Several precise points

1. For a long time, there has been a considerable distance between situationist theory (considered strange and bizarre) and the ideas of the people who write contemporary history (disappearance of the proletariat, progress in the state of well-being, etc). Today, this gap is smaller. This obviously means that real history has advanced and has effected a modernization in its ideology. And to the extent we have been right, a good part of our theories have entered into fashionable ideologies in a suitably deformed manner. But our theories haven't evolved since 1968. It is thus urgent to strongly mark new distances (the organization of the group must come to encourage the meglomaniacal attraction of creativity -- each develops the taste to pleasantly surprise the others, even though they have every reason not be to surprised by anything), at the same time that we radically criticize these ideologies and recover the analysis of real history, those who make it and those who must make it.

2. I propose to call "situationism" all modernist ideology in its entirety. Art, the proletariat, everyday life, urbanism, spectacle -- everything we've said, minus the essential, which one finds widely known everywhere else. In a text against situationism, it would be necessary to show clearly the contrast we draw [1] between history-to-be-made and history-already-made. To show how recent history is made by and against us, to explain why this is so; to denounce situationism by analyzing and giving examples of the ideological confusion all around us. Here is a practical means to create distance between us and our dominant readers (assimilated into the dominant world) by a reversal that we also have the right to apply to our recuperators.

3. At the same time, it is necessary to renew real history, which is inseparable from its falsification, its truth and its possibilities. For example, it is necessary to show how the spectacle miserably attempts to turn over a new leaf: the decomposition of the cultural commodity has reached its centers of production (schools, universities), but spectacular organization reinforces itself because it hasn't been questioned in its totality, because the commodity itself hasn't been purely and simply attacked. One thus assists in an artificial agitation that stages spectacular destruction at the risk of inciting a counter-ideology, which can be the restoration of order and, in all cases, is based upon the non-attacked sector of the commodity (these summary notes must obviously be carried further and corrected). It would also be good if we could have an observer at the next important wildcat strike; following a suggestion made by Tony [Verlaan], a text in issue #13 [2] could analyze the possibilities of revolution in the USSR, an idea that was developed by Francois [de Beaulieu] in his text on agitation.

4. According to the practical method of digression, it would be necessary to show clearly, in a general fashion and citing particular cases, the slippage that exists between the passivity of the worker milieu and the concrete richness of its possibilities for action; it would also be necessary not to be abstract, and to describe the theoretico-practical extension of all gestures that bring about the destruction of the commodity, that is, to restore theory everywhere that the real movement of the revolution exists. I insist one more time that, to spread these critiques throughout the worker milieu, we must define ourself historically in a precise fashion. It is in this same context that it is necessary to reactivate our essential theses, in particular those concerning supercession. It is also the occasion to oppose "the attack against the world of the commodity," of which we are partisans, and terrorism in the style of the Proletarian Left, [3] which one of the these days will bring us into confrontation with the forces of order.

5. Because of the importance of the distribution of #13 and especially the "Manifesto,"[4] it is perhaps fitting, from now on, to study the new forms of hard-hitting information, following the resolutions made by Christian [Sebastiani] and Rene-Donatien [Vienet]. As a corollary to the desirable resolution of our financial problems, can one envision the printing of a fake journal called "Combat" (small format, four pages, shitty paper, bad printing) of ultra-modern literature?

Note: written by Raoul Vaneigem, 21 April 1970. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! August 2004.

Translator's notes:

[1] parti-pris (fixed opinion or prejudice).

[2] The French situationists planned to publish a thirteenth issue of their journal L'Internationale Situationniste, but it never came out.

[3] A descendant of the Maoist Union of Young Communists, la Gauche Proletarienne (the Proletarian Left), was founded in 1969. The group is perhaps best known for its heavy reliance on etablissement, which is the implantation of its members in factories. The group dissolved in 1973. For Vaneigem's critique of "terrorism" (the Proletarian Left was not a terrorist group), see Terrorism or Revolution.

[4] The situationists planned to write and publish a "Situationist Manifesto" modeled on Marx & Engel's "Communist Manifesto" (1848), but never did.

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