Readers of Vaneigem’s now-classic work The Revolution of Everyday Life, which as one of the main contributions of the Situationist International was a herald of the May 1968 uprisings in France, will find much to challenge them in these pages written in the highest idiom of subversive utopianism.
Written some thirty-five years after the May “events,” this short book poses the question of what kind of world we are going to leave to our children. “How could I address my daughters, my sons, my grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” wonders Vaneigem, “without including all the others who, once precipitated into the sordid universe of money and power, are in danger, even tomorrow, of being deprived of the promise of a life that is undeniably offered at birth as a gift with nothing expected in return?”
A Letter to My Children provides a clear-eyed survey of the critical predicament into which the capitalist system has now plunged the world, but at the same time, in true dialectical fashion, and “far from the media whose job it is to ignore them,” Vaneigem discerns all the signs of “a new burgeoning of life forces among the younger generations, a new drive to reinstate true human values, to proceed with the clandestine construction of a living society beneath the barbarity of the present and the ruins of the Old World.”
- “In this fine book, the Situationist author, whose writings fueled the fires of May 1968, sets out to pass down the foundational ideals of his struggle against the seemingly all-powerful fetishism of the commodity and in favor of the force of human desire and the sovereignty of life.” —Jean Birnbaum, Le Monde
- “A startling and invigorating restatement for the present ghastly era of humanity’s choice: socialism or barbarism.” —Dave Barbu, Le Nouveau Père Duchesne
About the Contributors:
- Born in 1934, Raoul Vaneigem is a writer and a former member of the Situationist International. His works include The Book of Pleasures, A Cavalier History of Surrealism, Contributions to the Revolutionary Struggle, and the globally influential text The Revolution of Everyday Life.
- John Holloway is a professor of sociology at the Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades in the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, Mexico. His books include We Are the Crisis of Capital: A John Holloway Reader (2019); Beyond Crisis: After the Collapse of Institutional Hope in Greece, What? (2019); In, Against, and Beyond Capitalism: The San Francisco Lectures (2016); and Change the World without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today (2002).
- Born in Manchester, England, Donald Nicholson-Smith is a longtime resident of New York City. He has translated many Situationist works, including Vaneigem’s A Cavalier History of Surrealism (AK Press, 1999) and The Revolution of Everyday Life (revised ed., PM Press, 2012), Guy Debord by Anselm Jappe (2nd ed., PM Press, 2018), and Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle (Zone, 1994).
Author: Raoul Vaneigem • Afterword: John Holloway • Translator: Donald Nicholson-Smith
Publisher: PM Press
Page count: 128
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