't have approved of any of your silly comments, I can't even believe it. THINK about Guy DeBourd and his legacy before you talk shit. if half of this forum would get out of the spectacel for even two seconds then maybe y'all could remap some psychic geography and actually understand what that means for once in your life. And before you start talking about how ineducated i am, guess what? i've been to Paris, Francois more times than you can even think of, and yes, its better than oakeland.

enough about the publisher; is this book worth reading?


You've read enough books. Hopefully you've thoroughly convinced yourself of something by now. Now go act.

Ok, I am going to go act like a seal. ARF! ARF! ARF!

This book is most definitely worth reading!

It's epic and touches on a lot of themes in modern capitalism (production, consumption, spectacle, boredom, etc) and makes mention of the psychological totality (a unitary trinity) that strangleholded most of feudal Europe and how the ramifications of the rupture of that totality (in the abandonment of overt religious control in favor of the rule of law and commerce, which gave birth of the bourgeoisie) led to capitalism... I'm leaving a lot out.

It critiques (or at least makes mention of): Dada, surrealism, nihilism, Sade, Ravachol, Bonnot, Marx, Wilhelm Reich, Diderot, Kafka, Durriti, the Boston Strangler, Pierre-Francois Lacenaire, individualism, collectivism, James Thuber, Nietzsche, etc.

It reminds me a lot of what the Tiqqun style is going for. They use very similar analysis as Vanegiem.

I think we'll see a lot of new anarchists with the release of this book. It's intelligent, has historical value, and has a place in whatever "movement" swept through the US last year (situs->adbusters->occupy).

This book can hold its' own and I'm excited to see so many copies of it coming out!!

yes, the re-printing of a fucking book from the 1960s is sure to spread anarchy like wildfire! lol.

the 60's are in, doofus.


Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Enter the code without spaces.