from Guy Debord

To Yves Chotard[1]
17 December [19]67
Dear comrade:

Everything that you say about your action in Nantes[2] appears extremely attractive. The silence of the press is indeed symptomatic of the worries that you cause. I believe that this silence will soon be broken: one tells me that there will be an article on the action in the next issue of Le Nouvel Observateur.

Send us some copies of the tracts that you've published.[3] We are completely in agreement with you on principles. We want "disciple-groups" as little as we want individual disciples (thus, we have rejected the Rennes group,[4] with which you had a stormy encounter because it demanded a "fusion" of an unequal type). We are partisans of the autonomy of diverse organizations that can be recognized as revolutionary (by their theory and by their practice). What title has your organization taken -- or will take -- to manifest its autonomy and its refusal to connect itself to the old ideological labels? Perhaps it would be a good tactic to form something like the "Committees for Workers' Councils," simultaneously, on different local bases?

From this equality of independence, one can on occasion deepen the most coherent relations with other groups or individuals. On such bases, we are obviously in agreement on all the useful forms of reciprocal aid. Naturally, we will send you the material that you would like to distribute (in the same way that we will do the best we can to make known your own publications and actions).

Enclosed is the text of the motion, which we have finally recovered.[5] We will send you copies of I.S. #1 and the Poverty [of Student Life].

[Mustapha] Khayati believes that he responded to you (are you sure of your mailbox?); nevertheless, he has taken responsibility for responding to many letters; he might have misplaced yours, which we read aloud at a meeting. Write me henceforth at the address that is on the other side of the envelop.

We do not know anyone named Baro. He isn't subscribed [to Internationale Situationniste]. Moreover, our subscribers are obviously people of whom we know nothing: the others receive the journal for free.

I can not judge your intentions as far as anarcho-syndicalism, since you say that you still have not determined under which "forms" you will practice it. This will obviously be the important question; but it is for you to experiment with. I am much more clearly sceptical about all "entrist" tactics[6]; but it is very good to have contact with the workers. I know that, in this respect, the conditions in Nantes are very particular. A great part of the workers' combativity in Nantes Saint-Nazaire is certainly the product of old traditions that have been maintained (and of the region's economic age). It would be an experiment of great importance if you can attempt a meeting of the old tendencies of the workers' struggles with the requirements of the most modern kind. The lesson would be very useful for several countries (Spain, for example).

In the legal actions that have been brought against us here [in Paris] for incitation to various crimes in the poster-strips designed by the SI,[7] our lawyers fear that one will apply to us the nearly forgotten laws concerning anarchist intrigues; the maximum [sentence] would be a firm five years! But one can suppose that this would give the occasion for a beautiful agitation campaign.

Have you seen the books by [Raoul] Vaneigem and I, which have recently been published, in bookstores in Nantes?

Keep us current on the developments.

Guy Debord

P.S. Are you in contact with I.C.O.[8] (address: Blachier, 13 bis, rue Labois-Rouillon, Paris, 19th)? There are many important things in this publication. If you write them -- for example, on our behalf -- perhaps they can put you in contact with correspondents in Nantes.

[1] Yves Chotard, anarcho-syndicalist student from Nantes, a members of the Alarm group.

[2] Within the General Association of the Students from Nantes.

[3] On the model of Strasbourg, proclaiming the definitive closure of the University Office of Psychological Help in Nantes, 22 November 1967.

[4] Translator: see letter dated 10 October 1967.

[5] Motion proposed on 11 January 1967 by the Mental Hygiene Commission of the Strasbourg section of the M.N.E.F. [National Mutual Benefit Association of French Students], demanding the closure of the University Office of Psychological Help.

[6] Translator: "entering" (introducing) a member of a revolutionary organization into a workers' group.

[7] Translator: the poster-strips were intended to publicize the publication of I.S. #11.

[8] Translator: Informations et Correspondances Ouvriere (Workers' Information and Newletter).

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 3, 1965-1968. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! September 2005.)

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