from Guy Debord

To Michel Prigent
29 August 1981
Dear Michel:

The Trotskyists of the FRE (Federation of Revolutionary Students: more than other groups, they have students from working-class backgrounds and several non-student workers) especially revealed themselves in '68, when they declared on the evening of 10 May that the first barricade on the rue Gay-Lussac was a provocation and that they had to leave. And thus, before the battle, their militants, who were quite numerous, left in well-ordered ranks and crossed the police lines that joyously opened them let them pass. And yet they were courageous people, well trained in all sorts of brawls and for a long time better organized in acting together than all of the other groups. This was where sub-Leninist ideology had led these bureaucrats who, during the entire [occupations] movement, tried to act as moderators, a little to the left of the Stalinist party, especially wanting not to offend it and to make themselves get "recognized" by it! As always, they demanded a P.C.-P.S.[1] government, which they supported "critically." In fact, their disastrous decision at the rue Gay-Lassac caused them to lose all influence during the following weeks. The active groups [on this street] were thus the situ[ationist]s and the libertarians; the J.C.R. of Krivine,[2] which with great flexibility followed an impoverished youth base, which it also moderated, but with much fewer means and repressive audacity; and, finally, the Maoists, who were complete cunts, but much more opposed to the "revisionists" of the P.C.F.[3] than the members of the F.R.E. were. Thus, the "Chinese" Stalinists were paradoxically more contestatory than the Leninists of the firmest Trotskyist current (the J.C.R. issued from the "Pablist" current of the 1950s, which wanted to practice "entrism"[4] among the Stalinist parties, and the F.R.E. issued from the "Lambrist" current, sectarians who at least refused to accredit this shameful illusion).

Jeff[5] has two very likable letters to me. Klaus[6] has written to me that he understood the situation with respect to Arthur [Marchadier]. I hope that he has also understood that it was ridiculous of him to ask me to change the title of one of my writings, because he believes that he knows better than I what this text is about and what the German public needs to know. I have not even responded to something so stupid.

I understand that Jeff was shocked by Jaap [Kloosterman]'s critique, which seems to conclude that he wanted to be considerate of [Gianfranco] Sanguinetti at all costs. Quite the contrary: the most important fact is that Sanguinetti found nothing to say in response to Jeff after two months' time, which proves that Jeff's letter was strong enough to reduce to silence someone who is and feels himself to be so obviously guilty.

Concerning this affair, you will find attached[7] a distressing letter from Carlos [Ojeda]. I do not know what he went to do at Sanguinetti's place, but the result for Carlos was something that strongly resembles a crisis of mad self-accusation. Which is quite regrettable, especially after all the misery that we have seen these past six months.

I hope that Arthur [Marchadier] will soon be chased from Portugal (he will perhaps try to seek out Monteiro,[8] precisely because I told Arthur that he was someone who conducted himself in an ignominious fashion in '75 . . .). You will remember that I had at first glanced through the pamphlet from Barcelona[9] without enthusiasm but certainly without indignation, being unable to judge exactly the motivations of the authors. What made me indignant was learning of the unacceptable motivations that Arthur attributed to them (we later learned that he did so in a lying fashion). But the greatest trouble that Arthur caused was wasting everyone's time for three months, at a moment that was, qualitatively, the last in which we still had a chance to intervene efficaciously. Since then, everything has gone from bad to worse.

Hasta la vista, amigo!

P.S. See the articles that praise -- clearly in an exaggerated and quite unmerited fashion -- my last film. I suspect the beginning of a maneuver that attempts to pass me off as an artist. Fuck!

[1] Translator's note: Communist Party-Socialist Party.

[2] Translator's note: the J.C.R was the Revolutionary Communist Youth; Alain Krivine was a Trotskyist who later turned politician.

[3] Translator's note: the French Communist Party.

[4] Translator's note: "entrism" signifies infiltration so as to influence.

[5] Translator's note: Jean-Francois Martos.

[6] Translator's note: Klaus Bittermann, Editions Tiamet.

[7] Translator's note: not attached in the version translated here.

[8] See letter dated 15 November 1975.

[9] Canciones de la guerre social contemporanea, signed by "An Iconoclast" (May 1981).

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 5: Janvier 1979-Decembre 1987 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2006. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! May 2007. Footnotes by Alice Debord, except where noted.)

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