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.
activity; and that project began the very moment the state, through the deployment of the military force that was the only crystallization it achieved under Ben Bella, its only solid structure, declared its independence vis-à-vis Algerian society. The state’s other projects—the technocratic reorganization of the economy, the social and juridical extension of its power base—are beyond the capacities of the present ruling class in the real conditions of the country. The mass of undecided, who had
primary purpose of exoticism: escape from the real conditions of life and creation. In the workers states only the experimentation carried out by Brecht in Berlin, insofar as it puts into question the classic spectacle notion, is close to the constructions that matter for us today. Only Brecht has succeeded in resisting the stupidity of Socialist Realism in power. Now that Socialist Realism is falling apart, we can expect much from a revolutionary confrontation of the intellectuals in the
vocabulary that determines their place within this institutionalized discussion. Information and influence are transmitted unilaterally, from the top to the bottom, never from the bottom to the top. Nevertheless, these three categories are quite close to one another in their common confused powerlessness, as spectators making a show of themselves, in relation to the real dividing line between them and the people who actually make the films. The unilaterality of influence is still more strict in
ultrasecret fallout shelters reserved for members of the government. 13. One thinks here of the excellent journal Heatwave, which seems to be evolving toward an increasingly rigorous radicality.* 14. The parties have striven to industrialize these countries through classic primitive accumulation at the expense of the peasantry, accelerated by bureaucratic terror. 15. For 45 years the French “Communist” Party has not taken a single step toward seizing power. The same is true in all the advanced
ground level free for traffic circulation and public meetings. The use of ultralightweight and insulating materials that are currently being tested will permit light construction with supports spaced well apart. In this way it will be possible to create a multilayered city: underground, ground level, upper stories and terraces, with areas ranging from that of a present-day neighborhood to that of a metropolis. It should be noted that in such a city the built-up surface will be 100% and the free