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A Few Extra Remarks
on Guy Debord - Revolutionary


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given the unreality of the spectacle, it is real.) This dialectical process isn't a "reversible connecting factor;"after all, every category is historical, and nowhere else but in Marcus (and the poor translation) do we see a reference to a "reversible connecting factor" in the analysis of Debord and his concepts. Not in the French, English or American literature on the subject (tell me where "cohérence réversible du monde" is used by post-situationist writers?). Nor, to my knowledege, in the Italian.

IT DOESN'T HELP THAT MARCUS takes Debord's line "even the true is a moment of the false" out of context, as he does on page 328 to demonstrate that the "reversible connecting factor" is also the use of genitive inversions (this example isn't a genitive inversion, nor is, as I demonstrate below, Marcus' other example, a quote from Marx). I say that it doesn't help our understanding because one of the basic aspects of contradiction is that a proposition cannot be simultaneously false and true - in a specific example, however, something that is true can be describing the way an object is false. Perhaps Debord is simply characterizing this process with a little rhetorical flourish. To take Debord out of context like this is mystifying; and it might be better to learn one's cases before attempting to invert them. For all of Marcus' love of the "taste of negation," he completely disregards the notion that negation is a logical operation whereby a new proposition is inferred from a given proposition. Instead, he proceeds like a Burroughs cut up - caught in a tornado. To put it another way, if Debord's propositions are true, Marcus' negations of them are false, and thus self-negating in a dialectical way. The time is thus at hand for a repetition at a higher level of some of the features of the original project.

THE TRANSLATION OF "FACTOR" ("the reversible connecting factor in the world") presents still more problems. Marcus makes the point that "Debord was a mathematician" (p 141), which is erroneous; he was a logician, and a Hegelian one, which is to say that he was a dialectician. Even the math in Debord's board game (the various coefficients for numerous maneuvers in different positions calculated for both sides, offense and defense), are, he makes clear in the rules to the game, secondary to strategic intuition. Whereas the "of the world" denotes the concept of totality that is central to Debord's thought, one "factor" implies other factors of more or less importance. As Martin Nicolaus points out in his forward to Marx's Grundrisse, Hegel and Marx used "the term 'moment' to refer to what in a system at rest would be called 'element' or 'factor.'" My guess is that if Debord had carefully considered the translation, he would've objected to the use of "factor" due to the connotation of a Weberian theory of factors that describes social, technical and cultural factors in their external interactions. This is a mechanistic methodology alien to Debord, modeled as it is on the empirical sciences.

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