Wednesday, January 20, 2010


"[T]heories are only made to die in the war of time. Lilke military units, they must be sent into battle at the right moment; and whatever their merits or insufficiencies, they can only be used if they are on hand when they're needed. They have to be replaced because they are constantly being rendered obsolete—by their decisive victories even more than by their partial defeats. Moreover, no vital eras were ever engendered by a theory; they began with a game, or a conflict, or a journey. What Jomini said of war can also be said of revolution: "Far from being an exact or dogmatic science, it is an art subject to a few general principles, and even more than that, an impassioned drama."

"What passions do we have, and where have they led us? Most people, most of the time, have such a tendency to follow ingrained routines that even when they propose to revolutionize life from top to bottom, to make a clean slate and change everything, they nevertheless so no contradiction in following the course of studies accessible to them and then taking up one or another paid position at their level of competence (or even a little above it). This is why those who impart to us their thoughts about revolutions usually refrain from letting us know how they have actually lived." (Guy Debord, In Girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.)

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