from Guy Debord

To Jean-Jacques Pauvert
6 July 1992
Dear Jean-Jacques

I add the text that you might extract from the "Foreword"[1] and use on the back cover of the second book.

Best wishes,

"I have, moreover, when appropriate, added other observations that concern the most remarkable novelties, which the subsequent course of the same process has produced. In 1979, on the occasion of a preface intended for a new Italian translation, I dealt with the transformations in the nature of industrial production, as in the techniques of government, that began to authorize the use of spectacular force.[2] In 1988, the Comments on the Society of the Spectacle clearly established that the preceding 'global division of spectacular tasks' between the rival reigns of the 'concentrated spectacular' and the 'diffuse spectacular' had subsequently ended up in the mutually profitable fusion of the 'integrated spectacular' . . .

"It is this will for the modernization and unification of the spectacle, tied to all the other aspects of the simplification of society, that led the Russian bureaucracy to suddenly convert itself, like a single man, to the current ideology of democracy: that is to say, the dictatorial liberty of the Market, tempered by recognition of the Rights of the Spectator. . . .

"In 1991, the first effects of this modernization appeared with the complete dissolution of Russia. Here was expressed, even more frankly than in the West, the disastrous results of the general evolution of the economy. Disorder is only the consequence. Everywhere the same redoubtable question is posed, the question that has haunted the world for the last two centuries: how to make the poor work, where illusion has been a disappointment and force has failed?"

[1] Translator's note: dated 30 June 1992, it was included in subsequent editions of The Society of the Spectacle.

[2] Translator's note: in Donald Nicholson-Smith translation of this text, this passage is rendered as follows: "I dealt with the effective changes in the nature of industrial production, as in the techniques of government, that began with the deployment of the power of the spectacle" (Zone Books, 1994, page 8).

(Published in Guy Debord Correspondance, Vol 7: Janvier 1988-Novembre 1994 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, 2008. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! June 2009. Footnotes by the publisher, except where noted.)

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