from Guy Debord

To the English Section of the SI
14 December 1967 (later in the evening)

With respect to our discussion last week, we would like to correct our opinion in this way: Tony [Verlaan]-[Robert] Chasse seem more affectively misled than we have thought. On the other hand, [Ben] Morea-Murray [Bookchin] have shown themselves to be even viler than we have said. To have done with the impressionism surrounding the adventures of Raoul [Vaneigem] in New York, we can now specify the following, in chronological order.

Among other grievances (militantism, authoritarianism, etc) against Morea, Raoul learned upon arriving that Morea had signed a tract with the Totalist,[2] who was presented at that time (by Chasse and Co.) as a mystic. On the other hand, Beatrice[3] insisted that Raoul should meet Morea by presenting him as a “theoretical nullity” and by saying “one must instruct him.” Raoul refused the role of professor and left in suspense his final decision about a possible meeting (not very interesting objectively, following the opinions of Chasse and Beatrice). After a few days, at the moment that Murray returned [to New York from Paris], Raoul fortuitously encountered the Totalist at Murray’s place. From the moment of the break, Raoul definitively decided not to meet Morea, a decision that was reinforced, the next day, by a stupidly authoritarian phone call from Morea to Bruce [Elwell].

In Raoul’s absence, we certainly had to present what was a bundle of dynamic facts in a slightly schematic fashion, when we wrote our letters to America. But it is chicanery on the part of Murray-Morea, when they see that we have several serious objections to them, to pretend to choose something [else] that in their eyes must be called number 1.

We believe that it is a very fortunate accident that Raoul met Hoffman in the flesh and blood, because it is from within this systematically confusionist atmosphere that Morea today writes that Hoffman had perhaps once been a mystic, but that he had been washed clean by his militant activity and a recent text. Raoul had met this individual after his militant activity and his “recent text.”

Here at least is a question in which doubt is no longer permitted. From this established fact, we can reach several conclusions on other matters.

At minimum, the conclusion that we demand is the immediate, total and public break of any and all members of the SI with Morea-Murray as well as Hoffman. We make this a sine qua on of any accord [between us].

Thus we propose that you yourselves respond to the insults and calumnies of Morea and Murray, in the name of the SI, and in a definite fashion. Send us a copy.

We believe that this demand is a totally different problem from the final results of our discussions with Chasse-Tony, etc. After an attentive examination of their letter, we are skeptical about the possibility of an accord with them. We admit that we must investigate this possibility, but in an extremely firm and clear manner. We send you the first written response that we addressed to Chasse[4] (in opposition to the multitude of unacceptable extravagances in their document). We believe that our most recent letter to Chasse-Tony[5] is very moderate. That is to say, upon his arrival [in America] Chris [Gray] must not only defend the minimum basis of this letter, but also must verify on many other “discussable” points if Chasse and those who declare themselves to be with him can or cannot arrive at a conscious and total accord with the real bases of the SI.

Best wishes,
Guy [Debord], Mustpha [Khayati], Raoul [Vaneigem], Rene [Vienet]

[1] Handwritten addition. [This note distinguishes the present letter from the one to Donald Nicholson-Smith written and presumably sent off earlier in the same day.]

[2] Allan Hoffman.

[3] Translator: Murray Bookchin’s companion.

[4] Translator: neither specified nor summarized by the publishers of this volume.

[5] Dated 14 December 1967.

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol "0": Septembre 1951 - Juillet 1957: Complete des "lettres retrouvees" et d l'index general des noms cites by Librairie Artheme Fayard, October 2010. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! February 2011. Footnotes by the publisher, except where noted.)

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