from Guy Debord

To Gianfranco Sanguinetti
7 May [19]71
Dear Gianfranco:

Yesterday I received your letter #9, from 3 May [1971].

To speak at first of the simplest affair.[1] I am not an expert in juridico-economic matters. You certainly know as much as I do, and I believe that soon you will know much more. It seems to me that, as you yourself said, the manoeuvre of your lawyer agreeably confirms the importance of the stakes and the probable facility of your victory (since the S[2] have so much to fear); but a victory only from the moment at which you can actually take action on its "natural" terrain. And this seems difficult! It is also very good to have understood the perfidy of that lawyer. But it would be still better to have found a loyal one.

It is necessary at all costs to find a committed lawyer (very bourgeois or very gangster, it matters little). You must not allow any document to get lost with the perfidious lawyer, except photocopies, if you have the originals. For the choice of a new lawyer, the first test must be that he immediately begins all of the procedural formalities by immediately drafting and sending off all relevant documents in your presence. The fact of (openly) having two new, distinct lawyers can be a security, if both accept this and if their very different styles render improbable their simultaneous agreement with the family and against you. If things go as they do in France, a new lawyer will only accept your case by notifying the old one (the traitor) that you want to replace him. In any case, it is necessary to move as quickly as possible.

It is completely possible that a letter from the "ragioniere" [accountant] has been sent to the Post Office Box in Paris. "Normally," one can write to it with the name "SI" and the name of the director (currently [Rene] Riesel). But we have often received letters addressed to someone c/o "SI." I suppose that you have received this registered letter from the "ragioniere" -- which Riesel withdrew, I do not know why -- which I sent to Chiacca's place, with other letters for you, a little before my letter to the highschooler. I have already spoken of it several times.

I still haven't received The Prince and the map of the region of upper Arroscia.

The Cosenza-Florence tract is very good. Do you or your comrades have the anti-SI document by the Congress of the F.A.I.[3] (and/or the newspapers that speak of it)?

The sketch of the current regroupment is very interesting, notably, as you say, at this moment, when all of our strategies (and thus also those that we might recommend for this regroupment) pass through the possibility of an agreement with the workers of Turin. If something serious can be undertaken there soon, this would be the determining element for all points of view. When we have precise information and conclusions on the possibilities that (perhaps) appear around Turin, I believe that we must discuss them in Paris, rather than only in an exchange of letters. It will be a question of being creative! It would be necessary to meet at least Puni [Cesoni] and you together, and if possible someone else from Turin.

In case a practical emergency is confirmed, and if it is easier for you, I can also come to Turin at the end of the month. But if nothing is too pressing, it would perhaps be good if Puni at first comes to Paris, as he had the idea for the project.

Concerning the regroupment in general -- if the precise question of the SI is posed -- I summarize for you here the conclusions that we want to publish in the editorial notes for I.S. #13 (and the extension that these notes will have in the Italian situation):

1) Now "situationists" are everywhere. Certain ones will be in the SI, the specific organization of the situationists who personally and actually occupy themselves with "the avant-garde" of our theory (which comprehends its practice).

2) The other revolutionaries adopting our theses must prove what they are, not with respect to the SI -- "as center" -- but in front of the real proletarian movement (of which we are a part).

3) The ensemble of revolutionary praxis will judge them. But the SI specifically will charge itself with judging all those who belong to the SI.

4) Among those who are revolutionaries, those who are already called "situationists" by their enemies, but who act under their own autonomous responsibility -- as one can call oneself Marxist without engaging the historical responsibility of Marx, nor that of [Alain] Krivine! -- have to prove their revolutionary position in the concrete activity, without "direction," that guarantees them. The contemplative situationists, as much as Maurice Joyeux[4] and the anarchists, will remain imbeciles who are external to the question. The contemplative pro-situs who were in the SI will re-join them in the dustbin of history (but this is immediately our specific work, because we, as an organized group, have confered upon them a certain excessive valorization that the others have not simulated.).

5) The Italian regroupment -- which we must help become the most radical and the most extensive it can be (and at first among the workers of the North) -- can take any "title." One can also consider that it [taking names other than "the Situationist International"] is a good formula against repression. Theoretical agreement doesn't imply organizational agreement. [Police inspector] Calabresi can know who is in agreement with us on theories, but less easily who is engaged in the same precise action.

6) Obviously, at a subsequent stage, it will be necessary to consider the organizations in Italy and other countries with which we enter into precise and formal relations. If the current possibilities are confirmed,[5] after having put into contact diverse individuals and groups in Italy, one can put the Italian regroupment into contact with people in France and elsewhere.

I have written this "by fits and starts" and a little at random -- because I don't know very well where the discussion in Italy is, and I don't know if such questions are already posed by many of the comrades concerned. I would especially like to keep you up to date on the formulations since our last meeting in Paris.

Cordially yours,

[1] Affair of family succession. [Translator: it would appear that the Sanguinettis tried to keep Gianfranco from inheriting the family fortune.]

[2] The members of the Sanguinetti family.

[3] Text of a document presented at the 10th Congress of the Italian Anarchist Federation and directed against the SI (cf. The Veritable Split, Librarie Artheme Fayard, pp. 116-117).

[4] Cf. Correspondance, vol. III, p. 141.

[5] Written in the margin: "If workers are involved in this regroupment, they will be quite indifferent to this question of the label. But it is possible that high-school comrades or disoccupatti [the unemployed] attach great importance to it. One will see in Italy, but much more quickly, the process that created the good and bad 'glory' of the SI in France."

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 4, 1969-1972. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted. Translated from the French and, where necessary, from the Italian by NOT BORED! July 2005.)

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