from Guy Debord

To Mustapha Khayati
Wednesday [19 October 1966]
Dear Mustapha:

For our titles,[1] I have found these so far -- supposing that there will be three phrases from Marx and that these phrases will be quite long.

I. It is necessary to render real oppression still more difficult by adding to it the consciousness of oppression, and rendering shame still more shameful by making it public.

II. It does not suffice that thought searches for realization; it is necessary that reality searches for thought.

III. To give the world consciousness of its consciousness, to wake it from the dream in which it is submerged and bring it to its proper subject, explain its own action to it.

The second corresponds well to the analysis of the new currents of revolt; the third pleases me a little less: it is a good programme for theory, but doesn't quite show the milieu of theory -- the new [revolutionary] organization -- as the place of dialogue. It is a little in the image of a unilateral instruction, although the phrase expresses the contrary (it is only the recuperative usage of it by the workers party since Marx's time that evokes this authoritarian role).

In any case, it is not necessary to have two quotations from Marx and one from another. It is necessary to have three from Marx or three from three different authors (one of whom is Marx) so as to keep the game in a good equilibrium.

If Marx has only the first phrase (abridged), Hegel can introduce the second part with one of these titles:

-- "To look the negative in the face and to know to stay close to it."
-- "Movement itself is contradiction's immediate existence."

But then, who would be the third author? See to it yourselves.[2]

See you soon,

P.S. Beware of a printer who says "fifteen days." He is thinking twenty-five days.

How long will "our publishers" [the Strasbourg students] make us wait for the money? As Jean [Garnault] must have told you, the affair in Belgium[3] unfolded marvelously; no echo since then.

[1] Titles of the three chapters of the pamphlet On the Poverty [of Student Life].

[2] Translator: the three titles ended up being "To make shame more shameful still by making it public," "It is not enough for theory to seek its realization in practice; practice must seek its theory," and "To create at last a situation that goes beyond the point of no return."

[3] See the letter to Verhesen of 4 July 1966 [note #2].

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

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