"Surrealism is obviously alive. Its creators are still not dead. The new people, more and more mediocre, it is true, claim kinship with it. Surrealism is known to the public as the extreme of modernism and, on the other hand, it has become an object for university studies. It is indeed one of the things that live at the same time that we do, like Catholicism and General de Gaulle. [...] The real question is thus: what is the role of surrealism today?" Guy Debord, Supreme Height of the Defenders of Surrealism in Paris and the Revelation of their Real Value (December 1958).
"Is it worth the bother of saying this again? There is no 'situationism.' I am myself only a situationist due to the fact of my participation -- at this moment and in certain conditions -- in a community practically grouped together in view of a task, which this community will or will not know how to accomplish [...] The SI is obviously composed of very diverse individuals and even several discernable tendencies of which the relations of force have sometimes changed. Without doubt, its entire activity is only pre-situationist. We do not in any way defend 'creations' that belong to someone and still less to a single one of us: on the contrary, we find it very positive that the comrades who have joined us have already, by themselves, attained an experimental problematic that blends ours. The surest symptom of idealist delirium is, moreover, the stagnation of individuals, supporting or quarreling for years about the same values, because they are the only ones to recognize them as the rules of a poor game. The situationists leave them to their dust-ups." -- Guy Debord, "Concerning Several Errors of Interpretation."
Ken Knabb. This fellow has spent more than 25 years polishing his translations of the texts published in Internationale Situationniste, and in 2002 he offered yet another translation of Debord's 1967 book The Society of the Spectacle (it had previously been translated by Fredy Perlman and then by Donald Nicholson-Smith). But Knabb seems completely uninterested in (translating) Debord's work after 1972: his collaboration on the "Censor" pamphlet, his Preface to the Fourth Italian Edition of "The Society of the Spectacle," his virtually unknown 1980 intervention in favor of imprisoned libertarians in Spain, his Comments on the Society of the Spectacle, etc etc. Knabb's interest in (translating) Debord's films, most of which were made and released after 1972, does not undermine the validity of our reproach: these are mostly lyrical-poetic works, redolent of the SI's first period, and not strategic interventions, redolent of its third.
Retort. This is the name taken by a group of Anglo-American academics who are utterly fixated on Debord's 1967 book, and seem to be completely uninterested in Debord's post-1972 work. As we have pointed out, this bias renders their analyses of "September 11th" completely boring and reactionary. Despite their name, this group's members do not dialogue or "engage in polemics" with people who disagree with them. Not surprisingly, Retort's politics are explicitly Leftist, not revolutionary.
Various "Anti-Conspiracy" Pro-Situationists. Like the members of Retort, these are people who -- during their denunciations of what they call "conspiracy theories" concerning September 11th -- demonstrate their lack of knowledge or interest in both Preface to the Fourth Italian Edition of "The Society of the Spectacle" and Comments of the Society of the Spectacle. As if the Italian section of the SI never published Is the Reichstag Burning? such people claim that "conspiracy theories" are either non-situationist or anti-situationist.
Various Neo-Anarchists. Here we have in mind such groups (or participants in such actions as) "Reclaim the Streets," "Carnival Against Capitalism," The Yes-Men, The Rev. Billy, et al -- that is to say, most of what used to be called "the anti-globalization movement." These are Leftists and former-Marxists who are strongly influenced by the pre-1962 situationists, who call themselves "anti-authoritarians" because it is a good marketing strategy, and who are single-mindedly obsessed with defective or toxic commodities, evil corporations and economic globalization, and yet absolutely unconcerned with concentration camps, fascism, the "refugee crisis" and other properly political problems. They are also openly disdainful of September 11th "conspiracy theories."
Jordan Levinson. This is a neo-anarchist who refers to Debord as "de Bore," who gloats about the fact that Debord "offed himself," and excoriates "the impotent rhetoric of dead fools from 40 years ago," and yet uses the email address firstname.lastname@example.org and insists on uploading his bad translations of situationist texts to a website that is full of advertisements and that deposits cookies and pop-up windows for commercial products on the hard-drives of the people foolish enough to access it. Levinson is an excellent example of a "Vaneigemist": full of rage and resentment, terrified of being judged or correcting himself, and content with things (virtually anything, of whatever quality) as long as they is free.
Raoul Vaneigem. To the casual observer, or even the moderately well-informed person, Vaneigem resigned from the SI in November 1970 and never looked back, that is to say, pursued his ideas and projects positively and progressively, not negatively or in reaction to (his resignation from) the group to which he belonged and derived whatever notoriety he possesses. Only those who have tracked Vaneigem's collaborations with the virulent anti-Debordist and madman Jean-Pierre Voyer -- and Vaneigem's use of pseudonyms (not "Ratgeb" or "Jules-Francois Dupuis," but "Jean-Pierre Bastid," "Pierre Bree" and "Jacques Vincent") in these collaborations -- would know that his resignation has both determined and ruined much of what he has written since 1970. (We fear that something similar is in play where Donald Nicholson-Smith is concerned.)
"For the moment, you must observe all the treatments or regimes that are called for, even the severe ones. We will soon come to Italy, which, I hope, will encourage you. If a culpable indifference to what you can do in the world or a deplorable sense of humor causes you to still play with the idea of suicide, you must consider other alternatives. You know that I have always allowed, with a very great facility and nearly an equal spirit, that life separates me from many friends and several girls whom I have loved. But I tolerate death very poorly." -- Guy Debord, letter to Gianfranco Sanguinetti dated 25 September 1974.