Situationist International Anthology
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Literary Nonfiction. Politics. Critical Theory. Art. In 1957 a few European avant-garde groups came together to form the Situationist International. Picking up where the dadaists and surrealists had left off, the situationists challenged people's passive conditioning with carefully calculated scandals and the playful tactic of detournement. Seeking a more extreme social revolution than was dreamed of by most leftists, they developed an incisive critique of the global spectacle-commodity system and of its "Communist" pseudo-opposition, and their new methods of agitation helped trigger the May 1968 revolt in France. Since then—although the SI itself was dissolved in 1972—situationist theories and tactics have continued to inspire radical currents all over the world. The SITUATIONIST INTERNATIONAL ANTHOLOGY, generally recognized as the most comprehensive and accurately translated collection of situationist writings in English, presents a rich variety of articles, leaflets, graffiti and internal documents, ranging from early experiments in "psychogeography" to lucid analyses of the Watts riot, the Vietnam War, the Prague Spring, the Chinese Cultural Revolution and other crises and upheavals of the sixties. For this new edition the translations have all been fine-tuned and over 100 pages of new material have been added.
is to link up the theoretical critique of modern society with the critique of it in acts. By detourning the very propositions of the spectacle, we can directly reveal the implications of present and future revolts. I propose that we pursue: 1. Experimentation in the détournement of photo-romances and “pornographic” photos, and that we bluntly impose their real truth by restoring real dialogues by adding or altering the speech bubbles. This operation will bring to the surface the subversive
North African AC, etc.). On the other hand, there was a proliferation of professional committees: attempts to revive the old trade-unionism, but usually for the benefit of semiprivileged sectors and thus with a clearly corporatist character; these committees served as tribunes for specialists who wanted to join the movement while maintaining their separate specialized positions, or even to derive some favorable publicity from it (“Congress of Cinema Workers,” Writers Union, English Institute AC,
indignation that was aroused by the new forms of action initiated or systematized by the Enragés, those “campus hooligans” who one day decided that “everything disputable must be disputed” and ended up shaking up the whole university. In fact, those who at that time met and formed the Enragés group had no preconceived idea of agitation. The only reason they had signed up as “students” was in order to get grants. It simply happened that broken-down streets and slums were less odious to them than
into the dominant counterrevolution: Voix Ouvrière or Arguments. As for the various anarchist groups, they possess nothing beyond a pathetic faith in the ideological label “Anarchy” in which they have pigeonholed themselves. The pitiful Le Monde Libertaire, obviously edited by students, attains the most incredible degree of confusion and stupidity. Since they tolerate each other, they would tolerate anything. The dominant social system, which flatters itself on its constant modernization, must
later issue of Internationale Situationniste has the following note on Solidarity: “The majority of the British Solidarity group that is apparently demanding this boycott of the situationists are very combative revolutionary workers. We feel confident in stating that its shop-steward members have not yet read the SI, certainly not in French. But they have an ideological shield, their specialist of nonauthority, Dr. C. Pallis [Maurice Brinton], a well-educated man who has been aware of the SI for