from Guy Debord

To Rodolphe Gasche
22 September 1962
Dear Rodolphe

I find the projects that you describe in your most recent letter to be very good. All of them can constitute an excellent approach to what you have called our communal project.

I don't see anything inconvenient with your collaboration with [Dieter] Kunzelmann and [Hans-Peter] Zimmer. We don't have a metaphysical conception of exclusion. A break with the S[ituationist] I[nternational] signifies an objective disagreement on a central point, but obviously doesn't automatically signify dishonorable intentions nor always-worse positions. This is particularly clear in the cases of Kunzelmann and Zimmer, whom, as you know, we value for many of their qualities and intentions. Due to the unfortunately forseeable commercial-artistic banalization of Fischer, Sturm and Prem, which you have described to me, it seems that the "radical wing" of the old Spurist group has understood that it is obliged to make a choice. This was exactly what we affirmed at the February meeting [of the SI] in Paris. It is regrettable, perhaps, that Kunzelmann and Zimmer didn't recognize the justness of our position (let us at least speak of Kunzelmann, who recognized it well enough to not draw up a statement of opinion against it). But it is necessary to take account of the fact that, when it comes to experiments of a certain importance, it is very positive to do them by oneself, rather than under the imperative instructions of others, even other comrades (this is why we now try to give maximum coherence to the SI -- not in an ideology that is monolithically obvious, but on the level of theoretical reference and creative participation in the ensemble of our problems. Rapid numerical expansion, which is always immediately experienced by avant-garde groups that are authentic, must be subordinated to this sort of quality: which was not done by the SI in '60-'61).

We await with interest and sympathy the German journal that you've announced. And, naturally, we will judge it on its quality. On its general contribution and its diverse positions. For example, its statements of opinion with respect to "old Spurism" and Nashism (if Nashism lasts long enough). I hope that we can maintain a good exchange with this journal -- we will soon have an SI journal in German -- which most surely doesn't forbid us from making reciprocal critiques on all points of divergence.

Then, based upon this development, perhaps we will arrive at a more strict and formalized collaboration with you -- and, eventually, others -- in the SI.

Appropriately, the tactic of the SI in the current period is to encourage the different groups to be autonomous, even those that are very close to us, work towards the same perspective and aren't likely to fall into positions that would oblige us to break with them in the future. Today I sent you a small journal[1], published by a group of revolutionary students in Bordeaux, that contains an article on "art and revolution"[2] with which you might not be acquainted. This might be a group from which, a little later, we bring out one or two very effective comrades.

Thus, one can hope that, in advancing slowly, our possible participation in a more solidly founded, collective action will one day be larger and more durable.

Alas, I have not received the [cigarette] lighter, and don't know if the fault lies with the Post Office -- such a little package -- or with my reactionary concierge (I wasn't in Paris during this period). I thank you all the same. This said, I think it would be better to wait until your next visit to Paris for the cyanide.

Quite amicably,

[1] Notes Critiques, #3.

[2] "For a revolutionary judgment of art," by Guy Debord.

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 2, 1960-1964. Footnotes by Alice Debord. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! May 2005.)

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