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REV04%3rXONARY REvoNr•ONARY THEORY FOR BEGINNERS

(PURE & APPLIED) (PURE & APPLIED)

Three Situationist Texts

"objective" truth. It Critical theory does not present a fixed, "objective" truth. It is an assault, a formulation abstracted, simplified and pushed to extreme.The principle is, the extreme. The principle is, "If the shoe fits, wear it": people are compelled to ask themselves to what extent the critique rings true and what they are going to do about it. Those who wish to evade the problem will complain about the critique as being unfairly one-sided, not presenting the whole picture. Conversely, the dialectically ignorant revolutionary who wishes to affirm his extremism will confirm the critique (as long as it's not against him) as being an objective, balanced assessment.

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, 1976 ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, 1976 Nadine Bloch by Nadine Bloch
In September 1973 participated in the formation of of the Center for Research In September 1973 I I participated in the formationthe Center for Research on theon the Social Question from which I resigned December 1975. At that time, all all things Social Question from which I resigned in in December 1975. At that time,things considered,IIdefinitely had toto acknowledgemy personal failure during those two considered, definitely had acknowledgemy personal failure during those two years, which can be summed up follows: I I did not have during period any years, which can be summed up asas follows:did not have during that that period any individual theoretico-practical activity. individual theoretico-practical activity. members of the CRQS are chosen from among the revolutionaries... The members of the CRQS are chosen from among the revolutionaries . . . who want to assemble in the present semi-organizational solution in order in their name only, to continue, in their name only, to address the revolutionary movement. 1 CRQS—Bloch, Charles, Comuault, Denevert) (Declaration concerning the CRQS—Bloch, Charles, Comuault, Denevert)1 What follows a reflection taken, for the most part, from this failure. What follows isis a reflection taken, for the most part, from this failure.
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Practical impotence—ehindism 2 Practical impotence—behindism2 —is the result of the contradiction between the result of the contradiction between the theory an individual adheres to from the theory an individual adheres to from the exterior and his practice, i.e. the the exterior and his practice, i.e. the real choices that he carries out in in his real choices that he carries out his life; so that there isis apparently more that there apparently more truthto the ideologue of the right, left, truth to the ideologue of the right, left, or whatever—who defends in his Ideas' whatever—who defends in his 'ideas' the poverty of his life and who thus the poverty of his life and who thus gives proof of a certain ideological proof of a certain ideological eohence—than there is with the coherence—than there is with the behindist.But the epoch makes it more behindist. But the epoch makes it more and more difficult to maintain such a a more difficult to maintain such total illusion about and about total illusion about it it and about oneself. The proof of the efficacity and the The proof of the efficacity and the extremism of theory at whose center extremism of aatheory at whose center is the affirmation of the individual is is the affirmation of the individual that it's impossible to adhere to to from that it's impossible to adhere it it from the exterior without becoming totally the exterior without becoming totally impotent: it allows neither halfimpotent: it allows neither halfmeasuresnor compromises. But it it is also measures nor compromises. But is also this theory's task determine and this theory's task toto determine and theoretically and practically resolve this theoretically and practically resolve this contradiction; to consider it it not as ancontradiction; to consider not as an aberration located outside itself but, aberrationlocated outside itself but, rather, as its own internal weakness. rather, as its own internal weakness. Revolutionary theory concerned with Revolutionary theory isis concerned with its own spectacularization. It It a matter own spectacularization. is is a matter of answering this question: why, and answering this question: why, and also how, do people adhere toto revoluhow, do people adhere revolutionary theory from the exterior? tionarytheory from the exterior?
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To practice theory, one's theory, To practice theory, one's own theory, it is necessary to subjectivize the world: it is necessary to subjectivize the world: to recognize what ih is opposed to to recognize what ih itit is opposed to one's interests, objectives, and desires, one's interests, objectives, and desires, and to avail oneself of the means and to avail oneself of the means toto realize these; to consider exterior reality realize these; to consider exterior reality as a field for personal experimentation, as a field for personal experimentation, the terrain of interventions, the the terrain of interventions, of of the possible. This is what the behindist, possible. This is what the behindist, passing his time in analyzing what about passing his time in analyzing what about him is opposed to his ideal revolutionary him is opposed to his ideal revolutionary realization, does not know how do. realization, does not know how toto do. However, this moment does not suffice, However, this moment does not suffice, because it does not allow anyone because it does not allow anyone toto make the choice between his individualmake the choice between his individuality, his desire to master his life, and his ity, his desire to master his life, and his alienation. On the contrary, outside alienation. On the contrary, outside of of revolutions and isolated moments revolutions and isolated moments of of revolt, it is not real aspirations which revolt, it is not real aspirations which are spontaneously known and pursued, are spontaneously known and pursued, but rather those which each particular but rather those which each particular spectacle designates, for is those spectacle designates, for itit is those which do not encounter opposition in in which do not encounter opposition the present social organization. The the present social organization. The moment of subjectivization isis thus the moment of subjectivization thus the moment of modern spectacular conmoment of modern spectacular consumption, including its counter-cultural sumption, including its counter-cultural pseudo-alternative; is the moment of pseudo-alternative; it it is the moment of the illusion of authenticity. the illusion of authenticity. One must therefore, the same One must therefore, atat the same time, objectify oneself: which to say, time, objectify oneself: which isis to say, in oneself what belongs to the seize in oneself what belongs to the spectacle and alienation—that is,is, everyspectacle and alienation—that every-

1. 1. The Declaration may be obtained in French from the Centre de Recherche sur la be obtained Recherche sur Question Sociale, BP218, 75865 Paris cedex 18, France, or in the English translation BP218, 75865 Paris cedex 18, France, or in the English translation of Theory of Misery, Misery of Theory by D.Denevert, translated by Cooperstein, Theory of Misery, Misery of Theory by D.Denevert, translated by Cooperstein, Hammer & Knabb. Write: R.Cooperstein, p.o. box 950, Berkeley, CA 94701, LISA. box 950, 1 -jammer & Knabb. Write: R.Coopersteln, 94701, USA. 2. See Double Reflection (K.Knabb, p.o. box 1044, 2. See Double Reflection (K.Knabb, p.o. box 1044, Berkeley, CA 94701; French 94701; French translationavailable from the CRQS) and Behindism (C.Shutes, p.o. box 9.6e, yS0/0„._ translation available from the CRQS) and Behindism (C.Shutes, p.o. box Berkeley, CA 94704, Nadine Bloch will send a copy of her French translation upon CA 94704, Nadine Bloch will send a copy of her French translation upon reouest). request). Double Reflection also available from Nick Brandt. available from Nick Brandt.

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thing which tends maintain the status thing which tends toto maintain the status quo of dominant social relations—and quo of dominant social relations—and be as severe as when these things manibe as severe as when these things manifest themselves elsewhere. This the fest themselves elsewhere. This is is the never-definitively-established condition never-definitively-established condition of a true seizure of one's real aspirations. of a true seizure of one's real aspirations. Repression is directly opposed the Repression is directly opposed to to the practice of theory; is always simulpractice of theory; it it is always simultaneously repression real aspirations taneously repression ofof real aspirations and failure to recognize their inversion and failure to recognize their inversion in alienation. A repressed individual— in alienation. A repressed individual— and to large extent one chooses and to aalarge extent one chooses repression almost consciously—is just repression almost consciously—is just as as incapable of really intervening the incapable of really intervening in in the world as he is in himself. The choice world as he is in himself. The choice ofof repression is thus choice for what exists, repression is thus choice for what exists, for submission, falsehood, ideology, for submission, falsehood, ideology, spectacle. This does not mean that somespectacle. This does not mean that somewho practices theory does not know one who practices theory does not know repression, but his work leads him repression, but his work leads him to to progressively discover new interests, progressively discover new interests, desires and objectives, as well as desires and objectives, as well as resistances and new obstacles; new resistances and new obstacles; in in this process he transforms himself. The this process he transforms himself. The individual who chooses repression. individual who chooses repression is is neurotic, but not necessarily more than neurotic, but not necessarily more than someone else; he can even be relatively someone else; he can even be relatively free of neurosis; but he does not change free of neurosis; but he does not change himself; it is circumstances which change himself; it is circumstances which change him, circumstances which anchor him circumstances which anchor him more and more deeply inin the dominant more and more deeply the dominant alienation. alienation. *** The choice of repression, of resignchoice of repression, of resignation, does not appear asas such to the ation, does not appear such to the individual'sconsciousness; to be able to to individual's consciousness; to be able tolerate it and himself, to flee his shame, tolerate it and himself, to flee his shame, he justifies it by an objective, exterior justifies it by an objective, exterior constraintstronger Than he. During thethe constraint stronger Than he. During previous phase of class society, authority previous phase of class society, authority and hierarchy constituted this at at once hierarchy constituted this once objective and subjective internalized objective and subjective internalized constraintwhich, when accepted, justiconstraint which, when accepted, justified resignation.Today, when the old fied resignation. Today, when the old forms of hierarchization are breaking forms hierarchization are breaking down before the obstinacy of proledown before the obstinacy of proletarians in struggle, the resigned tarians in struggle, the resigned individual tends to replace those forms individual tends to replace those forms with affective ties, a new excuse for his with affective ties, a new excuse for his complicity with the existing world. But complicity with the existing world. But clearly such ties have only aasubjective clearly such ties have only subjective reality. reality. Having feelings of affection in regard affection in regard Having to other people is not contradictory in in to other people is not contradictory itself with maintainingan individual itself with maintaining an individual point of view—true affection can only point view—true affection can only exist where there is individual affirmexist where there is individual affirmation —except when these feelings serve ation—except when these feelings serve as justification for a person to abandon as justification for a person to abandon his point of view. define affective his point of view. I I define affective relations as those relations justified relations as those relations justified by by 'affection' which can only maintain 'affection' which can only maintain themselves on the basis repression. inemselves on the basis ofof repression. Pseudo-affection, which serves Pseudo-affection, which serves asas justification for self-betrayal, must itself justification for self-betrayal, must itself be justified—to give coherent appearbe justified—to give a a coherent appearance to this very betrayal—with objective ance to this very betrayal—with objective qualities, be they real imaginary, qualities, be they real oror imaginary, encountered in the people who are encountered in the people who are thethe objects of pseudo-affection. But in so . objects of pseudo-affection. But in so doing, the affective individual reveals doing, the affective individual reveals that he aspires toto be loved for his that he aspires be loved for his 'objective', intrinsic qualities, even 'objective', intrinsic qualities, even though he does not know how put though he does not know how toto put them to use for himself—and thus these them to use for himself—and thus these qualities do not exist—any more than he he qualities do not exist—any more than knows how to recognize through practice knows how to recognize through practice the qualities of his friends. Having the qualities of his friends. Having renounced his point ofof view, renounced renounced his point view, renounced critique, he demands that others reciprocritique, he demands that others reciprocate, that they leave him alone, that cate, that they leave him alone, that they accept him as he is. What is is to be they accept him as he is. What to be found here is in fact the old mysticofound here is in fact the old mysticobourgeois conception of the 'interior bourgeois conception of the 'interior richness of the human being, always there richness of the human being always there to be discovered', which would have it it to be discovered', which would have that aaperson isis something other than that person something other than what he actually does. And with the what he actually does. And with the affective revolutionary, interior richness affective revolutionary, interior richness becomes 'interior radicality'. becomes 'interior radicality'. However, in all of this, we can recogHowever, in all of this, we can recognize, although certainly inin a reified form, although certainly a reified form, a manifestation of men's and women's manifestation of men's and women's real need for affection, for friendship, real need for affection, for friendship, for love, a need which is so frustrated for love, a need which is so frustrated in the present general conditions the present general conditions ofof separation. separation. * The affective revolutionary endeavors revolutionary endeavors not to be criticised: on the one hand byby ot be criticised: on the one hand effectively not doing anything, not not doing anything, not making any 'error' which might offer making any 'error' which might offer the basis for aacritique, on the other basis for critique, on the other hand by not playing any precise, idenlihand by not playing any precise, identifiable role. He is generally modest, even liable role. He is generally modest, even timid, pleasant, loyal, lucid, full of timid, pleasant, loyal, lucid, full of good will, etc. good will, etc. .... But this no longer But this no longer means anything, since the modern anything, since the modern spectacle makes use of this facile contmakes use of this facile contestation as anti-role. In fact, a person estation as anti-role. In fact, if if a person does does not manifest his opposition to the manifest his opposition to the dominant conditions actively, by dominant conditions actively, by decisions, oppositions and errors, he decisions, oppositionsand errors, he merely manifests his desire to be recogmerely manifests his desire to be recognized by others as anti-spectacular. This nized by others as anti-spectacular. This

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role is the ultimate recourse those role is the ultimate recourse ofof those still do not want to face up their who still do not want to face up toto their when all the other attitudes—such lot, when all the other attitudes—such as as the arrogance without content the the arrogance without content of of the pro-situationist—have appeared clearly pro-situationist—have appeared clearly and been denounced as mystifying; but and been denounced as mystifying; but these people are mistaken they think these people are mistaken if if they think that the modesty of what they hope that the modesty of what they hope to to buy with their role—tranquility in in with their role—tranquility mediocrity, good conscience, and mediocrity, aagood conscience, and a a little sympathy, rather than power little sympathy, rather than power or or prestige—protects that role from allprestige—protects that role from an an alltoo-rapid devalorization. The anti-role too-rapid devalorization. The anti-role already appears for what it a a manner already appears for what it is: is:manner and distorting reality. of fleeing and distorting reality. *5* It isastonishthg enough that the It is'astonishing enough that the majority of those excluded from the majority of those excluded from the SI SI with many people from whom other (as with many people from whom other radical groups or individuals have had radical groups or individuals have had to to separate) thereafter definitely renounced separate) thereafter definitely renounced —judging from their silence—the per —judging from their silence—the perspectives they had till then defended. spectives they had till then defended. In In fact, we must suppose that many among fact, we must suppose that many among them had never really defended these them had never really defended these perspectives, that they had not felt perspectives, that they had not felt totally engaged by them, that, one totally engaged by them, that, in in one or another, these perspectives had way or another, these perspectives had been exterior to them. been exterior to them. What the affective revolutionary What the affective revolutionary wants to avoid above all the exclusion wants to avoid above all isis the exclusion or break (one can have the same kind or break (one can have the same kind of of relationto an organization as as one does relation to an organization one does one or more individuals, even the to one or more individuals, even if if the existence of a collectivity camouflages existence of a collectivity camouflages this relation), because this appeals this relation), because this appears to to him as veritable treason on the part him as veritable treason on the part of of the object of his attachment, fact the object of his attachment, in in fact because it signals the end of his illusion because it signals the end of his illusion about himself, an illusion sustained and about himself, an illusion sustained and dependent only on the maintenance dependent only on the maintenance of of this very relation, of his membership this very relation, of his membership in the collectivity. But he nonetheless the collectivity. But he nonetheless remains in constant fear ofof what might remains in constant fear what might happen, as though itit were matter of a a happen, as though were a a matter of misfortunewhich can only be inflicted misfortune which can only be inflicted on him from on high, by an authority him from on high, by an authority to whom he has submitted for soso long a whom he has submitted for long a time. All his talk and gestures are time. All his talk and gestures are calculated in avoidance of it; but his calculated in avoidance of it; but his margin of maneuverability, between the margin of maneuverability, between the minimum apparent autonomy which minimum apparent autonomy which he he must keep up if he does not want to to be must keep up if he does not want be rejected immediately and the complete rejectedimmediately and the complete abstention towards which hehe tends, is abstention towards which tends, is slight. slight.

To the degree that person 'loves' To the degree that a a person 'loves' an authority who accepts him suban authority who accepts him as as submissive and impotent, this 'love' transmissive and impotent, this 'love' transforms itself into hate and resentment forms itself into hate and resentment when this authority refuses be one when this authority refuses to to be one any longer. The violence of breaks any longer. The violence of breaks is is well-founded when those breaks are well-founded when those breaks are caused by the publicity, stemming from caused by the publicity, stemming from a concrete fact, of previously concealed a concrete fact, of previously concealed individual renouncement. And it is only individual renouncement. And it is only traumatizing for someone who, even traumatizing for someone who, even after the separation, continues accord after the separation, continues to to accord an authority to those from whom is an authority to those from whom he he is separated. This traumatism the the. separated. This traumatism andand . resentment which accompanies it one resentment which accompanies it is is one the factors which can precipitate the of the factors which can precipitate the abandonment, even brutal rejection, abandonment, even brutal rejection, of of the perspectives apparently defended the perspectives apparently defended then. till then. sr* When ah affective revolutionary When ah affective revolutionary undertakes to consider his past, underundertakes to consider his past, to to understand what errors made and what stand what errors hehe made and what wealth they held, he realizes that wealth they held, he realizes that hehe cannot. From the multiple experiences cannot. From the multiple experiences has participated in, cannot draw he has participated in, hehe cannot draw particular lesson, because his experiany particular lesson, because his experiences have never belonged to him, he ences have never belonged to him, he has never been really involved them, has never been really involved inin them, the errors that have been produced were the errors that have been produced were not his. He has made only one 'error': not his. He has made only one 'error': that of not beginning from himself, that of not beginning from himself, or or having forgotten himself along the of having forgotten himself along the way. This is the total error, the error way. This is the total error, the error which does not contain any element which does not contain any element susceptible to being corrected, precised susceptible to being corrected, precised or developed, until a a total reversal of or developed, until total reversal of perspective has taken place, until the perspective has taken place, until the illusion which founded the refusal illusion which founded the refusal 10 to begin with oneself has itself been conbegin with oneself has itself been considered and critiqued practically. In In sidered and critiqued practically. short, the affective revolutionary, must short, the affective revolutionary must make decisions which directly modify make decisions which directly modify a concrete situation which has made a concrete situation which has made illusion necessary. illusion necessary. Historically, this has been the general Historically, this has been the general situation of women (just as individually situation of women3 (just as individually 3 they are very often affective persons). they are very often affective persons). The history of the theoretico-practical The history of the theoretico-practical struggles of the proletariat for its its struggles of the proletariat for liberation does not belong toto them. They liberation does not belong them. They can only appropriate this history in in can only appropriate this history acquiring the understanding of thethe acquiring the understanding of causes of their absence, therefore in in causes of their absence, therefore

3. See Arms & the Woman by Jeanne Charles; English translation by Ken Knabb, See Arms & the Woman by Jeanne Charles; English translation by Ken Knabb, original French from the CRQS. available In the original French from the CRQS. in

seizing hold of their present history, seizing hold of their present history, which is something they are beginning which is something they are beginning to do everywhere. Since even the to do everywhere. Since even in in the dominant class women were excluded dominant class women were excluded from the active exercise power, the from the active exercise ofof power, the autonomous struggles women have autonomous struggles of of women have long been bourgeois nature, demandlong been bourgeois inin nature, demanding formal equality for men and women ing formal equality for men and women in the framework existing conditions. in the framework ofof existing conditions, It is now, when the development the It is now, when the development of of the spectacle and the commodity has renderspectacle and the commodity has rendered possible and necessary such ed possible and necessary such anan equality, that feminine alienation, and equality, that feminine alienation, and not inequality,clearly appears the not inequality, clearly appears asas the one of these subjective conditions which one of these subjective conditions which has permitted this development; at has permitted this development; at the the same time, quasi-total absence of the same time, aa quasi-total absence of the critique of this alienation becomes critique of this alienation becomes evident. In this light, one can affirm evident. In this light, one can affirm that the ensemble of theoreticothat the ensemble of theoreticopractical struggles the proletariat is practical struggles ofof the proletariat is more the result of the critique masmore the result of the critique of of masculine alienation than feminine culine alienation than ofof feminine alienation, which visible as much in alienation, which isis visible as much in their form as in their content, even their form as in their content, even though these struggles have always though these struggles have always implicitly included—to various degrees— implicitly included—to various degrees— a critique of the dominant relations critique of the dominant relations between men and women. between men and women,

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At the center of the alienation ofof the center of the alienation women one finds both their need toto one finds both their need submit to men and their criteria, and submit to men and their criteria, and the contempt that women have for contempt that women have for themselves. The general absence of The general absence of autonomousand qualitative activity of of autonomous and qualitative activity women in the situationist milieu signifies women the situationist milieu signifies that the struggle of women against their that the struggle of women against their condition is not yet developed to a a point condition is not yet developed to point where they have mastered its expression, where they have mastered its expression, and also that revolutionary activity as as it that revolutionary activity it and is still practicedtoday is too masculine, is still practiced today is too masculine, still contains too many criteria toto which still contains too many criteria which women can submit. submit, women It is significant that the participants It significant that the participants (all men) in the Orientation Debate ofof (all men) the Orientation Debate the SI never stopped posing the question the SI never stopped posing the question of the appropriation of their theory by of the appropriation of their theory by the workers,of the necessary interaction the workers, of the necessary interaction between the theory they formulated and theory they formulated and between this appropriation, without ever even this appropriation, without ever even citing this same question for women. question for women, citing this This problem can only appear within This problem can only appear within and coming from sufficient critique and coming from aasufficient critique ofof everyday life, when activity no longer activity no longer everyday separates itself from this critique. Thus from this critique. Thus separates wherever only men have an activity and wherever men have an activity and women do not (whetherwomen aspire women do not (whether women aspire to one or not), criticalactivity itself is to one or not), critical activity itself is

considered by men, and byby the women considered by men, and the women who submit themselves to to them, a a who submit themselves them, in in narrow manner, essentially written narrow manner, as as essentially written and public production. This written and public production. This written production considered not as as one production is is considered not one necessary and natural moment in the the necessary and natural moment in ensemble of the work ofof the negative, ensemble of the work the negative, 'a refined product practical struggles, 'a refined product of of practical struggles, consciousness momentarily crystalized consciousness momentarily crystalized in aaform on the way toto becoming broken in form on the way becoming broken down again into raw material forfor other• down again into raw material other struggles' (K.Knabb, Double Reflection), struggles' (K.Knabb, Double Reflection), but as its whole. Even those who inin but as its whole. Even those who . speaking and writing pose the critique speaking and writing pose the critique of everyday life as central can ignore of everyday life as central can ignore the critique of their everyday lives. And the critique of their everyday lives. And it is only because itit is envisioned as it is only because is envisioned as separate activity—by itsits spectators and all separate activity—by spectators and all too often by its producers—that theorettoo often by its producers—that theoretical activity is considered prestigious. ical activityis considered prestigious. This so-called practice ofof theory This so-called practice theory leaves a part of the individual's life and leaves a part of the individual's life and real needs out of consideration: the real needs out of consideration: the part that the individual does not want part that the individual does not want to change, the part he has accustomed to change, the part he has accustomed himself to, the side of him that is is himself to, the side of him that resigned. Everything the critique leaves resigned. Everything the critique leaves out is left to the spectacle. All the while, out is left to the spectacle. All the while, the content of this so-called theory, nono the content of this so-called theory, matter how much of it it is objectively matter how much of is objectively correct, still constitutes a a theory of correct, still constitutes theory of separated, mutilated life. separated, mutilated life. Men who practice a a theory separated Men who practice theory separated from their lives exclude women de facto from their lives exclude women de facto from this practice, 'hence the particular from this practice, 'hence the particular miseries in the love relations the miseries in the love relations inin the situationist milieu' (Knabb). Unable to situatiomust milieu' (Knabb). Unable to have 'theoretical' relations with women 'theoretical' relations with women —the only relations which really interest relations which really interest these men and which they are capable men and which they are capable out—these men find themof following out—these men find themselves not knowing what to do with selves not knowing what to do with women, except to lavish advice on them women, except to lavish advice on them or or to show indulgence for and pseudo. indulgence for and pseudocomprehension of 'their difficufties comprehensionof 'their difficulties inin producing theory'. And when men producing theory'. And when men renounce this task from weariness renounce this task from weariness oror when when the inefficacity of this attitude inefficacity of this attitude becomesapparent to them, they underapparent to them, they undertake lake sexual relations with women which relations with women which are are all the poorer as they are envisioned the poorer as they are envisioned as separate from their critical activity— as separate from their critical activity— an aside, pastime. This semi-conscious an aside, a pastime. This semi-conscious contempt for women is only the contempt for women is only the contempt that men have for sexuality contempt that men have for sexuality in ty in general, particular, general, for their sexuality inparticular, their sexuality in in fact for their own concrete existence. in fact for their own concrete existence. These men are not without 'exigence' These men are not without 'exigence' for women. for women. They want women to be want women to be

'revolutionary'; which for them means: 'revolutionary% which for them means: that women recognize them asas revoluthat women recognize them revolutionary;which isis to say that women be tionary: which to say that women be

subject to the same criteria men are; subject to the same criteria as as men are; in fact that women not be revolutionary. in fact that women not be revolutionary.

Cancerous Consciousness Cancerous Consciousness or or The misadventures the theory of character The misadventures ofof the theory of character
It seems that when it is preoccupied with itself, consciousness disturbs its own functioning. The pause which ushers in the act of consciousness has been for some of our contemporaries a pretext to flee from action. Like Zeno 'srunner, in reflecting on the cause they lose the power to Zeno's runner, in reflecting on the cause they lose the Interior life serves as excuse for deserting exterior attain the goal. ......Interior life serves as excuse for deserting exterior lift. Introspection replaces action instead of transforming . . . life. Introspection replaces action instead of transforming it it... This cancerous consciousness cancerous consciousness employs the processes of consciousness to reverse the very function of consciousness. Creative consciousness is action and command. .; cancerous consciousness is retreat action and command . .. .; cancerous consciousness is retreat in the face of action, and resignation to one's lot. Creative consciousness is an apparatus instrument of truth and clarity. Cancerous consciousness is an apparatus mystification. of mystification. Emmanuel Mounier—Trait(du caractre Emmanuel Mounier—Traittdu caract. ;re

N.Bloch (11.19.75) "The self-critique of is not one, it "The self-critique of J.J. is not one, it Nadine Bloch (10.16.75) NadineBloch (10.16.75) really a self-depreciation essentially is really a self-depreciation essentially "Onthe terrain ofof the possible, "On the terrain the possible, because it remains in the upside-down because it remains in the upside-down character is the principle obstacle perspective of the 'critique character' character is the principle obstacle to to perspective of the 'critique ofof character' autonomy. In my opinion, is not for which always and inevitably poses charautonomy. In my opinion, it it is not for which always and inevitably poses charthis reason that one must launch a head- acter and characterological attitudes as as acter and characterological attitudes this reason that one must launch a headattack on one's character; this is a person's normal condition. course, on attack on one's character; this is thethe a person's normal condition. OfOf course, mistake that I I have made too often. is is the real question isis not to determine mistake that have made too often. It It the real question not to determine in the very course of life, in the difficultthe very course of life, in the difficult- the part of consciousness which remains the part of consciousness which remains and blocks encountered there, that ies and blocks encountered there, that in the unconscious, but toto create the in the unconscious, but create the the diverse manifestations and peculiar the diverse manifestations and peculiar conditions which will suppress the part conditions which will suppress the part aspects of character present themselves aspects of character present themselves as yet unconscious still existing inin as yet unconscious still existing a concrete hindrance the realization as a concrete hindrance toto the realization consciousness." consciousness." of desires and objectives. Moreover, in in desires and objectives. Moreover, Daniel Denevert (October 1975) Denevert (October 1975) this process one can push oneself and this process one can push oneself and transform oneself without submitting transform oneself without submitting "(Let no one speak toto me here about "(Let no one speak me here about external models. to external models. character, that latest find of of determinism. character, that latest find determinism. ... The critique ofof a person must The critique a person must will answer that I hold character to I will answer that I hold character to be be bear this in mind: is not a a question bearthis in mind: it it is not question of of a conscious choice effected and repeated a conscious choice effected and repeated the degree of autonomy effectively the degree of autonomy effectively in the use of life. That here autonomy the use of life. That here autonomy attained by an individual, for this does attainedby an individual, for this does applies itself through the form of of charapplies itself through the form charnot make sense and necessarily lends not make sense and necessarily lends acter simply in order toto flee itself; that acter simply in order flee itself; that undue emphasis to the most spectacular undue emphasis to the most spectacular this choice is not so irrational—much less this choice is not so irrational—much less aspects of autonomy, but of the capacity aspects of autonomy, but of the capacity innocent—to the extent that in in existing innocent—to the extent that existing
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This cancerous consciousness has maniThis cancerous consciousness has manifested itself—as an essential aspect ofof fested itself—as an essential aspect behindism—within the revolutionary behindism—within the revolutionary movement. Here are some critical movement. Here are some critical judgments which expose what the judgments which expose what the behindistsseek to ignore, toto themselves behindists seek to ignore, themselves and to others, and what the psychologists and to others, and what the psychologists certainly ignore: what truth is mystified certainly ignore: what truth is mystified and why? what action fled? What and why? what action isis fled? What interests can someone have maintaininterests can someone have inin maintainhimself in such situation? ing himself in such aasituation?

to approach and resolve the conflicts to approach and resolve the conflicts arising between character and one's arising between character and one's conscious perspectives. A revolutionary conscious perspectives. A revolutionary person knows how to put himself person knows how to put himself inin situations where he encounters blocks situations where he encounters blocks and learns to supersede them. Through and learns to supersede them. Through their gropings and errors these their gropings and errors in in these situations individuals are furnished with situations individuals are furnished with the bases for their theory their own the bases for their theory ofof their own lives." lives."

conditions takes its stand flatly on the conditions it it takes its stand flatly on the side of Power, power which in the side of Power, a a power which in the present alignment forces still designates present alignment of of forces still designates real autonomy and not character as real autonomy and not character as the the position of weakness. That whoever position of weakness. That whoever enters into the revolutionary adventure enters into the revolutionary adventure ceaselessly interposing failures and limits ceaselessly interposing failures and limits which he attributes the difficulties which he attributes to to the difficulties that his 'character' gives him, makes that his 'character' gives him, makes me me sick. That won't play this game. That I sick. That I I won't play this game. That I don't for one moment believe him to don't for one moment believe him to be be the victim of his unconscious; that I take the victim of his unconscious; that I take him for someone who wants play both him for someone who wants to to play both sides at the same time, that is say for sides at the same time, that is to to say for a faker and swine! And that his first a faker and a a swine! And that his first fakery consists in his not leaving behind fakery consists in his not leaving behind his need to fake, that is, his choosing to his need to fake, that is, his choosing to still fake with us!)" still fake with us!)"

N.Bloch (November 1975) N.Bloch (November 1975)
"I believe one can state that thethe "1 believe one can state that ideological utilization the theory of ideological utilization ofof the theory of character, which would have it that character, which would have it that an an individual could excused because he individual could bebe excused because he is aavictim of his character, is nothing is victim of his character, is nothing other than a .other than a counteroffensive within the counter-offensive within the very heart of the revolutionary movevery heart of the revolutionary movement waged by the least conscious, ment waged by the least conscious, more submissive individuals against thethe more submissive individuals against power—all-in-all legitimate—that thethe power—all-in-all legitimate—that more conscious individuals have over more conscious individuals have over them; a a counter-offensive, in fact, by them; counter-offensive, in fact, by dominant power against consciousness. dominant power against consciousness. In presenting itself for something other In presenting itself for something other than what it it is, this counter-offensive than what is, this counter-offensive has been aa real trap." has been real trap."

Translated, with assistance from author, Translated, with assistance from thethe author, by Gina Rosenberg: p.o.box 4502, Berkeley, by Gina Rosenberg: p.o.box 4502, Berkeley, CA 94704, U.S.A. CA 94704, U.S.A. COMPTE-RENDU 1976 by Nadine Bloch COMPTE-RENDU 1976 by Nadine Bloch available from Nadine Bloch: BP 167, available from Nadine Bloch: BP 167, 75864 Paris cedex 18, France. Paris cedex 18, France.

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SOME REFLECTIONS ON SOME REFLECTIONS ON SUBJECTIVISM AND INTELLECTUALISM SUBJECTIVISM AND INTELLECTUALISM by Joel Cornuault by Joel Cornuault
• When person decides to become revolutionary. .When a person decides to become aarevolutionary . .. .. he lapses into the he state of being merely pro-situ when he fears starting his critique of everymerely pro-situ he fears starting his critique thing from himself As a result, he becomesincapable of really criticising thing from himself. As a result, he becomes incapable of really criticising anything, for no other reason than the fact that his critiques don't for no other reason proceed from his passion to liberate his own daily life, from his own passion to liberate his own daily subjectivity. (Gina Rosenberg, Chris Shutes—Disinterest Compounded Daily)a (Gina Rosenberg, Chris Shutes—Disinterest Compounded Daily)a. long as it doesn't realise its true necessary to start from oneself, As long as it doesn't realise its true So, it is necessary to start from oneself, desires, humanity will remain unhappy from one's own subjectivity, practice desires, humanity will remain unhappy from one's own subjectivity, toto practice —a good reason for being merciless with theory. Butsubjectivism makes an theory. But subjectivism makes an —a good reason for being merciless with ideology of the essential: itit is the false the essential: is the false pseudo-desires, with the desires for pseudo-desires, with the desires for claim to desire, the claim to apparent appearance, with apparent desires. claim to desire, the claim to apparent appearance, with apparent desires. desire. Subjectivism wants the realisation desire. Subjectivism wants the realisation Subjectivist confusion, and the whole Subjectivist confusion, and the whole of all existing desires, including alienated existing desires, including alienated ideology that goes with it, results from ideology that goes with it, results from desires, those desires which belong toto desires, those desires which belong the fact that desires cdtne consciousthe fact that desires come to to consciousthe spectacle—`the moment ofof subjectthe spectacle—'the moment subjectness indistinguishably—there are, one ness indistinguishably—there are, at at one ivation is thus the moment modern ivation is thus the moment ofof modern and the same time, authentic desires and and the same time, authentic desires and spectacularconsumption, including its its spectacular consumption, including apparent desires, profound and supçrficial apparent desires, profound and superficial counter-cultural pseudo-alternative; it is desires. In aagiven conflict, contradictory counter-cultural pseudo-alternative; it is desires. In given conflict, contradictory the moment of the illusion of authentthe moment ofthe illusion of authentdesires face one another. The only reality desires face one another. The only reality icity.' (Nadine Bloch—All Things —All icity.' (Nadine Bloch apparent desire has to impede authenapparent desire has is is to impede authenConsidered, 1976). Considered, tic desire from revealing itself the real tic desire from revealing itself asas the real aspect In recuperating an aspect of revoluIn recuperating an revoludesire, and to seek its satisfaction. When desire, and to seek its satisfaction. When tionary theory-1 want to realise mymy tionary theory—'I want to realise the real desire hasn't been realised, the real desire hasn't been realised, it it subjectivity;my desires crcrly are import- gives birth to other new apparent desires, subjectivity; my desires ly are importbirth to other new apparent desires, ant, they are beyond discussion, blah ant, they are beyond discussion, blah and one flees again and again, accumuand one flees again and again, accumublah blah', which isis exactly the kind of blah blab', which exactly the kind of lating debts towards oneself. lating debts towards oneself. behaviour which finds niche for itself Is there nothing easier—but eventually behaviour which finds a a niche for itself Is there nothing easier—but eventually in the ultra-modern spectacle, and, more the ultra-modem spectacle, and, more more unbearable—than to to avoid intermore unbearable—than avoid interand more, enables to function—the and more, enables itit to function—the vening in one's desires—i.e. to realise only vening in one's desires—i.e. to realise only subjectivistputs his mediocre dream to to subjectivist puts his mediocre dream one's apparent desires, consume them? one's apparent desires, to to consume them? live in abundant ease and tranquility abundant ease and tranquility It is the very proletarian condition, It is the very proletarian condition, thethe into pseudo-subversive language. into pseudo-subversive language. subjective condition of the new poverty. subjective condition of the new poverty. He is the individual of illusion par the individual of par *********** excellence, because he has not lost the because he has not lost the The point is therefore not to to defend The point is therefore not defend belief—a banal but essential one for the belief—a banal but essential one for the every aspect of subjectivity, leave every aspect of subjectivity, toto leave survival of the system—that there is survivalof the system—that there is a a untouched the miserable part subjectuntouched the miserable part of of subjectplace, somewhere in this society where place, somewhere in this society where ivity (whether one calls character or ivity (whether one calls itit character or you can enjoy 'the good life'; oror that can enjoy 'the good life'; that not). not). there is a social status, or people that there is a social status, or people that The notion of 'the dissolution The notion of 'the dissolution ofof could make him happy; the subjectivist make him happy; the subjectivist character'—though it has the advantage character'—though it has the advantage is utterly colonised by the spectacle, utterly colonised by the spectacle, indicating that there exists a conflict of indicating that there exists a conflict that is to say, by the organisation thatis to say, by the organisation of of of opposed interests, within the indiopposed interests, within the indithe appearance of happiness. appearance of happiness. vidual himself, aaconflict between vidual himself, conflict between But once you have got through his But once you have got through his resignation and revolution—is nonetheresignation and revolution—is nonethesuperficial eccentricity, the weird and superficial eccentricity, the weird and less far from satisfactory. far from satisfactory. showy veneer of his 'desires' and his veneer of his 'desires' and his The ideology of the dissolution of The ideology of the dissolution of 'subjectivity', the subjectivist always has 'subjectivity', the subjectivist always has character serves as an escape from character serves as an escape from appallingly conventional tastes, habits appallinglyconventional tastes, habits practical criticism of daily misery and practical criticism of daily misery and and motives. and motives. enables one to maintain contradictions. enables one to maintain contradictions. *********** If one has to wait for people toto dissolve one has to wait for people dissolve
1. Available from the authors at: P.O. Box 4502, Berkeley, Ca.94704, USA. Available from the authors at: P.O. Box 4502, Berkeley, Ca.94704, USA.

am.

their character before they start their character before they start to to move a revolution will never happen, and move a revolution will never happen, and there would never have been any there would never have been any revolutions in the past. revolutions in the past. Dissolution of character a a person's Dissolution of character is is person's capacity—or inability—to triumph capacity—or inability—to triumph at aat a. given moment in situation of dualgiven moment in aa situation of dualpower; it is his capacity make the power; it is his capacity toto make the choice for theory, truth, revolution choice for theory, truth, revolution at at this moment. What one usually calls this moment. What one usually calls dissolution only has permanence in inas dissolution only has a a permanence as much as these choices and these much as these choices and these moments are renewed one's life. moments are renewed inin one's life. The progress an individual makes The progress an individual makes is is a sequence of deepening breaks with the a sequence of deepening breaks with the system and with the new equilibrium system and with the new equilibrium points it tends to re-establish every points it tends to re-establish at at every stage. (Clearly some characterological stage. (Clearly some chamcterological blocks are permanently destroyed and blocks are permanently destroyed and therefore there no need to fight them therefore there isis no need to fight them any more; but experience shows that any more; but experience shows that they are not always the main blocks.) they are not always the main blocks.) Parallelto the demand for anan abstract Parallel to the demand for abstract dissolution of character—a demand which dissolution of character—a demand which only a fake coherence, and mostly is only a fake coherence, and mostly consists in attacking what revolutionary consists in attacking what revolutionary ideology points out as criticisable—the points out as criticisable—the subjectivist spectacle more or less subjectivist spectacle isis more or less explicitly underlain by the belief that explicitly underlain by the belief that people have no power over their own people have no power over their own subjectivity,that itit dominates them as subjectivity, that dominates them as an alien force. In fact, this mini-ideology an alien force. In fact, this mini-ideology must be understood as the essential must be understood as the essential argumentfor resignation. What is absent argument for resignation. What is absent from it is the desire to conquer one's life. from it is the desire to conquer one's life. Only those people drowning inin the those people drowning the spectacle of revolution can imagine that spectacle of revolution can imagine that the revolutionary theorist doesn't meet revolutionary theorist doesn't meet any difficulty, any inner resistance, and difficulty, any inner resistance, and that he has 'dissolved' his character that he has 'dissolved' his character thanksto aamiracle. This is is particular thanks to miracle. This a a particular effect of their general taste for facile their general taste for facile things. It is easier to imagine the things. It is easier to imagine the theorist as aakind of God who lives theorist as kind of God who lives radicallywithout problem, because it it radically without problem, because allows one to justify one's own passivity justify one's own passivity in relation to the divine nature projected relation to the divine nature projected into this hero, before whose steps this hero, before whose steps obstacles just miraculously crumble. obstacles just miraculously crumble. Buy beyond those illusions there isis beyond those illusions there obviously no miracle. What subjectivists obviously no miracle. What subjectivists don't want to understand (and they don't want to understand (and they actually refuse to cope with the conactually refuse to cope with the consequences which may arise from it) is is sequences which may arise from it) that if the desire for life which asserts that the desire for life which asserts itself in practical-critical activity is is a itself practical-critical activity a source of joy—an activity which 'so source of joy—an activity which isis 'so often fun, absorbing, meaningful, often fun, absorbing, meaningful, exhilarating,funny', as Ken Knabb puts exhilarating, funny', as Ken Knabb puts
2. Double Reflection. 2. Double Reflection.

it,—it also necessary to launch it,t—it is also necessary to launch battles which are not always the cause, battles which are not always the cause, or even the object the immediate or even the object ofof the immediate pleasures that subjectivists seek conpleasures that subjectivists seek to to consume in this activity, the same time as sume in this activity, atat the same time as they admire it. they admire it. The critique of daily life not always The critique of daily life isis not always that easy, and 'Will alone does not suffice that easy, and 'Will alone does not suffice to provide oneself with courage and to provide oneself with courage and to to remove fear; truly, one must toil remove fear; truly, one must toil to to consider the reasons, the aims and consider the reasons, the aims and thethe examples which are able convince one examples which are able toto convince one that danger not overwhelming, that that danger isis not overwhelming, that there always will be more safety there always will be more safety inin defence than in escape; that one will defence than in escape; that one will gather glory and joy a a winner, whereas gather glory and joy asas winner, whereas in escaping one can only expect regret in escaping one can only expect regret and shame.' (Descartes) and shame.' (Descartes) we know that they triumphed Since we know that they triumphed only in global only in the framework of a global re-discover failure, it's necessary to re-discover truth, re-examine all the entire truth, and re-examine all oppositions among revolutionthe oppositions among revolutionall the possibilities that aries, all the possibilities that were without impressed neglected, without being impressed any longer by the fact that some revolutionaries were right as opposed to the others, that opposed to the others, that they whole movement. dominated the whole movement. (Internationale Situationniste, no.7) Situarionniste, no.7)
Up to now, revolutionary theory has Up to now, revolutionary theory has essentially carried out a a critique of the essentially carried out critique of the subjectivist aspects of ideology, but subjectivist aspects of ideology, but it it

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has tended to neglect a a critique of the has tended to neglect critique of the exact opposite ideological misery: its exact opposite ideological misery: its intellectualist aspect. This weakness was intellectualist aspect. This weakness was not accidental; is merely because not accidental; itit is merely because subjectivism, in its naivety, illusions and subjectivism, in its naivety, illusions and incoheremzes was more visibly criticisable. incoherencs was tuore visibly criticisable. What we must now criticise isis the What we must now criticise the opposite ideological tendency, which has opposite ideological tendency, which has found a place to strengthen itself the found a place to strengthen itself in in the very existence and development ofof the very existence and development the implicit or explicit subjectivism a a part implicit or explicit subjectivism ofof part of the revolutionary 'milieu'. the revolutionary 'milieu'. Subjectivism and intellectualism can Subjectivismand intellectuallism can only be understood in terms ofof theirbe understood in terms theirfalse—opposition: for the most part, the false—opposition: for the most part, the subjectivist reproaches the intellectualist subjectivistreproaches the intellectualist for his lack of sensitivity (theory isis cold, lack of sensitivity (theory cold, impersonal, only for egg-heads etc.), impersonal, only for egg-heads etc.), while the intellectualist reproaches the the intellectualist reproaches the subjectivist for his sensitivity, sensisubjectivist for his sensitivity, a a sensitivity seen as the cause of his lack of seen as the cause of his lack of thought, the source of his weaknesses, thought, the source of his weaknesses, of his character. But both ofof them are his character. But both them are

merely talking of spectacular sensitivity merely talking of spectacular sensitivity and thought. They don't criticise each and thought. They don't criticise each other, they merely complain about the other, they merely complain about the other for not being an accomplice in in the other for not being an accomplice the same spectacle. spectacle, If the subjectivist seeks to defend the subjectivist seeks to defend himself against criticism, the intellectualhimself against criticism, the intellectual1st, on the contrary, seeks toto use ist, on the contrary, seeks use criticism itself as aadefence. ItIt is the criticism itself as defence. is the beginning of the theorist role (to have -of theorist role (to have spoken of the theorist asas `professional', spoken of the theorist a a 'professional', would have been very unthought out, would have been very unthought out, since theory ends where a a profession theory ends where profession begins; the choices of career are begins; the choices of a a career are immediately in conflict with those immediately in conflict with those ofof practical truth). practical truth). the individual level, intellectualAt the individual level, intellectualis mainly a defensive role against ism is mainly a defensive role against one's own feelings which are seen asas own feelings which are seen mere weaknesses by the intellectualist, mere weaknesses by the intellectualist. He is haunted and tormented his He is haunted and tormented byby his fear of being 'caught out' byby others; fear of being 'caught out' others; fetishismof coherence threatens him fetishism of coherence threatens him and he builds up his situationist armour: and he builds up his situationist armour: 'the "miserable without theory" mistakes `the "miserable without theory" mistakes publicity of misery for mere display of publicity of misery for a a mere display of misery. .. conversely, the "theorist misery ... conversely, the "theorist without misery" conceals his own misery without misery" conceals his own misery theoretical activity. The theorist both in theoretical activity. The theorist both fears and needs others' misery because fears and needs others' misery because wants to hide his own.' (Peres—On he wants to hide his own.' (Peres—On The Side of the Subject). The intellectualist the individual The intellectualist isis the individual who inhibits misery, and intends this to, to, inhibits misery, and intends this be its supercession. His motto could be: its supercession. His motto could be: 'I'drather suffer than let my misery 'I'd rather suffer than let my misery appearto others.' But hehe forgets the appear to others.' But forgets the work that this inhibition produces in in work that this inhibition produces him and in his social relationships. The him and in his social relationships. The sufferings you impose on yourself, you sufferings you impose on yourself, you want to make others pay for; it's thethe want to make others pay for; it's alpha and omega of the intellectualists' alpha and omega of the intellectualists' tactics. tactics. Inhibitionof alienation isis selfInhibition of alienation selfinterested, just as its mere display: in thethe interested, just as its mere display: in former position, the individual tries former position, the individual tries to to put himself in aa hierarchical situation; in put himself in hierarchical situation; in the latter position, he tries organise the latter position, he tries toto organise his escape from autonomy. escape from autonomy, Subjectivism and intellectualism are Subjectivismand intellectualism are born in the very crisis of the old hierarchborn in the crisis of the old hierarchical models as the fmal3 resistances to models as the f'mal resistances to 3 their supersession. Practice ofof theory is their supersession. Practice theory is self-assertion on the external world: but self-assertionon the external world: but the poverty of subjectivists' and the poverty of subjectivists' and

intellectualists' social lives conies from intellectualists' social lives conics from the fact that the former can't assert the fact that the former can't assert himself without denying others their himself without denying toto others their quality of autonomous and thinking quality of autonomous and thinking individuals, whereas the latter can only individuals, whereas the latter can only assert himself by denying others their assert himself by denying toto others their quality of loving and sensitive individuals. quality of loving and sensitive individuals. Whilst the subjectivist constantly Whilst the subjectivist constantly tends to appropriate other peopletends to appropriate other people— especially in identifying his own misery especially in identifying his own misery with that of the others, creating thus with that of the others, creating thus purely affective relationships with them purely affective relationships with them —the intellectualist constantly seeks —the intellectualist constantly seeks to to reject them—especially because can't reject them—especially because hehe can't bear any recall of his repressed sensibear any recall of his repressed sensitivity through others: is a a fake distivity through others: it it is fake distanciation, purely defensive and fearful, tanciation, purely defensive and fearful, pseudo-criticism used to resolve a pseudo-criticism used to resolve complex relationships, put an end to complex relationships, toto put an end to difficult situations. One has built difficult situations. One has built anan ideology of'reconciliation, the other ideology of reconciliation, the other anan ideology of separation. ideology of separation. To each of them, the personality To each of them, the personality of of the other is threat for it embodies the other is aa threat for it embodies their own repressed. the subjectivist their own repressed. IfIf the subjectivist sees the intellectualist as monster of sees the intellectualist as a a monster of rigidity and hardness, the intellectualist rigidity and hardness, the intellectualist sees the other as monster looseness sees the other as aamonster ofof looseness and weakness. and weakness. *********** The little mythology that the The little mythology that the intellectualist constructs for himself is intellectualist constructs for himself is as as stupid as that of the pro-situ the stupid as that of the pro-situ or or the subjectivist. If the subjectivist keeps subjectivist. If the subjectivist keeps portraying himself as very passionate portraying himself as a a very passionate and sensitive person, the intellectualist and sensitive person, the intellectualist infatuated with images coherence, is infatuated with images ofof coherence, strategy, rigour, as self-managed strategy, rigour, as self-managed spectacles. 'Life is game of chess' spectacles. 'Life is aagame of chess' is is usually his crudest statement. . 4 usually his crudest statement.4 To the intellectualists' spectacle To the intellectualists' spectacle ofof thought corresponds the subjectivists' thought corresponds the subjectivists' spectacle of passion: although they spectacle of passion: although they aren't two absolute and perfectly aren't two absolute and perfectly delimited models, subjectivism is is more delimited models, subjectivism more a tendency of alienated women and tendency of alienated women and intellectualism masculine tendency. intellectualism aa masculine tendency. In the context of the separation In the context of the separation between men and women, alienated between men atjd women, alienated femininity (and its complacency with femininity (and its complacency with images of sensitivity and vulnerability) images of sensitivity and vulnerability) finds itself enforced by the reverse finds itself enforced by the reverse role provided by masculinity, which role provided by masculinity, which is is complacent with images ofof strength complacent with images strength and thought. and thought.

3. This Is abstract-situatlonist rhetoric: there are no final resistances to the supersession 3. This is abstract-situationist rhetoric: there are no final resistances to the supersession of hierarchy.—Nick Brandt. hierarchy.—Nick Brandt.

Is the vicious circle of the intellectualist 4. Such is the vicious circle of the Intellectualist that he will almost certainly noddingly smile In Intellectual 'recognition' of such a critique: but his schizoid reaction always intellectual 'recognition' of such a critique: but his schizoid reaction returns to haunt him, at the very least in his dreams.—Nick Brandt.

Masculinity thus finds a place where Masculinity thus finds a place where it can develop itself in the 'revolutionary it can develop itself in the 'revolutionary milieu' when the relationships between milieu' when the relationships between men themselves are considered men themselves arc considered as as 'theorists' relationships'. Exactly like 'theorists' relationships'. Exactly like in in ruling masculine relationships, they ruling masculine relationships, they areare the cause and the consequence a the cause and the consequence of of a direct hostility towards women, and direct hostility towards5 women, and the desire to exclude them from the the desire to exclude them from the

complicity-rivalry balance which mascucomplicity-rivalry balance which masculinity characterises and which is necessary linity characterises and which is necessary for the maintenance a masculine power for the maintenance ofof a masculine power over women. over women. ***********

Form and content theory can't Form and content ofof theory can't be separated. be separated. Intellectualism a fetishism of form, Intellectualism isis a fetishism of form, i.e. a form without content; it the i.e. a form without content; it is is the intelligence of one's aims which forgets intelligence of one's aims which forgets that you can't fight alienation in that you can't fight alienation in an an alienated way. Contemptuous content, alienated way. Contemptuous of of content, the intellectualist can only be hostile the intellectualist can only be hostile to to its quality. its quality. At the opposite pole, and as its At the opposite pole, and as its inverse misery, the subjectivist can only inverse misery, the subjectivist can only graspcontent without its form ;.because grasp content without its form ,.because he lacks purpose, the only thing him he lacks purpose, the only thing to to him is immediate content. His judgements is immediate content. His judgements

are subject to his—more less mysterious are subject to his—more oror less mysterious and mystical—'ability' 'feel', or or not, and mystical—`ability' to to 'feel', not, people and situations; he incapable of people and situations; he is is incapable of going beyond his immediate intuitions. going beyond his immediate intuitions. If the intellectualist sacrifices the If the intellectualist sacrifices the living content to the coherence its living content to the coherence ofof its form, the form of theory 'cold' to to form, the form of theory is is 'cold' thethe subjectivist; according him, only the subjectivist; according toto him, only the form is criticisable. Accordingly, form is criticisable. Accordingly, hehe thinks that he's right criticise theory thinks that he's right to to criticise theory for being an 'intellectual', and not for being an 'intellectual', and not a a sensitive matter. sensitive matter. But it is only in the spectacle But it is only in the spectacle (whether ruling or revolutionary) that (whether ruling or revolutionary) that thought is considered an obstacle thought is considered an obstacle to to sensitivity, and sensitivity as lack of sensitivity, and sensitivity as a a lack of thought. Sensitivity and thought are thought. Sensitivity and thought are only opposed in ideology; the ideologue only opposed in ideology; the ideologue is not capable of feeling and thinking at at is not capable of feeling and thinking the same time; he can't understand his his the same time; he can't understand thought as sensitive, and his sensitivity thought as sensitive, and his sensitivity as intelligent. When he begins thinking, as intelligent. When he begins thinking, he believes he has to forget his sensihe believes he has to forget his sensitivity, and when he conceives feelings tivity, and when he conceives feelings he believes he must put aside his he believes he must put aside his thoughts. thoughts. Theory is nothing but the reconciliTheory is nothing but the reconciliation of sensitivity and thought in in the ation of sensitivity and thought the individual and his practice, the end individual and his practice, the end of of separated sensitivity and thought separated sensitivity and thought.

Les tanements This is a translation of This is a translation of Les Ervnements Courants 3: Quelques Riflexions Sur Le Courants 3: Quelques Rflexions Subjectivisme & Lintellectualisme Pour Subjectivisme& L 'Intellect ualisme Pour Servir A La Critique Des Separations by by Joel Cornuault, available from the Joel Cornuault, available from the author at B.P.167, 75864 Paris cedex 18, B. P. 167, 75864 Paris cedex 18, France. France. The pamphlet was written in in January-February 1977 pamphlet was written January-February 1977

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5. /-\rrd tear of.—NickBrandt. 5. And fear of —Nick Brandt.

Some excerpts from excerpts from ON THE SIDE OF THE SUBJECT THE SIDE OF THE SUBJECT by Jean Pérès, Bordeaux, May 1976 Jean Peres, Bordeaux, May 1976

On Theory On Theory
Revolutionary theory inseparable Revolutionary theory isis inseparable from its particular conditions from its particular conditions of of becoming public. The mode of becoming public. The mode of production of theory and the social production of theory and the social relations which form its base must relations which form its base must bebe criticised by precisely theory itself. criticised by precisely theory itself. InIn accepting within itself the relations accepting within itself the relations of of alienated communication, the revolualienated communication, the revolutionary movement only submits itself tionary movement only submits itself the a priori conditions its to the a priori conditions ofof its recuperation. recuperation. The critique of reality can no longer critique of reality can no longer ignore the processes by which this ignore the processes by which this critique separates itself from it and which critique separates itself from it and which are concretely manifested inin the relations are concretely manifested the relations that individuals entertain with one that individuals entertain with one another. This opposition, between the another. This opposition, between the critique and its object, misery, critique and its object, misery, is is expressed at the heart the revolutionexpressed at the heart ofof the revolutionary movement by two apparently ary movement by two apparently contradictory but really complementary contradictory but really complementary attitudes. attitudes. For some, access to the totality some, access to the totality consists merely in unveiling their own consists merely in unveiling their own misery; for others, consists only in misery; for others, itit consists only in theorising misery. Thus, two attitudes theorising misery. Thus, two attitudes completely devoid of self-critique. And completely devoid of self-critique. And one can therefore accuse the other of of can therefore accuse the other being a theoretician without misery, being a theoretician without misery, only to hear himself then being called only to hear himself then being called a 'miserable without theory'. The 'miserable without theory'. The 'miserablewithout theory' confuses thethe `miserable without theory' confuses publicity of misery with the simple publicity of misery with the simple advertising of misery. He ignores the advertisingof misery. He ignores the fact that the publicity of misery is is fact that the publicity of misery radically opposed to the simple advertradically opposed to the simple advertising of misery; it must be the publicity ising of misery; it must be the publicity of the critique of misery, the critique the critique of misery, the critique of its negation. The simple advertising its negation. The simple advertising of misery separates the publicity of of misery separates the publicity misery from the idea of its suppression. misery from the idea of its suppression. It shows only the misery in misery, shows only the misery in misery, without seeing the subversive side it without seeing the subversive side ofof it that will overturn the social order. The that will overturn the social order. The simple advertising of misery only simple advertising of misery only spectacularises it, and this' mise-en-scene spectacularises it, and this'mise-en-scenc founds the community `miserables'. foundsthe community ofof 'miserables'. to be like him, and seeks security to be like him, and seeks security inin identification, not in supersession. Like identification, not in supersession. Like the society in which he lives, he speaks the society in which he lives, he speaks his own ruin in order get accepted. of his own ruin in order toto get accepted. fundamentally the conservationist He is fundamentally the conservationist his misery and that others. of his misery and that ofof others. Inversely, the 'theoretician without Inversely, the 'theoretician without misery' dissimulates his own misery misery' dissimulates his own misery in in theoretical activity. The theoretician theoretical activity. The theoretician at at the same time fears and needs the misery the same time fears and needs the misery others, for he wants hide his own. of others, for he wants toto hide his own. Which is expressed by the fact that Which is expressed by the fact that as as soon as the misery of the other appears, soon as the misery of the other appears, he theorises it. All he knows the he theorises it. All he knows isis the general misery, and his activity consists general misery, and his activity consists in generalisation. For him, the particin generalisation. For him, the particular is not himself, but merely a concept; ular is not himself, but merely a concept; that's why he's always embarrassed that's why he's always embarrassed to to talk about himself. he once in a a while talk about himself. IfIf he once in while experiences some little misery of the experiences some little misery of the miserable, he stupidly rejoices and miserable, he stupidly rejoices and blurts it out to show that is a a comblurts it out to show that hehe is complete person. But his true joy resides plete person. But his true joy resides in in his theoretical successes. his theoretical successes. You can tell theoretician by the way You can tell aatheoretician by the way he speaks of 'practical theory'; whereas he speaks of 'practical theory'; whereas his theory is not practicable and especihis theory is not practicable and especially not for him. ally not for him. The particular misery the theoretThe particular misery ofof the theoretician is in his practice: theory. practice ician is in his practice: theory. A A practice that he is certainly impotent theorise. that he is certainly impotent to to theorise. The theoretician identical to the The theoretician isis identical to the spectacle whose mode of concrete being spectacle whose mode of concrete being is precisely abstraction. For him, to to be is precisely abstraction. For him, be criticised is to disappear asas theoretician; criticised is to disappear a a theoretician; one can understand his blindness. one can understand his blindness. The fetishism of theory and the The fetishism of theory and the fetishism of misery can survive side by fetishism of misery can survive side by side for a long time. In this division ofof for a long time. In this division labour, each finds in the other what he he labour, each finds in the other what imagines himself to lack: the 'miserable', imagines himself to lack: the `miserable', his theory; the theoretician, his misery; his theory; the theoretician, his misery; in reality, each lacks not what in reality, each lacks not what hehe obtains from the other, but rather the the obtains from the other, but rather knowledge of his own theory and ofof his knowledge of his own theory and his own misery, which appear toto him own misery, which appear him falsely and separately. And `the group', falsely and separately. And 'the group', if there is one, will be generally separthere is one, will be generally separated from what it it will call the 'exterior'. ated from what will call the `exterior'. Someone whose misery hasn't sufficientIn these relations of individuals, the In these relations of individuals, the Someone whose misery hasn't sufficiently shown up is suspected of dissimulcohabitation of misery and ofof its intercohabitation of misery and its intershown up is suspected of dissimulating it. The miserable wants everyone pretation—separated from each other ating it. The miserable wants everyone pretation—separated from each other

and from the totality—clarifies the and from the totality—clarifies the separation in the dominant ruling specseparation in the dominant ruling spectacle betweeen the dissatisfaction which tacle betweeen the dissatisfaction which is presented on the one hand, especially is presented on the one hand, especially by images, and its interpretation which by images, and its interpretation which is presented on the other hand, is presented on the other hand, by by diverse bureaucrats and specialists; diverse bureaucrats and specialists; thisthis being anchored to the very conditions being anchored to the very conditions separation, which make such of separation, which make such a a separation of representation possible. separation of representation possible. In the relations between the In the relations between the 'miserable' and the theoretician, 'miserable' and the theoretician, the the latter commands practically the language latter commands practically the language of explanation—formally he possesses explanation—formally he possesses the sense of the others' activity. The the sense of the others' activity. The 'miserable' possesses neither the sense 'miserable' possesses neither the sense his own activity nor does he under of his own activity nor does he understand the misery of the theoretician; stand the misery of the theoretician; he he constrained to agree the explanis constrained to agree toto the explanations of the other, thereby sacrificing ations of the other, thereby sacrificing his satisfaction in being a 'miserable', his satisfaction in being a 'miserable', and accepting the theoretician he is. is. and accepting the theoretician as as he The theoretician becomes the leader. The theoretician becomes the leader. But in this hierarchical relation, conflict But in this hierarchical relation, conflict installed. The dissatisfaction remains is installed. The dissatisfaction remains imprisoned and reappears at drop of imprisoned and reappears at thethe drop of a hat. Each time the theoretician must a hat. Each time the theoretician must become the boss, the 'miserable' must become the boss, the 'miserable' must rise against him. The permanence the rise against him. The permanence of of the movement of hierarchical crystallisation movement of hierarchical crystallisation preventseach from criticising the prevents each from criticising the qualities that define the 'miserable' and qualities that define the 'miserable' and the theoretician, the qualities which are the theoretician, the qualities which are at the source of their reciprocal the source of their reciprocal alienation. alienation. The fetishism of theory isis clearly the The fetishism of theory clearly the fetishism of the theory of the others and fetishism of the theory of the others and of the theory of aapast moment. It It comes theory of past moment. comes out clearly in the pro-situationist clearly in the pro-situationist mentality. This absolutism of separated mentality. This absolutism of separated theory would evidently want itself toto be theory would evidently want itself be immediatelypractical. The fetishism of of immediately practical. The fetishism misery corresponds to the anti-situationmisery corresponds to the anti-situationist mentalityand finds its expression in in mentality and finds its expression the theory of the anti-theory, inin which theory of the anti-theory, which separatedmisery wants itself toto be separated misery wants itself be immediatelytheoretical. These two immediately theoretical. These two positions are equally opposed to a a are equally opposed to unitary struggle against separation. unitary struggle against separation. Theory is a practical process. Theory is a practical process. Empiricallife contains theory asas means Empirical life contains theory a a means which develops with it, and the manner which develops with it, and the manner in which an individual conducts his life an individual conducts his life in visibly demonstrateshis choices. visibly demonstrates his choices. In concrete experience, interpretation In concrete experience, interpretation is always an acting force; but fixation on is always an acting force; but fixation on daily life and the excitement which daily and the excitement which results from it gives it function limited results from it gives it aa function limited to the short-run, not to the immediate, to the short-run, ifif not to the immediate,

thus corresponding a a need consume thus corresponding toto need to to consume thought. The consumer, everyone thought. The consumer, asas everyone knows, is very active individual, princiknows, is aavery active individual, principally determined by the always deceived pally determined by the always deceived search for immediate pleasure, and transsearch for immediate pleasure, and transforming the very means pleasure into forming the very means ofof pleasure into commodities; and among them, thought. commodities; and among them, thought. When individuals, for example, decide When individuals, for example, decide to meet in order treat their personal to meet in order toto treat their personal or collective problems, what frequently or collective problems, what is is frequently ignored is that the meeting itself an ignored is that the meeting is is itself an aspect of practice, an activity. It is the aspect of practice, an activity. It is the form in which interpretation is generally form in which interpretation is generally separated from the reciprocal determinseparated from the reciprocal determination of the individuals the very heart ation of the individuals inin the very heart of daily life, in order to be constituted of daily life, in order to be constituted at a proper time and place particularly at a proper time and place particularly favoured and appreciated byby the specialfavoured and appreciated the specialists of separate interpretation. This type ists of separate interpretation. This type of meeting, which generally produces of meeting, which generally produces only other meetings or their necessity, only other meetings or their necessity, brings out an organisational reflex brings out an organisational reflex typical of the renunciation by the inditypical of the renunciation by the individual of his own thought. vidual of his own thought. At root, the separation between At root, the separation between theory and misery a separation at at theory and misery isis a separation thethe very interior of the individual between very interior of the individual between his thought that he does not sufficiently his thought that he does not sufficiently and his life that he does not suffilive and his life that he does not sufficiently seek to understand, a separation ciently seek to understand, a separation that he himself permanently maintains, that he himself permanently maintains, reproducing itit in diverse forms everyreproducing in diverse forms everywhere. where.

On Ideology Ideology
The point of view of the individual The point of view of the individual isis the right way of posing the problem the right way of posing the problem of of activity. From this point view, activity. From this point ofof view, alienation can be attacked under alienationcan be attacked under its its fundamental form of self-alienation, the fundamentalform of self-alienation, the processes by which the activity of the processes by which the activity of the individual becomes foreign to him, individualbecomes foreign to him, giving an idea of himself which little by an idea of himself which little by little comes to orient his action and his comes to orient his action and his thought. That is to say, the individual thought.That is to say, the individual finds himself face to face with the himself face to face with the internalisation of spectacular mechainternalisation of spectacular mechanisms, which is the effect of and support which is the effect of and support for the reformism of power. the reformism of power. The point of view of individual point of view of individual activity, which can seem ridiculdus toto the which can seem ridiculdus the mentality dominated by mass-action old mentalitydominated by mass-action and avant-gardism, only takes upon itself avant-gardism, only takes upon itself and as point of departure, the real and as point of departure, the real essence of this action: relationships this action: relationships between individuals. between individuals. The underdevelopment of individual The underdevelopment of individual

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I

practical capacities was fought originally practical capacities was fought originally an by an illusory response,inherited from response, inherited from the old anarchist absolutism, and from the old anarchist absolutism, and from the myth of the individual excellence the myth of the individual excellence ofof the old members of the Situationist the old members of the Situationist International; a response conforming to International; a response conforming to the requirements of the spectacle of of the the requirements of the spectacle the modernrevolution in the form of of modern revolution in the form autonomistideology. The individual autonomist ideology. The individual hereinresumes in himself the original herein resumes in himself the original task of the organisations. task of the organisations. In this ideology the subject himIn this ideology the subject isis himself taken as object; he isis not the force taken as object; he not the force which produces history, but itsits inversion: produces history, but inversion: the history of the subject erected as as history of the subject erected separatedtotality; his activity is to to him separated totality; his activity is him a means to valorise himself, and hehe acts means to valorise himself, and acts with this goal in mind. Facing the uniwith this goal in mind. Facing the uniformityof social behavior, he seeks toto formity of social behavior, he seeks appear'different' to to himself and thethe appear 'different' himself and to to others. others. The identification of the subject The identification of the subject to to his activity is a constant trait of of all the activity is a constant trait all the autonomistorganisations and movements; autonomist organisations and movements; but at the individual level, because nono but at the individual level, because particular collective mediation comes particular collective mediation comes between the individual and his activity, between the individual and his activity, the critique of autonomist ideology the critique of autonomist ideology reveals the foundation all the reveals the foundation ofof all the specialised collective autonomisms, the specialised collective autonomisms, the alienation of the person by himself. The alienation of the person by himself. The individual fetishises himself. individual fetishises himself. He makes his power an object ofof He makes his power an object representation and gives the appearance representation and gives it it the appearance himself. He elevates to the dignity of himself. He elevates to the dignity ofof genius all acts which he imagines genius all acts which he imagines toto confer power upon him. confer power upon him. The consideration of practical activity The consideration of practical activity and its consequences from the exclusive and its consequences from the exclusive angle of the recognition of self leads the angle of the recognition of self leads the individualto artificially assemble his individual to artificially assemble his behaviour about this fictive individual behaviour about this fictive individual unity, going so far as to deem himself unity, going so far as to deem himself presentable as the 'self-made man', presentable as the 'self-made man', a a fashionablerevolutionary. fashionable revolutionary. Autonomist ideology really contains Autonomistideology really contains the individual desire make one's own the individual desire toto make one's own history, but in wanting realise this history,but in wanting toto realise this desire independent of his socio-historic desire independent of his socio-historic conditions, the individual must submit conditions, the individual must submit to these conditions and realise himself these conditions and realise himself only as revolutionary commodity at at the only as revolutionary commodity the moment when the revolution has moment when the revolution has become a universally recognised a universally recognised commodity. commodity. The French expression `se faire des The French expression 'se faire des illusions' (in English, literally 'to make illusions' (in English, literally 'to make

oneself of illusions') contains the idea oneself of illusions') contains the idea that the individual actively participates that the individual actively participates in the creation of his own illusions. in the creation of his own illusions. But these illusions are going be But these illusions are going toto be embodied. embodied. For in delegating the sense his own For in delegating the sense ofof his own activity to an abstract representation, activity to an abstract representation, in in attributing his own power it, he calls attributing his own power to to it, he calls upon his enemies to take hold this upon his enemies to take hold ofof this power against him. The pseudo-revolupower against him. The pseudo-revolutionary workers bureaucracies and tionary workers bureaucracies and all all species of proletarian representation species of proletarian representation areare the concrete form of and product the the concrete form of and product of of the weakness of the revolutionary movement. weakness of the revolutionary movement. Revolutionary ideology, today • Revolutionary ideology, today universally shared and which the universally shared and ofof which the Stalinists are the most experienced repStalinists are the most experienced representatives, is the ideology the resentatives, is the ideology ofof the proletariat, of the historic subject, and proletariat, of the historic subject, and rests upon the separation between rests upon the separation between thethe subject and history. How this separation subject and history. How this separation was produced at root: this the focus was produced at root: this is is the focus the critique of the subjective aspect of the critique of the subjective aspect practical-critical activity, which the of practical-critical activity, which is is the critique of the proletariat itself. critique of the proletariat byby itself. In revolutionary ideology, the In revolutionary ideology, the relations between individuals are relations between individuals are mediated by the image of the revolution mediated by the image of the revolution and of themselves as revolutionaries. and of themselves as revolutionaries. This ideology aims to maintain class This ideology aims to maintain class domination and to keep social relations domination and to keep social relations in the service of the economy: whether in the service of the economy: whether in order to constitute the economic base in order to constitute the economic base modern class society (Russia, China, of modern class society (Russia, China, Third-World), or whether save it Third-World), or whether to to it (Europe). But more and more it (Europe). But more and more it is is becoming the ideology of all the powers becoming the ideology of all the powers which want to reform the world itself. which want to reform the world itself. the individuals of power have And the individuals of power have a -a vested interest in that the relations vested interest in that the relations between individuals remain reformist between individuals remain reformist relations. relations.

On Practice On Practice
It is necessary to recapture the internal It is necessary to recapture the internal activities of daily life in their legitimate activities of daily life in their legitimate claim to universal life, in their sense ofof claim to universal life, in their sense social communication and inin the sense social communication and the sense of a social project. a social project. Everyone speaks, reads, writes, moves Everyone speaks, reads, writes, moves himself, organises himself, reflects, loves himself, organises himself, reflects, loves etc. These innumerable activities contain etc. These innumerable activities contain in themselves, in their relations among themselves, in their relations among themselves, with the totality and the themselves, with the totality and the individual who uses them, the entirety individual who uses them, the entirety

of social relations and social struggles. social relations and social struggles. In 'passivity' the means really at at the In 'passivity' the means really the individuals'disposal remain in in a individuals' disposal remain a proletarianised state, the service of proletarianised state, inin the service of alienated communication and the alienated communication and of of the interestswhich are connected to to it; this interests which are connected it; this mentality prefers see activity mentality prefers toto see activity 'elsewhere', in the others, outside 'elsewhere', in the others, outside of of daily life—in order to obscure toto itself its daily life—in order to obscure itself its real activity that really produces this real activity that really produces this passivity and its justifications. passivity and its justifications. activism, the illusory reaction In activism, the illusory reaction to to an illusory passivity, activity leaves the illusory passivity, activity leaves the terrain of daily life in order constitute terrain of daily life in order to to constitute particular time and place which a particular time and place which is is going to colonise daily life, so to speak, to colonise daily life, so to speak, 'from the exterior'; more precisely, a part 'from the exterior'; more precisely, a part daily life separates off from and of daily life separates off from it it and returns to dominate as an external returns to dominate it it as an external dictate.* Passivity and activism are the dictate.* Passivity and activism are the two opposed forms of the same refusal opposed forms of the same refusal conscious intervention in daily life. of conscious intervention in daily life. On the one hand, subversive activity On the one hand, subversive activity liberatesits own means. In a revolutionliberates its own means. In a revolutionary moment, the diverse activities which ary moment, the diverse activities which constitute daily life are seized everyconstitute daily life are seized everywhere in all their profundity asas multiwhere in all their profundity multilateral and public communication. lateral and public communication. On the other hand, the conscious On the other hand, the conscious interaction between the different means interaction between the different means daily life can enhance theoretic comof daily life can enhance theoretic comprehension and occasionally unleash prehension and occasionally unleash subversive activities. Obscurity and subversive activities. Obscurity and confusion are often manifested by the confusion are often manifested by the preponderance of a single means of preponderance of a single means of communication, for example, converscommunication, for example, conversation, or a single mode of relation, for ation, or a single mode of relation, for example, sexual. Clarification can begin example, sexual. Clarification can begin with shifting an ordinary means to to a with shifting an ordinary means a place in which it is unusual, the place in which it is unusual, asas the situatiortists did through the use thethe situationists did through the use of of tape-recorder in conferences, thereby tape-recorder in conferences, thereby breaking the pseudo-dialogue between breaking the pseudo-dialogue between the participants 'there person' and the participants 'there in in person' and his listeners. listeners. example, in cases where one can For example, in cases where one can only read, one writes the author of of such read, one writes the author such and such aatext; thus one puts oneself and such text; thus one puts oneself in a situation where one can develop situation where one can develop one's own critique, and one breaks one's own critique, and one breaks thethe unilateral character of of spectacular unilateral character spectacular communication; in cases where there is is communication; in cases where there only conversation without effects, one conversation without effects, one writes a letter, thus creating a distance writes a letter, thus creating a distance conducive to reflection; inversely, inin conducive to reflection; inversely,

cases where there only a written cases where there isis only a written correspondance, one 'makes a trip', correspondance, one 'makes a trip', in in cases where there are only private where there are only private relations, one publishes, giving more relations, one publishes, giving a a more general sense to the problems posed, general sense to the problems posed, to to one's personal positions, and thus one's personal positions, and thus inciting publicity; one can sexualise inciting publicity; one can sexualise friendships, thus liberating the repressed friendships, thus liberating the repressed for a better communication, etc. for a better communication, etc. In another way, facing the profusion In another way, facing the profusion forms which dissimulate the absence of forms which dissimulate the absence content, one can choose particular of content, one can choose a a particular content, problem that one poses content, aaproblem that one poses oneself, and momentarily subjugate oneself, and momentarily subjugate to to it the entirety of social relations: it the entirety of social relations: conversations, readings, experiences, conversations, readings, experiences, observations.. In giving, even a bit observations ... .In giving, even ifif a bit arbitrarily, 'sense' to existence, one arbitrarily, a a 'sense' to existence, one reverses the autonomy the 'nonsensreverses the autonomy ofof the 'nonsensical' and one clears the way for a deeper ical' and one clears the way for a deeper comprehension. comprehension. The danger at each stage that of The danger at each stage is is that of fetishising the form or content what fetishising the form or content of of what chosen. is chosen. One does not gain access to the One does not gain access to the totality directly; is necessary to make totality directly; itit is necessary to make breaches in it; the means access are breaches in it; the means ofof access are diverse, and function of tastes, of diverse, and aa function of tastes, of lucidity on oneself, of the risks one lucidity on oneself, of the risks one isis prepared to take, and the moment. It prepared to take, and of of the moment. It necessary to consider the organic is necessary to consider the organic progression of activity time; to progression of activity inin time; to dispense with this theoreticianist attitude dispense with this theoreticianist attitude which ignores its own moment, these which ignores its own moment, these self-cross-examinations of all existence self-cross-examinations of all existence which valorise the interpretation which valorise the interpretation 'in 'in abstracto'; becomes the supreme interabstracto'; itit becomes the supreme interpretation, the result a lack of daily pretation, the result ofof a lack of daily interpretation; the mental solution which interpretation; the mental solution which dug up with single yank from the is dug up with aa single yank from the theoretical terrain and which clearly theoretical terrain and which clearly indicates the road to follow. The taste indicates the road to follow. The taste for perfection wants to walk before for perfection wants to walk before taking a single step. taking a single step. Theory must be understood the Theory must be understood as as the intelligence of aa personal and historic intelligence of personal and historic situation, and of the relation between situation, and of the relation between the two; it is aathought relative to to a the two; it is thought relative a situation, and draws from this situation situation, and draws from this situation the means for an intervention in in the the means for an intervention the sense of individual choice. sense of individual choice. The spectacle of the revolution is is The spectacle of the revolution largely aa product of revolutionary largely product of revolutionary activity, of its inconsequence. In the activity, of its inconsequence. In the struggle between the spectacle and the struggle between the spectacle and the revolution, the one only receives revolution, the one only receives

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* This implies aa rigid opposition to Interventionany any struggle other than one's This Implies rigid opposition to intervention in in struggle other than one's 'own'. Whilst it's impossible to be usefully lucid about thethe conflicts of others If 'own'. Whilst it's impossible to be usefully lucid about conflicts of others if one is not lucid about one's own, a a total rejection such an intervention is merely is not lucid about one's own, total rejection of of such an Intervention is merely the flip-side of militantism.—Nick Brandt. the flip-side of mllitantism. —Nick Brandt.

reinforcement to the extent that reinforcement to the extent that thethe other makes possible. The success of other makes itit possible. The success of the struggle accordingly depends the the struggle accordingly depends onon the revolution itself. In society which revolution itself. In aa society which

proclaims itself revolutionary, the proclaims itself revolutionary, the hollow pretensions and silence hollow pretensions and silence ofof revolutionaries have become anachronistic. revolutionaries have become anachronistic.

and slightly altered This is a This is a loose and slightly altered from Jean translation of some translation of some excerpts from Jean The original Peres' Peres' Du Cote Du Sujet. The original version is available from unexpurgated version is available from the author at B.P.37, Bordeaux, the author at B.P.37, Bordeaux, Cedex 33037, France. Cedex 33037, France.

AFTERWORD AFTERWORD
In November 1977, in part as a result of of In November 1977, in part as an accumulation of unfought and ununfought and reflected contradictions, half-true semireflected projections, backtrackings, obsessions, projections, backtrackings, obsessions, semi-avant-gardist and semi-hermetic pretensions and pretensions chronic memory blocks, II impulsively blocks, impulsively publicised my tangled vicious circles to publicised my tangled some revolutionaries (or would-be some revolutionaries (or revolutionaries) in Berkeley and in Paris: revolutionaries) in Berkeley and in Paris: the illusory family in my head. This selffamily in my head. imposed jolt—together with thedevelopimposed jolt-together with the development of other relationships inin Londonother relationships London— ment had a relatively immediate personal had relatively immediate personal effect of affectively releasing me from of affectively releasing me from some of my abstractions and absentmy abstractions and mindedness, and of clarifying a few mindedness, and of clarifying aspectsof my past, of my self-illusion. aspects of my past, of my self-illusion. This was because it gave me the impetus This was because it and distance I had previously lacked, and distance I had previously also because it was one moment of my because it was one moment of my break (however desperate and mixed-up) (however desperate and mixed-up) from the knot of my partial emotional and intellectual fixation and submission fixation and submission to some of these people and to some of these aspects of the past theory and practice past theory and practice aspects of of them. Unfortunately the emotional repression and unthought-out strategy and unthought-out returned against me in the form of brief against me in the form of brief unrevealing (though understandably exasperated) insults—or just plain silence — exasperated) insults-or just plain silence from the Americans. Others, however, however, reacted with reacted with more concrete and provoand provocative criticism. Moreover, my decisions my decisions were not quite as totally `imbecilic' as some the 'imbecilic' as some or toe Americans have made out. I have printed these pieces by Nadine I have printed these pieces by Nadine Bloch, Joel Cornuault and Jean Peres, and Jean Pres, since some of what they say articulates some of —onaagenerallevel—t critiqueof some -on general level-'critique of some of my own (still far from reversed) (still far from reversed) impoverished history—though, impoverished history-though, obviously, also because they have a more obviously, also because a more general use. A more precise auto-critique general use. A more precise auto-critique of the situationist or would-be situationor would-be situationist milieu, particularly in this country, country, over the past ten years or so, including the past ten years or so, including a critique of my own confusions, will be a critique of my confusions, will be arriving (in some form or another) soon (in some soon er or later: it willencompass a or will encompass a critique of the self-alienation and and recuperation of the various sides of the sides of the milieu. Almost always `situationists'— milieu. Almost always 'situatiomsts'especially in this country—have lagged especially in this country-have lagged behind reality, have delayed and forgotbehind reality, delayed and forgotten themselves until it was too late. Like ten themselves until it was too late. Like the history of the world they have world they have claimed to fight, it has been one of daily fight, it has been one of unchallenged separations, self-contradictions separations,self-contradictions and false choices: my 'business' and your 'business'; my 'business' your 'business': degradation and self-deprecation; rivalry degradation and self-deprecation; rivalry and complicity; objectivist determinism and complicity; and complacent daily-life-ism; seduction complacent daily-life-ism; and rejection; humourlessness and rejection; humourlessness compulsive frivolity; unthinking childish compulsive frivolity; impulsivity and characterologically impulsivity and characterologically 'mature' distanciation; ideological ideological `mature' predictability and crazy unpredictability unpredictability predictability and for its own sake; rigidity and diffuseness; own sake; rigidity and diffuseness; chaos and compulsive chaos and compulsive 'coherence'; nihilist purism and moralist purism; nihilist purism and respectablenormality and its flippedrespectable normality and its flippedout flip-side; working-class ouvrierism ouvrièrism and flippant middle-class 'revolutionary' and flippant middle-class 'revolutionary' dilletanteism; sublimative headiness and dilletanteism; sublimative headiness and unanalysed sexuality; and undialectical und ialectical combinations of all these. Everywhere all these. results have greatly differed from the results have greatly differed from what had been desired: on the one hand, varying forms of self-destruction self-destruction resulting in a confused manic-depressive in a madness, an unreceptive totally restless madness, an unreceptive totally inability to listen, read, or love, inability to listen, read, learn or love, unfocussed semi-solipsistic unfocussed semi-solipsistic narcissistic megalomania (poor imitations of Jacques imitations of Jacques Vach), a fetishism of intrigue, paternalVache),a fetishism of intrigue, paternalistic anarcho-situ istic vandalism, anarcho-situ activism, compulsive negativism, negativism, miitantism of daily life, terrorism, militantism of daily life, terrorism, alternations between naive gullibility and alternations between naive gullibility and ultra-paranoia, secret jealousy, repressed repressed and unrealised bi-sexuality, resigned and unrealised bi-sexuality, resigned sexual stasis, impotent didactic intellectsexual stasis, impotent didactic intellectdespondent resignation, ualisms, bored despondent resignation, alcoholism, and suicide; the alcoholism, despair and suicide; on the other hand, recuperation in the form of other hand, recuperation in the form of compulsive amiability, complacent compulsive amiability, complacent cynicism, hedonism, 'radical' sociology, cynicism, hedonism, 'radical' sociology, teaching and therapy, eclectic alternative teaching and therapy, eclectic alternative society ideology, mysticism and cultism, society ideology, mysticism and cultism, sexual politics ideology, punk rock, sexual politics ideology, political theatre dadaism, council political theatre and dadaism, council communism and ultra-left politics, and communism and ultra-left politics, and the isolated 'security' of couples (I think the isolated 'security' of couples (I think that just about covers it all.) been that just about covers it all.) It has been a specifically post-1968 `situationist' a specifically post-1968 'situationist' (implicitly or explicitly) version some (implicitly or explicitly) version of some of the ideas on ideology and on madof the ideas on ideology and on mad-

ness in the last chapter of Debàrd's ness in the last chapter of Debard's of the spectacle'.* 'Society of the spectacle'.* This complex and contradictory intertwining of ideology and lucidity has ideology and lucidity has stemmed from practical an insufficiently practical and ongoing critique and self-critique of the whole of would-be revolutionof the daily life of would-be revolutioneffectively aries that can effectively be challenged this side of the barricades (a 'consciousof the barricades ness' of unfought separated mutilated life) and the life) and of the failure to face the vicious circle of its consequences, as well as—in this country—an insufficient consciousness of the 'quintessentially consciousness of the 'quintessentially English archaisms in the control of daily

('Student their life' ('Student Poverty'), their relation to the socio-economic crisis, and of how socio-economic crisis, and effected both the these have effected both the revolutionary milieu and the more general class come later—and struggle. The details come later—and will come as much from your they will come as much from your mine. For struggles as from mine. For the moment, will end with a modern I will end with a modern Spanish which, however abstract, motto, which, however abstract, and a-historical it seems, is a-historical it seems, —in this context—essentially true: —in this context—essentially true: 'Confusion, madness, stupidity and their `Confusion, madness, stupidity and their contraries are the result of conscious are the result of choices the choices the individual makes all throughthroughout his/her life.'

Nick Brandt: London, England, January 1978. BM Combustion, London WC1 London WC1V 6XX.

• Ken Knabb's Society of Situationism only just touches the problem, and inin very * Ken Knabb's Society of Situationism only just touches the problem, and a a very marginal way,—for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has 'met him. marginal way,—for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has 'met' him.

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-Ye

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