from Guy Debord

To I.C.O. [1]
17 January 1967

We believe it would be useful to make precise several points concerning the critique of the pamphlet On the Poverty of Student Life in I.C.O. #56.[2]

You must know that we fundamentally approve I.C.O.'s refusal of any organization that has the pretension to lead the revolutionary project. But we do not believe that such a will to "non-existence" should extend as far as a refusal of precise theory and organized efforts to support it. We do not believe that the revolutionary project should be entirely suspended at the appearance of a spontaneity without memory and without language.

Although the pamphlet in question was published (at the expense of the U.N.E.F.[3]) by students who have become anti-unionists, several of the editors of the pamphlet are not and have never been students.

Contrary to your comrade, who takes into account our missives to "intellectuals of the Left" -- of whom we obviously expect nothing -- , we estimate that communicating as openly as possible the relevant texts to the people whom we insult is a basic practice that directly derives from all of our communal requirements.

Finally, it is completely inexact to say that "all that is proposed, when all is said and done," to go beyond the university system is the gathering together of scholarships for study. It appears to us that it explodes in the eyes of any reader that all that is proposed, when all is said and done, to surpass the system is "the absolute power of the Workers' Councils."

For the SI,
[Guy] Debord, [Mustapha] Khayati, [Donald] Nicholson-Smith, [Rene] Vienet

(Written on the letterhead of the journal Internationale Situationniste.)

[1] Translator: Informations et Correspondances Ouvriere (Workers' News and Letters).

[2] Issue for January 1967, p. 16.

[3] Translator: the National Union of French Students.

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 3, 1965-1968. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! August 2005.)

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