from Guy Debord

To Gianfranco Sanguinetti
20 March [19]72
Dear Gianfranco:

I have received your letter #1 of 17 March, after your long letter of the 15th. I will respond quickly, quite briefly because there are many points to take up, and because I am very pressed today: I must see [Michel] Prigent in a little while; and starting today I must start correcting the entire second part of the book [The Veritable Split in the International], which Alice has finished typing up.

a) I am happy that the Theses [on the SI and its time] made you cry. Tomorrow or the day after I will send you the remainder, that is to say:

Notes to serve as the history of the SI, 1969-71.
On the decomposition of our enemies.
Report of G. Debord to the VIIth Conference[1] of the SI (extracts).

The end of the book will still include -- and only -- in this order:

Letter of resignation by R. Vaneigem.
Communique of the SI concerning Vaneigem (December 1970).

(You already have these last two texts.)

b) Vaneigem will publish -- at Champ Libre, naturally -- a short preface to selected morsels by Coeurderoy.[2] This is absolutely lamentable. He has become a pro-situ. He says that he still approves of "the situationist project." As far as the SI, he has no more than "indifference" for it since November 1970! And his text is a veritable pastiche of the Vaneigem style in a theoretical perspective that appears quite clearly decomposed. This text, by itself, suffices to ridicule him; but it will be quite a bit more because this opportune publication furnishes me with the occasion to add two pages of scornful critique to the end of the text "On the decomposition of our enemies." As he writes anything, without even knowing what he wants to say, I have even picked out that he actually says that there is truly no longer "a dominant class" (it is a pure "system," more or less perfectly cyberneticized, etc.).

c) You will see from the attached pages that [Jean-Pierre] Voyer has made a useful discovery: [Rene] Riesel has not paid what he must to Van Gennep (without doubt a million and a half Lira, perhaps two million), obviously because he "diverted" this money before his exclusion. Due to other information, which I have fortuitously come upon since then, I believe that Riesel has taken off, driven by a just worry that his cowardice naturally multiplies to the point of delirium. After all, his nightmares haven't come to an end! He is forever discredited by the attached documents (which I have already sent to [the Institute for Social History in] Amsterdam. And I quite believe that we will find him again, sooner or later.

d) I am in completely agreement with you concerning the Feltrinelli affair. We had a fucking good chance to diffuse our poster several days before [he was murdered]! I am sure that there will be cretins who think or insinuate that it was the SI that assassinated him. We hope that the police will not go as far as this extravagance, if the investigation turns itself towards the hypothesis of a "settlement of accounts among leftists"! Fortunate that we threatened Brega and did so conditionally; and all the same didn't dynamite him! In a more general fashion, one can conclude:

1) From the "Valpreda" affair to the assassination of Feltrinelli, Italy has its Dreyfus affair. There will not be a veritable clarification before a change in the current relations of force. All of the interpretations, and the most diverse fakes, can co-exist over the years, as long as the sick State (which rests upon such adventures) continues to exist.

2) Henceforth, everything is possible in Italy. It is the most dangerous country in the Western world: more than Chicago in the 1930s and probably more than Moscow today, where the opponents are treated by psychiatry rather than by dynamite.

3) It is dangerous to write the book[3] that the Iguana is writing.[4] Thus, he must finish it as soon as possible, also from this point of view.

4) I also send to you a significant phrase by Berlinguer,[5] a little before the most recent blow. The Stalinist party no longer presents itself as the "best support" for the State and the bourgeois order. To this decomposed State, it already presents itself as in the only incarnation of this bourgeois order. This is a situation of double power in repression! Before being in the government, the P.C.I. [Italian Communist Party] shows, even "to its adversaries," that it is already the de facto power that has replaced the failing State.

Gondi [pseudonym for Guy Debord] isn't discouraged by the search for a more modest palace in the area near the Guadalquivir [the Arno River], but no one other than Thucydide [Gianfranco Sanguinetti] (and certainly not Nadja [Celeste]) must know of this project, the steps that it involves or the future location.

f) Perhaps more serious than all that precedes it: Vaconsin isn't your attorney but the attorney of the police. He has considerably aggravated everything (so as to ameliorate his own affairs in liaison with to the Minister of the Interior). He dares to openly ask you to become an informer in the SI and the revolutionary movement. His phrases leave no doubt: they would love "to have unpublished information"! It is necessary for you "to merit the recognition" of the police (whereas it is the minister who is guilty of an arbitray gesture towards you), as if you are a captured gangster, to whom one proposes that he should give up his accomplices so as to avoid the penitentiary.

The simple fact that Vaconsin has written to you such an outrageous letter is already compromised. It is clear that you must renounce any return to France in the current context. It isn't even necessary to take the safe-conduct of the consulate (because [French Interior Minister] Marcellin will not leave you any illusion concerning a voyage of several days: to come would already be, given the brutal terms of Vaconsin's letter, to engage you to serve partially -- that is to say, in fact, always, totally). You must immediately write to Vaconisn:

1) that you refuse this outrageous proposition;
2) that he is no longer your attorney.

With Mignoli, immediately see what can possibility be done (with another French attorney) so as to make you "render justice," if possible, against the arbitrariness of Marcellin, and against the aggravated circumstance of this persecution: to know that one asks you, by becoming an informer, "to merit" the benevolence of the police who had no right to expell you. He is so extravagant that he asks you in writing what the police have tried to insinuate in a conversation, that one must even ask oneself, What manoeuvre do they have in mind from now on?

g) With Mignoli, see what can be done, as soon as possible, where the cinema is concerned, after Rosboch's notorious breakdown.

Send me all the news as soon as possible.

See you soon,

[1] Written in the margin: "July 1966."

[2] Ernest Coeurderoy, For the Revolution, preceded by Terrorism or Revolution by Raoul Vaneigem, Editions Champ Libre, 14 March 1972.

[3] On the class struggle in Italy.

[4] Nickname of Gianfranco Sanguinetti.

[5] Enrico Berlinguer, Secretary General of the Italian Communist Party.

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 4, 1969-1972. Footnotes by Alice Debord. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! July 2005.)

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