from Guy Debord

To J.V. Martin
Paris, 14 April 1971
Dear Comrade,

To respond to your letter of 17 March [1971]: we are quite persuaded that Ericson and Verlaan[1] are people of very little interest, and it is definite that we no longer want any contact with them.

But what we have written to you about Kiruna is without any connection to them. We do not even know Ericson’s letter on the subject and we do not want to hear his opinion.

We know quite well that it was Vaneigem[2] and not you who wrote the bizarre analysis of Kiruna.[3] But we justly do not have any respect for the thought and the bluff of Vaneigem. We speak [here] of the content and the style of what was published.

We know well that it wasn’t written with the goal of insulting the miners in Kiruna.

But you tell us in your most recent letter that “in Scandinavia the article is not at all [considered to be] an insult to the miners of Kiruna.” Either you are deceived or Scandinavia is.

We are convinced that this abstract manner of analyzing a workers’ struggle (a wildcat strike is not a revolution, and the revolution of the 20th century will not be the Paris Commune, etc.), and especially the superior tone of an intellectual tourist who gives lessons to the workers objectively constitute an insult that revolutionary workers will immediately recognize. In this case, obviously, the insult is attenuated by its profound ridiculousness. But we do not want to accept either insults or ridiculousness.

Debord, Riesel

[1] Bengt Ericson, who resigned from the Situationist International in 1969, and Tony Verlaan, who resigned from the SI in 1970.

[2] Raoul Vaneigem, who resigned from the SI in 1970.

[3] “Om Kiruna,” unattributed, published in Situationistisk Revolution #3, October 1970, edited by J. V. Martin.

All footnotes by the translator.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol "4": Janvier 1969 - december 1972 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2004. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! March 2012. Footnotes by the publisher, except where noted.)

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