Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.

Lenin concludes: “[those] who have no illusions, who do not give way to despondency, and who preserve their strength and flexibility ‘to begin from the beginning’ over and over again in approaching an extremely difficult task, are not doomed (and in all probability will not perish).” This is Lenin at his Beckettian best, echoing the line from Worstward Ho: “Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.” This conclusion – “to begin from the beginning over and over again” – makes it clear that he is not talking about merely slowing down progress in order to fortify what has already been achieved, but more radically aboutĀ returning to the starting point: one should “begin from the beginning” not from the peak one may haveĀ  successfully reached in the previous effort. In Kierkegaardian terms, a revolutionary process involves not a gradual process, but a repetitive movement, a movement of repeating the beginning again and again.

Slavoj Zizek (2009) First as Tragedy, Then as Farce