"There are more truths in twenty-four hours of a man's life than in all the philosophies."
-- Raoul Vaneigem
Raoul Vaneigem, born in 1934 at Lessines in Hainaut, Belgium, was the only son of a socialist railway worker.
With his father's influence, Vaneigem developed his personal politics fairly early in life. As a youngster growing up in a working class setting in post-war Belgium, he attended meetings for young socialists of a libertarian persuasion.
After high school, Vaneigem attended the Free University of Brussels where he studied romantic philology. Around this time he became interested in communism, but after reading some Stalinist and Trotskyist literature he decided that communism was not for him.
In 1960 Vaneigem sent some essays to Henri Lefèvre, an influential philosopher at the time. Lefèvre in turn sent Vaneigem's work to lettrist Guy Debord, who had recently founded the Situationist International. The two met and immediately identified with one another. In 1961, when many Belgian workers were going on strike, Raoul Vaneigem joined the SI.
Over the years he wrote a number of texts concerning society and politics. In 1967 The Revolution of Everyday Life was published at the same time as Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle. The two books soon became quintessential situationist works. Vaneigem's poetic rhetoric provided a much needed counterbalance to Debord's minimalist polemic style.
Raoul Vaneigem resigned from the SI in November of 1970, citing the failures of the SI as well as himself in his letter of resignation. He went on to pursue his own interests and continues to write. He currently lives somewhere in Belgium.