De Stijl Group, “Manifesto III: Towards a New World Plasticism”
Translated from the Dutch by Hans L.C. Jaffé.
In De Stijl. (H.N. Abrams. New York:1971).
• • •
A new world plasticism has now begun.
The capitalists are deceivers, but the socialists are equally deceivers.
The former want to possess, so also do the latter. The former want to swallow up much money, many people and much rump steak, but the latter wish to swallow up the former. Which is worse? Will they be successful?
We are completely unconcerned.
We know only this one thing: only the bearers of the (new) spirit are upright, they want only to give. Disinterestedly. They are emerging from among all people, in every land. They are free of deceitful phrases: they do not address each other as ‘brother,’ ‘master’ or ‘Comrade.’ A spiritual language is again being spoken and in this language they understand one another.
The bearers of the new spirit of the age do not form a sect, church, or school.
In the old world spiritual concentration (Christ) and material concentration (capitalism) were the possession, the axis around which the whole nation developed. Now the spirit has been dispersed. In spite of that, the bearers of the spirit are joined together. Internally.
There is no longer any help for Europe. Concentration and possession, spiritual and material individualism were the foundations of the old Europe. It imprisoned itself in them. It can no longer escape from them. It is going to ruin. We look on calmly. Even if we were able to do so, we should not wish to help. We do not wish to prolong this old prostitute’s life.
Already a new Europe has begun in us. The ludicrous socialist-1-2-3 Internationals were only external; they consisted only of words. The international of the spirit is internal, unexpressed. It does not consist of words, but of creative deeds and internal force. Spiritual force. With this, a new world order is being formed.
We do not call to the nations ‘Unite’ or ‘Join with us.’ We do not proclaim anything to the nations. We know that those who join us belong front the beginning to the new spirit. With them alone does the spiritual body of the new world permit itself to be formed. Work!
[From De Stijl, Vol. IV, No. 8, pp. 124-125]