from Guy Debord

To Bechir Tlili[1]
14 May 1963

[...] We are only closed upon the "dogma" that there is a necessary (and dialectical) connection between ideas and behaviors; and that "private" behaviors are also social behaviors.

If one lives among the politenesses, lies, fashions, communal interests and solidarities of intellectuals (of the "party" or, having broken with the party, of the CNRS) -- and, at the same time, one is involved in other behaviors of this type -- one can only understand or not understand certain ideas that come from real break [with the dominant order]. Thus, in his attitude towards us, as in one or two of his books, [Henri] L[efebvre] feigns to believe that we live -- practically -- in his world, that is, in the world of the recognized intelligentsia, the publishers and benefactors of critique. And thus, being of this world, we feel an anger, a bad humour and a quite exaggerated -- and perhaps personal -- aggressivity against such-and-such an Axelos[2] or against nearly everyone. But we do not want nor can we be recognized by this world. Naturally, we have all the inconveniences (but also the "creative" advantages) of not being thinkers guaranteed by the State. But, knowing this, we cannot tolerate the double-play of those who feign to ignore it. And even the "polemic" that we have made against L[efebvre] isn't a polemic in the old, intellectual sense of the term. He knows that very few people understand us and he doesn't respond. This is a modern man! Obviously we are more modern than he is, but we must still make "our time" come.

The foreword is: although L doesn't seem to have met in us the "theoretical void" -- he traffics in the theoretical void of importation; he is able to produce himself! -- we have nothing to do with the beautiful spirits of good will. We have nothing to do with dogma at any degree of thought.

[1] Fragment of "a letter to Bechir."

[2] Kostas Axelos, co-founder of the journal Arguments.

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

To Contact NOT BORED!
ISSN 1084-7340.
Snail mail: POB 1115, Stuyvesant Station, New York City 10009-9998