By Guy Debord

Of the 3 self sufficient texts by means of man Debord integrated the following, have been first released as pamphlets, whereas the 3rd was once written in 1971 for inclusion in a projected 13th factor of the Situationist International's magazine which by no means seemed due to the group's dissolution.

Despite the seeming range of the topics discussed—the Watts riots in ‘The Decline and Fall of the “Spectacular” Commodity-Economy’ (1965); the disintegration of bureaucratic strength in ‘The Explosion aspect of Ideology in China’ (1967); pollutants and its illustration in ‘A in poor health Planet’ (1971)—all 3 texts take care of the various varieties of the ‘spectacle’ and its repercussions. And regardless of the dates in their composition, all 3 stay startlingly appropriate today.

—Alice Debord, 2004

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If so, its 'Lincoln Brigades' need to understand the full significance of the struggle in which they are engaged, sup­ porting it to the end in its universality. The 'excesses' of the blacks of Los Angeles are no more a political error than the armed resistance of the POUM in the Barcelona of May 1937 was a be­ trayal of the war against Franco. Any rebellion against the spectacle occurs at the level of the totality, because-even if it is confined to a single neighbourhood, such as Watts-it is a human protest against an inhuman life; because it begins 33 GUY DEBORD at the level of the real single individual, and because community, from which the individual in revolt is separated, is the true social nature of man, true human nature: the positive transcendence of the spectacle.

Russia, which proved incapable this year of convening a conference of all European Communist parties, would prefer to forget the time when Moscow reigned over the Comintem. Thus Izvestia, in Sep­ tember 1966, could blame the Chinese leaders for discrediting 'Marxist-Leninist' ideas in an 'unprece­ dented' way, and piously deplore a confrontational style which 'substitutes insults for the exchange of opinions and revolutionary experiences. Those who take this path confer absolute value on their own ex­ perience and display a dogmatic and sectarian ap­ proach to the interpretation of Marxist-Leninist theory.

By wanting to participate really and immediately in affiuence­ and this is an official value of every American­ they demand the egalitarian realization of the American spectacle of everyday life: they demand that the half-heavenly, half-earthly values of this spectacle be put to the test. But it is of the essence of the spectacle that it cannot be made real either immediately or equally-and this not even for whites. (In fact, the function of blacks in the spec­ tacle is to serve as the perfect prod: in the race for 23 GUY DEBORD wealth, such underprivilege is an incitement to ambition).

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A Sick Planet by Guy Debord
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