from Guy Debord

To Mustapha Khayati
21 December 1964
Dear Mustapha:

I am quite in agreement with your letter, as are the several friends to whom I have shown it.

After a discussion with [Raoul] Vaneigem, we have reached the following conclusions on several of the points you have raised.

-- You are obviously correct in your evaluation of the consequences of the distribution of the Moles[1] correspondence (Moles will not be pleased, no doubt, and I am the only one responsible[2] to whom he could, rashly, complain). Can we envision the distribution of the text – which would also be a kind of demonstration – without the participation of of Béchir?[3] This in case Béchir only formulates the objections that you’d mentioned and none weightier (such as I’d envisioned). Of course, it will be necessary that this gesture [made] without Béchir doesn’t appear to him to have been made against him. In other words, this quite marginal affair doesn’t merit re-launching a polemic or the suspicions that you’ve tried to leave behind.

-- As for the Arab world, it seems to us that the first point of vast work to be undertaken must be a critique of Benbellism[4] – which could possibly be distributed in Arabic. If the Congolese furnish us with enough direct information, we think we will make a pamphlet[5] about the civil war in the Congo (the nature of power in Stanleyville during the last few months, etc.). Under the heading “The external supports of the Congolese rebellion,” we think that Ben Bella has top billing, and here these works could come together. Inside Algeria, Ben Bella, like [Charles] de Galle, covers for the existing balance: he hasn’t sought this or that stage of the balance, but power (and the description of this fragile balance is difficult and complex). On the other hand, in other countries, it is easy to see Ben Bella’s function: the myth of a revolutionary foreign policy, in the name of which all the rest has to be pardoned. No example better ruins this imposture than the Summer of 64 in the Congo.[6]

We are of the opinion that your basic propositions to the group Perspectives[7] are sufficiently clear (and in fact unacceptable to it) and place the problem on its true terrain.

It would be very good to make a “montage” of annotated texts from Internationale Situationniste that you envision, as a preface to a translation. Indicate your choices when you have decided.

Charges have been filed against us in Scandinavia by the Moral Rearmament Group, accusing our tracts, Spanish and otherwise, of pornography because there are naked women.[8] This has elicited a great shock in the press.

Best wishes,

P.S. Thanks for the article – already seen – by Fugler. He is indeed a cretin. We will only respond with a few words in the journal[9] about this old nonsense about an absolute distinction [between] “work and culture.”

[1] Translator: cf. letter dated 1 December 1964.

[2] Translator: as the legally registered publisher of Internationale Situationniste.

[3] Bechir Tlili, a Tunisian student in Strasbourg. [Cf. letter dated 15 April 1964.]

[4] Translator: cf. “Address to Revolutionaries of Algeria and All Other Countries,” December 1965.

[5] Translator: cf. “Conditions of the Congolese Revolutionary Movement,” written July 1966.

[6] Reprise of revolts and the formation of a coalition government.

[7] A group of leftist Maghreb students.

[8] Cf. Guy Debord, Oeuvres, Gallimard, 2006, pp. 675-677. [In 1964, the SI published a series of detourned erotic photos with slogans written in Spanish.]

[9] I.S. #10, p. 67: “How Not to Understand the SI.”

(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! March 2011. Footnotes by the publisher, except where noted.)

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