from Guy Debord

To J.-L. Jollivet
6 July 1962
Dear Comrade

Thank you for sending N[otes] C[ritiques] #3. I would like to buy 10 more copies for the S[ituationist] I[nternational] (check enclosed).

I estimate that the false problem of "revolutionary Christianity" is posed in a particularly deficient manner by Gerbe. This said, this issue of N. C. certainly marks a supplementary progress in the liquidation of three or four ideological hypotheses that have weighed upon N. C. since its foundation.

After having critiqued -- in a manner that one hopes is definitive, that is to say, tied to a rigorous practical conduct -- the misery of Arguments-ism, you have now defended theory quite well against the workerist Poujadism of the Lefortists, who always want to say in fact that each has the right to an opportunism that saves them from the [small] degree of quality in their works and their relations. I even believe that N. C. still has too much prudence in simply defending the right to theoretical research "adjacent to" practical action. This minimum claim is obviously just if you understand "practice" to include the old organizational ideas of the P[ouvoir] O[uvrier] style. However, as there is hardly any reason to claim independence in the margins of such nonexistence, the real question is to again and always link the new theory to practice -- but a new practice "worthy of the name," which will moreover be its legitimate consequence and verification -- as much as (there where it appears) it has been the basis and exigency of new theoretical coherence.

The same day, I received a copy of the intervention by Andre, Richard, etc. in their discussions with you. These comrades, who are intelligent and courageous, for a long time (and even for too long a time) have had experience with the miniscule political manoeuvres that, in P. O., accompany practical and theoretical weaknesses. It is even without doubt a certain gentleness, which favors several illusions on the possibilities of so-and-so, that has placed them in such a position that the SI has found itself forced to break off relations with them, simply to defend itself against this confusionism -- which is a weapon that, in as much as we struggle, we find used against us every week. Thus I, with good knowledge of their cause, approve entirely the general line of their intervention at Bordeaux, and the autonomous counsel that they give you.

The ambiguity of N. C. with respect to P. O. is something that will soon be placed in order, in one sense or another: you have everything to gain from a clear and public discussion of it, the present surely being on the side of the P. O. "organization," and the future on the side of those who think that the critique of P. O. is a detail in the indispensible critique of the impotent, specialized politics of the past (impotent from the revolutionary perspective).

Quite cordially to all,
G.-E. Debord

(Published in Guy Debord, Correspondance, Volume 2, 1960-1964. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! April 2005.)

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