from Guy Debord

To J.V. Martin and Maria Isabel Supak[1]
7 February 1972
Dear Comrades:

Thanks to a document of 27 January [1972] addressed to the Council for Conscious Existence,[2] I note that Maria is henceforth a member of the "north region" of the SI. This ipso facto signifies the complete organizational autonomy of the north region from the SI. As I explained to Martin during his most recent trip to Paris, there are now many situationists everywhere; this is a normal product of our era. But we are in close contact with a certain number of them who seem to us to be the most capable of acting as revolutionaires on the historical plane. But none of them are currently members of the SI. The theses that Gianfranco [Sanguinetti] and I will soon publish, and with which these comrades are in agreement concerning the essentials (which I have recently summarized for Martin), affirm that these comrades can not be -- as the necessities of the preceding period imposed -- guaranteed as situationists by a formal membership in the SI considered as a center, with the hierarchical peril that this entails; but they will be guaranteed for themselves and for others solely by their theoretical and practical personal activity with respect to the "real movement that suppresses existing conditions." In any case, the question of association of these comrades among themselves or with us is subordinated to this preliminary consideration, and will only be decided by the necessities of actual struggles in the era that has begun, and certainly not by an abstract abbreviation [the "SI"]. This is why I wrote to Martin, when he was still in Denmark, that we are now opposed to all "memberships" on the old model. It is necessary for us to respond to the problems of present action, and not to parody the preceding forms of accord on what we previously accomplished. I will obviously not contest your right to act according to completely different perspectives, but you will do it, as is normal, for your own account.

Understand well that I am not at all opposed to the fact that Maria is a situationist: it is exactly her problem, but not mine. I only state that our communal responsibility is no longer engaged in what "the north region of the SI" will do in its publications, memberships, ruptures, etc. And reciprocally your responsibility is no longer engaged in what we will do.

But on the basis of this very willingly admitted autonomy, and after the experience of what produced it, we can subsequently discuss with you, at the same time as with other comrades, all questions of coordination or collaboration that can concretely be posed concerning theory, practical struggles [and] the organization of the proletariat.


[1] In 1970, Maria Isabel Supak translated The Society of the Spectacle into English with Fredy Perlman.

[2] Originally based in Massachusetts, the CCE eventually moved to New York City.

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

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