from Guy Debord

To Mustapha Khayati
1 August [1966]
Dear Mustapha:

When I saw Jean [Garnault] here [in Paris], I found out that you don't have the text of the Definition,[1] since I sent it by chance to his place, then I sent a subsequent note to his Parisian address.

Ndjangani [Lungela] left yesterday.[2] Except for him, who proposes a certain indulgence towards Anton [Harstein] (and returns to holding him as "a situationist of the second order," thus preventing him from "representing" us to the exterior -- I said that this would be incompatible with our bases, which he also sees, and that we don't have the time to return to this question), all those who have been brought up to date on the history are of the opinion that it is necessary to exclude Anton. One speaks of Donald [Nicholson-Smith], Raoul [Vaneigem], [and] Michele [Bernstein]. Herbert [Holl] still hasn't returned from Scandanavia.

The affair of "The Old Mole"[3] has ended before it began. It isn't our conditions that have been rejected. Rene [Vienet] and Jean have found the unfortunate Pierre [Guillaume] so pitiful and still so embroiled with Barbier, contrary to our formal prerequisites, of which they themselves have immediately broken off the discussion, even before one could approach the conditions for an association that is impossible in this context.

See you soon,

Minimum Definition of Revolutionary Organizations

Considering that the only goal of a revolutionary organization is the abolition of the existing classes by a route that doesn't involve a new division of society, we qualify as revolutionary any organization that with consistency pursues the international realization of the absolute power of the Workers Councils, such as it was outlined by the experience of the proletarian revolutions of this century.

Such an organization presents a unitary critique of the world, or is nothing. By unitary critique, we means a critique pronounced globally against all the geographical zones where diverse forms of separated socio-economic power are installed, and against all aspects of life.

Such an organization recognizes the beginning and end of its program in the total decolonization of everyday life; it thus doesn't aim for the self-management of the existing world by the masses, but its uninterrupted transformation. Such an organization carries the radical critique of political economy, and the supercession of the commodity and the salariat.[4]

Such an organization refuses all reproductions of the hierarchical conditions of the dominant world inside of itself. The only limit to participation in the total democracy of such an organization is the recognition and self-appropriation by all of its members of the coherence of its critique: this coherence must be in the critical theory properly speaking, and in the relations between this theory and practical activity. Such an organization radically critiques all ideology insofar as it is the separate power of ideas and ideas of separated power. Thus, such an organization is, at the same time, the negation of all remnants of religion and the current social spectacle that, from information to mass culture, monopolizes all human communication around a unilateral reception of images of alienated activity. Such an organization dissolves all "revolutionary ideology" by unmasking it as the signature of the failure of the revolutionary project, as the private property of the new specialists of power, [and] as the imposture of a new representation that sets itself above proletarianized real life.

The category of the totality being the last judgment of the modern revolutionary organization, it is finally a critique of politics. It must explicitly aim, in its victory, at its own end as a separate organization.

[1] Text attached.

[2] For the Congo.

[3] Cf. I.S. #11, p. 61.

[4] Translator: a neologism that denotes the proletariat of salaried workers.

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

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