from Guy Debord

To Mezioud Ouldamer
22 November 1985
Dear Mezioud:

We will expect you on 21 December.

We will speak of your plan in more detail. The first summary was good. I already believe that one can say that this book,[1] which will overturn the vile stupidities of both the Left and the Right, must be written -- on this falsely impassioned subject -- in a perfectly impassive tone (Thucydides, Machiavelli and, more recently, Bolloten), by avoiding if possible all value judgments, as if it were a question of geology. This would be the greatest scandal.

Based upon your citations of the laughable errors of the other authors, who are cited so as to excuse yourself from having to say such obvious things, the general thesis must be this: there will be no integration: it is too late for that, and for expulsion, as well. France will not be able to integrate anyone, not because they are too many, but because it has become too few. There no longer is a France. Certainly there is no longer a French culture. There is no longer a "French way of life" (we are the America of the poor). There is no longer a French people. There are, moreover, no longer any Christians, with the result that it is not of question of knowing if the others are Muslims: "the infidel" presupposes the faithful [le fidele] and the French are unfaithful to their destiny, to their history and to their old reputation; they have even lost their old faults! They are spectators, mediatic sheep.[2] If the immigrants can be "an opportunity" for France and can instruct the other countries, it will be by showing, through experience, the extent of the disaster that has carried off all the other countries, the perfection of their dispossession.

To study the style that others have called "cynicism," re-read the Report by Censor[3] and certain passages in my Italian Preface.[4]

We embrace you.

Notes for Mezioud (December 1985)


-- It will be necessary to have a shocking, but true title. For ex,: The Decomposition of France (and the presence of immigrants?)

-- The author, speaking subjectively, must say somewhere: Me, I am . . . this, that. Without playing the friend or the enemy of France. He can expound on what he loves and what he does not love in his history, his ideas, his culture. This would be a very detournement of the Surrealist game: I read such and such; I do not read this and that.

-- Finally, the epigraph might be:

It has become ungovernable, this 'spoiled land' on which new suffering disguises itself under the name of old pleasures, and on which people are so fearful. They turn round in the night and they are consumed by fire. They awaken frightened and they gropingly seek life. It is rumored that those who have expropriated it have, to top it all off, misplaced it.
In girum . . .[5]

[1] The Immigrant Nightmare in the Decomposition of France would be published in November 1986.

[2] Translator's note: the French here, veaux mediatiques, resists translation. There is no equivalent in English for mediatiques, and so -- drawing an analogy with genetiques ("genetics") -- we have gone with the neologism "mediatic." Veaux means both "calves" or "veal" and "lazybones" or "dopes." The word "sheep" seemed to be the best combination of the two attributes: a lazy or docile animal. And so: mediatic sheep.

[3] Translator's note: "Censor" was the pseudonym/personality created by Gianfranco Sanguinetti for his Real Report on the Last Chances to Save Capitalism in Italy (1975).

[4] Translator's note: the Preface to the Fourth Italian Edition of "The Society of the Spectacle" (1979).

[5] Translator's note: The name of Debord's last film: In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni ("We turn round in the night and are consumed by fire"), completed in 1978.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 5: Janvier 1979-Decembre 1987 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2006. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! May 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)

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