Recent advances concerning the SI

"The verbal gesticulations of the situationists do not have consequences [...] Furthermore, it is curious to see the eagerness of the bourgeois press, which refuses to pass on information emanating from the revolutionary workers' movement, to take up and popularize the gesticulations of these puppets." -- Monde Libertaire (January 1967)


"Although I no longer collaborate on Le Monde Libertaire, I do not like to see it denigrated by one who publishes in it, nor to see one avoid, with perjorative intention, all allusions to libertarian action with regard to situationism, this new form of Baroque-ism [...] I have read the texts of the pamphlet in question (style, intentions and insults) dozens of times before 1914 [...] It remains that the modernism of the situationists smells too much of patch-work for one to await their directives. Above all, the current conjuncture poses the problems of ability and responsibility for the responsible people who are not their own judges." -- C.A. Bontemps, Monde Libertaire (January 1967).


"For several years -- that is to say, well before the situationists provisionally left the shadows -- I 'posed the questions' and I posed the questions to the movement. I still think that this is necessary and I will continue. But I absolutely refuse to let my opposition to the current forms of the A.F. [Anarchist Federation] be annexed by or serve the arguments of those who, under the pretext of renewing anarchism, sniff out their inspirations from the trashcans of Marxism [...] For the rest, many will be carried off by the wind. Because tomorrow there will no longer be any situationists." -- Cesar Fayolle, Tuning up, published in Philosophy in a schoolyard (February 1967).


"The event that set the others in motion was the situationist pamphlet [On the Poverty of Student Life] and my response in the newspaper. There wasn't enough to whip a cat. Insulted without any provocation on our part by a handful of library revolutionaries, I responded to these nonentities in a suitable tone, which is not only my right but my duty as a militant. And everything would have remained there. However, the scandal was launched by a certain Bodson, then scorned by all of the fifth column that had waited for years for the favorable instant to attack our organization [...] It is true that I have never read their [the situationists'] journal. But it is pleasing to see these idiots [zigotos], who haven't read any of the theoreticians of anarchy, reproach me for failing to read. They are not only odious, they are also ridiculous. I know perfectly well what situationism is: a critique of society made by all those in opposition to it, that which is easy and naturally a part of the exhibitionism that is the lot of all sycophants of the Revolution. Naturally, [it is] a finality that doesn't exclude the State, quite surely to be renovated! [...] Because the epileptic protests of certain nonentities will permit us to get to the bottom of the problem and reveal in broad daylight all the ramifications of the warped conspiracy by the Marxists to dissolve the Anarchist Federation [...] When one perceives that all of the manoeuvres have failed, one applies the last tactic, which is called "situationist." One urges saboteurs in the organization to try to break it up in its interior; when it disappears it will leave a place for a new organization that, under the libertarian abbreviation guaranteeing the freedom of man, will permit the resumption of the Marxist operation that, lacking Revolution, reserves fruitful sinecures for its agents!" -- Maurice Joyeux, The Hydra of Lerne, the infantile disorder of anarchy (report to the Bordeaux Congress, May 1967).


The splits in the A.F.

Contrary to all of the rumors knowingly spread in the Anarchist Federation, and even decried at its Congress at Bordeaux, there has never been any sort of "situationist conspiracy" aimed at exploding this Federation, which has always presented the most total lack of interest to our eyes. We know no one in it. Our episodic reading of the deplorable Monde Libertaire did not lead us to suppose that the SI had the least audience in it. In this regard, On the Poverty of Student Life supplied a certain surprise: different members of the A.F. heartily approved of it. The permanent leadership of the A.F. -- which (with the same benevolence that the leadership accorded to the Workers' Strength union) had absolutely full support from the pro-Chinese [Communists], surrealists and lettrists in its ranks or among those invited to contribute to its newspaper -- reacted very so strongly as to remove one-doesn't-know-which-militants at the first indication of an influence that the leadership judged to be pernicious. We sent a very hard response, which placed on every individual with revolutionary pretentions the obligation to demand its publication and, if that appeared impossible to the leaders, to manage the consequences. The "anarchists" of the Nanterre Group, for example, did not do this: true students, they believed that they were able to offer themselves the combined luxuries of applauding us as aesthetes, of being guaranteed their existence as anarchists by the A.F. label, and of not being at all compromised by the actions of the A.F., since they continually condemned it from the outside. Three groups -- that of Menilmontant, the Revolutionary-Anarchist Group and the Makhno Group of Rennes -- found themselves in the circumstance of defending an honorable position. This problem made all of the others rise up. Things were inflamed to the point that at the Bordeaux Congress in April [1967], another split -- numerically much more considerable -- founded a second A.F., which reproduced on its own account the confusion and deficiencies of the real one. Of course, the SI had and will have no relations whatsoever with these two A.F.s. For their part, the three radical groups that were defined by this process fused together, and announced the publication of a journal called Internationale Anarchiste (address: 80, rue de Menilmontant, Paris, 20th). It is quite clear that, without any pressure from the outside, the A.F. will splinter from the moment that certain of its members discover the least trace of a real critical current. Because to see such a critique is, at the same time, to see the emptiness of the A.F. and the manner in which this emptiness defends itself.

(Texts published in Internationale Situationniste #11, October 1967. Translated from the French by NOT BORED!)

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