To Jonathan Horelick and Tony Verlaan


Comrades:

What we would like to do now to continue situationist theory and practice appears extremely different from the preoccupations expressed in your long document of 16 November. [1]

After your preceding documents, we have determined that your position is futile. We maintain this appreciation in view of your most recent extensive production of the same futility: when you write longer, you aren't less futile. On the contrary!

Sometimes you have even gone beyond futility: you go so far as to write literally anything; and one can ask for what purpose. On 21 September [1970] you wrote us that work on #2 of your journal [2] and all other projects would be suspended until the completion of what you claim to be our collective activity. On 22 September [1970],[3] in scandalous contradiction with your resolutions of the day before, you asked us about the European projects "that warrant the apportionment of the SI's funds." On 6 October, you announced to us [4] your intention to realize six publications "in the next twelve months," with the announcement of a "next issue in mid-November," without accounting for additional projects in the cinema, [and] rock 'n' roll. You haven't even made an attempt to explain such comic reversals.

We note that you persist in demanding to recommence the discussions of an eventual regroupment, especially with [Francois de] Beaulieu and [Eduardo] Rothe. [5] You thus indicate your contempt for the real problems facing the SI's activity by associating together -- using a simple formalist interpretation (not very rigorous, moreover) of the rules of exclusion -- two individuals who cannot be compared. Eduardo Rothe, although his error was unacceptable and recognized by all, himself included, is one of the most estimable comrades who has ever participated in the SI; Beaulieu is a cunt, quite sordid, one of the worst fakers -- he was very clever to resign the moment he was criticized, that is to say, about an hour before being ignominiously excluded for having dissimulated and falsified the SI's correspondence with [revolutionaries in] Spain. Meanwhile, we -- bearing in mind the real difference [between Rothe and Beaulieu] that you have forgotten, and for methodological reasons, above all others -- won't discuss a regroupment that includes either of these two men, as you know quite well. This precise imcompatibility between our decisions already implies a split. Furthermore, regarding the insight that "too few faults have been considered unacceptable," you don't seem to see the profound critique that it names and that we have begun to formulate. In saying that [Guy] Debord hasn't been severe enough concerning several superficial errors in the preceding period, you simplistically insinuate -- without right or reason, six months late, and with a transoceanic lack of awareness -- that we must exclude many comrades, notably [Rene] Riesel, [Christian] Sebastiani and perhaps [Gianfranco] Sanguinetti. We find that the pleasantries have lasted long enough. Beyond these trifles, there is a fundamental point that opposes us. We consider your activity and existence, in theory, real practice, etc. -- in short, all that is supposed to justify relations and collectively organized action with you -- to be very small. On the other side of the balance, we have seen a pile of chicaneries, bitterness, unjustified exigencies, that is to say, a pseudo-participation from a great distance and little suited to the problems that we face here. You, who have spoken of the autonomy of the sections, are too absent in America and too present in Europe in the form of letters to us, which appears to be the only terrain of your incoherent "practice." We aren't very interested in an "action" that is "collective" in inverse proportion to the importance of its subjects.

In conclusion, from now on, the split is effected. Henceforth, your autonomous situationist activity is undertaken under your own responsibility; search out the dialogue that suits you with Beaulieu, or [Alain] Chevalier, or any other person with whom we haven't wanted to maintain contact. We propose that we continue to exchange our diverse publications and, naturally, all texts publically circulated on our split and the polemics that ensue. But we are no longer interested in an "internal" correspondence for which the organizational base doesn't exist.

Revolutionary salutations

Note: written by Guy Debord, Rene Riesel, Gianfranco Sanguinetti and Reene Vienet, Paris, 29 November 1970. Published in Guy Debord: Letters, vol IV, 1969-1972. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! August 2004.

Translator's notes:

[1] A small mistake: the letter was dated 17 November 1970, not 16 November.

[2] The first issue of the journal of the American section of the SI, Situationist International, was published in June 1969. A second one was never completed.

[3] This letter is not available.

[4] This letter is not available.

[5] Francois de Beaulieu resigned from the French section of the SI in 1970. Eduardo Rothe was excluded from the Italian section in the Spring of 1970.




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