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A Few Extra Remarks
on Guy Debord - Revolutionary


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Guy Debord: Revolutionary

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Persona non grata

12.  l e n  b r a c k e n

THE SOCIAL REVOLUTION of the XIXth Century cannot draw its
poetry from the past, but only from the future. It cannot
begin with itself before it has stripped off all
superstition in regard to the past. Earlier revolutions
required recollections of past world history in order to
drug themselves concerning their own content. In order to
arrive at its own content, the revolution of the XIXth
Century must let the dead bury their dead. There the phrase
went beyond the content; here the content goes beyond the
phrase. (emphasis added)

DEBORD WASN'T DUPED into believing in the supremacy of
form over content. Didn't Marcus pick up on the
revolutionary content of Debord's writing? Does he really
think that there is an equivalence between Situationist
activity and Nazi acts of atrocity? as the "reversible
connecting factor" ?? The content is clearly of little
importance to Marcus, hence the revolutionary
Situationists, who never killed anyone that we know of (not
that they were pacifists), suddenly use the same power
principles as the Nazis? How off can Marcus be?

EVEN ON THE FIRST AND LAST TIMES that Marcus uses the
"reversible connecting factor" - regarding the Paris
Commune and the Strasbourg University scandal surrounding
the publication of The Poverty of Student Life - when the
meaning does relate to what Debord meant when he wrote
about "reversible coherence of the world," it is misleading
to use this rhetoric, used once in a minor essay, when the
irreversible nature of historical change is fundamentally
Marxist and central to Debord. The Paris Commune and
the Strasbourg scandal were events, historical events
that were irreversible in sense that they existed in their
time and space. As Debord once wrote somewhere, if I
remember correctly, nothing can be any different than it
was.

HOW IS IT THAT THE PARIS COMMUNE was not the "reversible
connecting factor"? Consider this quote from the SI on the
subject: "Engels' phrase: 'Look at the Paris Commune - that
was the dictatorship of the proletariat' should be taken
seriously as the basis for recognizing what is not the
dictatorship of the proletariat (i.e. the various forms of
dictatorship over the proletariat, in the name of the
proletariat)." To these "various forms" mentioned in the
third of the SI's "Theses On the Paris Commune" should,
perhaps, be added "the reversible connecting factor"
because it is not the Paris Commune, nor is the "factor"
the toppling of the Vendôme Column, as Marcus claims. In
their "Theses on the Paris Commune," which Marcus mentions
by name, the Situationists don't mention the destruction of
the Vendôme Column - once again, Marcus juggles ideas and


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