1) in 1991, Debord was able to get a court to order his former publisher, Editions Gerard Lebovici (EGL), to pulp all of the books that it had published under his name (Alice Becker-Ho asked for and was granted the same wish) because he/they wanted to make sure that EGL kept to its word, actually dissolved as a company, and didn't re-establish itself under a new name. Galloway makes Debord's decision seem capricious or arbitrary, when it was in fact reluctantly taken in response to the unprofessional conduct of the inheritors of the Lebovici name.
2) it was in 1992, under the stewardship of Jean-Jacques Pauvert, that Debord started publishing his books with Gallimard. The 1987 book wasn't reissued by Gallimard during Debord's lifetime (unlike Panegyric, the Comments, and The Society of the Spectacle) because Debord did not in fact consider Kriegspiel to be as important as these other books/projects.
3) Debord didn't "keep in touch" with Donald Nicholson-Smith, whom he disliked and distrusted as early as 1979 and steadfastly all through the rest of his life. In fact, DNS kept pursuing Debord with the project of translating Spectacle into English, and Debord kept ignoring him.
4) Editions Gerard Lebovici was not "his [Debord's] publishing house," which implies that he either owned part of it or was responsible for running it, neither of which were true. Indeed, Debord had been denying such foolishness as early as 1976..
5) Floriana Lebovici was Gerard Lebovici's wife, not his daughter.
The long-time Prime Minister of Italy, Christian Democrat Aldo Moro, had been kidnapped during a brazen intervention by the far left communist militant group the Red Brigades. In Italy the progressive militancy of the sixties had metastasized during the following decade into an actually existing low-level guerrilla war. Moro was held for 54 days. During the hostage period, Moro appealed to the Christian Democrats to acquiesce and negotiate with what both the newspapers and government officials alike called terrorists, that newly evolved form of political actor so closely associated with the late-modern period. Held in secret and sentenced to death in a so-called people's trial on or about April 15, Moro received little solidarity from his former government colleagues, and sensing the immanent culmination of events, the presumed future president of Italy stipulated that no Christian Democrat leaders should be present at his funeral. There were none.
So as Moro lay in the trunk of the Renault R4, Guy Debord was at his rural home playing board games and toying with the idea of fashioning one of his own. The backdrop of European militancy in the seventies makes Debord's penchant for playtime all the more delicious.
When he did finally address Moro and the Red Brigades, in his 1979 preface to the fourth Italian edition of The Society of the Spectacle,before the killing, Debord predicted that Moro would be 'suicided' by his own government, thus allowing the state forces to consolidate power (known in Italy as the 'historic compromise') around the common fear of terror and anarchy. (Emphasis added.) Debord spat on the guerrilla movement, claiming that the Red Brigades were in fact unknowing pawns of the state Stalinist forces. Writing to Sanguinetti
Certainly the domain of simulation and modelling is always something of a bitter pill for progressive movements. This is the root anxiety lurking beneath the surface of Debord's game. The left will always be deceived in the domain of abstraction. This is not to say that Spirit or the logos are by necessity contrary to progressive political movements. Nevertheless the lofty realm of rational idealism has always been something of a hindrance to those suffering from the harsh vicissitudes of material fact. And here one must revisit a long history indeed, of traditionalism versus transformation, of philosophy versus sophistry, of essence versus process, of positivism versus dialectics, of social science versus 'theory', and so on.
Progressive art movements are very good at beginnings, but terrible at endings. As Debord said in 1978 amidst his losses (the death of the SI, the 'end' of the cinema, his expanding waistline and vanishing sobriety): 'avant-gardes have but one time' (1999: 47). We might say something similar about leftist cultural production in general: (1) the left is forever true in the here and now, always in the grip of its own immediate suffering, but (2) it will forever be defeated in the end, even if it finds vindication there. This is why Debord can occupy himself with both 'struggle' and 'utopia'. It is also a window into why Debord became obsessed late in life, not with street revolt, but with the sublimation of antagonistic desire into an abstract rule book. It is not that the past is always glorious and the future antiseptic. Quite the opposite, both past and future are internally variegated into alternately repressive and liberating moments. For the left, the 'historical present' is one of immediate justice won through the raw facts of struggle and sacrifice. In short, the historical present is always true, but forever at the same time bloody. But the future, the utopian imagination, is a time of complete liberation forged from the mould of the most profound injustice. In short, utopia is always false, but forever at the same time free.