VANEIGEM, Raoul. Le Crépuscule des bureaucratesn.p.: n.p., n.d. [ca. 1975]. 121 p.; tape-bound with green covers.

Original movie script written by Raoul Vaneigem, which remains unpublished to this dayFront page: “Il ne suffit pas de crier : À bas le salariat ! À bas l’argent ! À bas l’État !…il faut créer très vite les conditions qui accélèrent l’effondrement du système dominant et généralisent l’autogestion par la construction libre de la vie quotidienne” (“It is not enough to scream: Down with employment! Down with money! Down wit the State!…One must rapidly create the conditions that will precipitate the fall of the dominant system and spread self-management through the construction of daily life”)

The content and tone reminds us of Ratgeb’s (i.e. Vaneigem’s) in De la grève sauvage à l’autogestion généralisée (From wildcat strike to total self management), published by 10/18 in 1974. While somewhat reminscent of Debord’s film adaptation of La société du spectacle (Society of the Spectacle) from 1974 – there are plenty of detourned images of factories, subways, low income housing, and yes, young women – the content is more accessible and rooted in History (vs. theory).

The first third of the film outlines the misery of daily life in modern-day capitalist societies. Work and commodities are everywhere to be found, while passion is absent.  P.28: “Et pourtant, il y avait mieux a faire que de travailler. Il y avait mieux a faire que de vieillir dans l’ennui et le mensonge” (“Yet, there were better things to do than work. There were better things to do than do grow old in boredom and lies”). P. 29. “Sous le fatras des images, les désirs et les passions sont la, en nous, vivants et emprisonnés.” (“Under this hodge-podges of images, desire and passion remain, inside us, alive but locked up”)

The second third of the film is devoted to the history (and failure) of workers’ councils around the world: The Paris Commune in 1871, the Russian Soviets in 1905, the Italian Councils in 1920, The Durutti Column in 1937,  The Csepel councils in 1956, etc..). We’d like to call out guest appearances by Lenine, Staline, Trotsky and Mao-Tse-Tung (as talking dogs), among others.

The last third of the film is in B&W with no sound. As in silent film, dialogue is conveyed by the use of muted gestures and mime in conjunction with title cards. This part showcases the successful takeover of factories by workers – giving viewers a glimpse of the world that could be. P.88: “L’autogestion se généralise quand elle assure a tous, de façon irréversible, le passage de la survie a une vie passionnante” (“Self-management grows when it guarantees to all the shift from survival to a passionate life”). P.101: “Vous n’avez que l’ennui a perdre et un monde a construire” (“All you have to lose is boredom, and a new world that is yet to be built”)

Not on OCLC or in the trade.