from Guy Debord

To Yves Le Manach[1]
4 November 1973
Dear Yves:

As I did not seen you in October, I suppose that your anticipated trip to Paris will come later. I will be here until the last days of November.

I do not believe that our divergence is really on the question "councilist or non-councilist." I would say that it is actually concerning the manner in which a revolutionary movement can develop historically (and, secondarily -- "later" -- on this question: how does one choose which aspects of production must be automated and even then how to correct this automation? I do not believe in the full exercise of individual freedom in the world such as it is currently constructed -- even if, suddenly, the same construction had to continue all alone, without mobilizing the work of the living: dead work would continue even when the air is pumped in to us.) In the formula "workers councils," I do not hold on to its poor past, nor especially to the workers, if by this one means that they must remain workers, without abolishing themselves as the proletariat ("It is to the worker himself that, today, one must take exception . . ."). I hold on to the "councils," that is to say, the assembly of dialogue and execution. Who, all alone, could change -- or forget -- a world that no longer leaves anything outside of a growing collective power, which has been so badly used up to now?

As far as collecting the garbage, for my part I would quite willingly accept such work for a few hours per week, if during this time no one could shelter themselves under intellectual or organizational specializations so as to reserve for themselves work that would no doubt be more absorbing, but [also] considered as more elegant! And the only work that has ever been considered as elegant has been that which consists in organizing the work of others.

On the famous question of "organization," you have noted several points of which I completely approve.

I have finished the montage of The Society of the Spectacle, after two months of factory [work] almost as gay as that which you know to be so well described. Obviously, no one timed each phase of the turbine. But the machine is still far from being automated enough that the operation has become a pleasure. I believe that the film will come out in January; perhaps, indeed, briefly. It is made to displease many people. I hope that it pleases you.

Best wishes,

[1] Letter accompanied by an article from Le Monde, reviewing Le Manach's book. [Translator's note: see Debord's letter to Le Manach dated 23 December 1972.] Guy Debord marked the following phrase as a point of interrogation: "It is to the proletariat, Le Manach says, that it falls to instaurate a workless and classless society, in which the criteria is no longer exchange value, but use value.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 5: Janvier 1973-Decembre 1978 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2005. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! March 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)

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