from Guy Debord

To Paolo Salvadori
29 January 1990
Caro campagno[1]

It is true that we sometimes encounter each other thanks to good luck. Let us take this opportunity to hasten the elucidation of a question, the considerable practical value of which you see clearly. And during your most recent sojourn, you yourself saw 1) how much I have the obligation to be distant; and 2) the harmful facility of certain pseudo-discussions with people who are suspect or the friends of people who are suspect.

Thanks for the documents. In potlatch I send to you several others (it really was the eleventh "letter"[2]) and also, in sum, several comments that you can consider to be completely certain.

In your letter of 27 April,[3] you have almost entirely understood what Fargette[4] really was. And someone who reads it will arrive by him or herself -- simply by following the internal logic -- at a definite conclusion. Here resides, for the Encyclopedists,[5] the necessity of picking a fight with you, but not by letter. Rather, in vino libertas.[6]

The one named Fargette, if that is in fact his real name, had quite naturally read an excellent book in 1988[7] and he immediately drew the conclusion. His ex-friends also read it (unlike its author, they knew F[argette] personally and thus many other elements that had surely awakened their mistrust). But they chose to "cover" their ex-manipulator; at least due to an ill-advised pride, hoping to save something of their own "prestige," of which one had already seen them make a very poor usage, and which has now become truly dangerously culpable. Thus, they can still pretend to ask themselves -- along with the journalist-cops -- if there were several "exaggerations" in [the] Comments (and to conclude magnanimously that this book is nevertheless true as a whole), whereas they themselves have extraordinary concrete proofs of it due to their own unfortunate experience! Thus, by hiding all this, one renders better service to all the police forces than to the global revolutionary movement.

In this context, you are asked -- to gain time -- to re-read (so vainly) all of the "Italian dossier" so as to finally clarify their "honest ignorance." So many years after so many unquestionable revelations and confessions![8] But it is a question of them finding a way of gently distancing themselves from F[argette], who was suddenly distanced from them, by leaving them with the compromised stupidity of having so clumsily and stupidly supported him in all kinds of inconceivable circumstances. The Encyclopedists today claim to find in this curious person other, unexpected faults that, due to "honest error," they didn't see immediately (too generous perhaps or too habituated with the pro-situ milieu?). They want to make the cretins who remain their last dupes forget that the very subject in question absolutely does not permit "an honest error."

Re-read Martos and X.[9] They have a thousand faults. But it is completely obvious that, on the subject of their pamphlet, they were completely right. This is why the Encyclopedists have only responded to them indirectly.

By an abuse of trust of the same type, you are invited to furnish ideas and arguments in a scholarly discussion about Poland. And to whom? To the man[10] who was, on allegedly "revolutionary" matters, the most consistently misled and rightist on Poland (he was a Walesist enthusiast in 1980; cf. L'Assommoir[11]). Perhaps this is why he detests Martos, who has always been right on this question. In brief, he detests all those who have been right about anything (this is his taste). On the contrary, he quite naturally likes those who on the totality of such questions have pretended to be wrong as part of their trade.

Yes, I think that a pamphlet against the "emotional plague" would be very useful, at the moment in which the revolution still risks such a large offensive, and in which so many hotbeds and pseudo-theoreticians are in a position to lie about the subject according to the most-recent modern techniques of repression. But a concrete and logical critique, then. One need not know who gives orders to a disinformer and in what form he is paid: but simply to see exactly what he does and by this to understand and say what he will inevitably serve.


[1] Translator's note: "Dear comrade" in Italian.

[2] A journal published in February 1989.

[3] To Jaime Semprun [editor of the Encyclopedia of Nuisances].

[4] Guy Fargette.

[5] Translator's note: the Encyclopedia of Nuisances.

[6] Translator's note: a detournement of the famous Latin proverb.

[7] Comments on the Society of the Spectacle.

[8] On the Moro Affair, eleven years latter. [Translator's note: see Debord's letter to Sanguinetti dated 21 April 1978.]

[9] The Encyclopedia of Powers by Jean-Francois Martos and Jean-Pierre Baudet. [Translator's note: In 2007 Baudet requested that neither his name nor his letters appear in this volume.]

[10] Translator's note: Jaime Semprun.

[11] "Considerations sur l'etat actuel de la Pologne," L'Assommoir #4, January 1981.

[12] "Simultaneously" (an allusion to a story told in Florence).

[13] Translator's note: The street in Florence on which Guy Debord once lived.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 7: Janvier 1988-Novembre 1994 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2008. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! December 2008. Footnotes by the publisher, except where noted.)

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