A correspondent has suggested that in my post about Carlos the Jackal, Vanguardism is Vanity, I do not give sufficent weight to élan, both revolutionary and counter revolutionary.She suggests that the tools I disrespect, commitment and absolutism, are the key tools for overthrowing capitalism. Furthermore only a dilettante in revolutionary shenanigans would view these matters as pathos and bathos, the prism of sympathy distorting my view.
Naturally chastened by such a response I have spent the day wondering if I have maligned revolutionaires around the world and throughout history. But I haven’t, it is really clear to me that if subordinate everything to the cause then everything else is diminished in substance and in the abstract. If nothing matters but the revolution then nothing matters.
I couldn’t help but think as I sat in traffic that élan sounds pretty good as a basis for action but it didn’t work for the French.