Nowhere To Run (MetaMute)

by Stewart Home

Stewart Home reviews two new publications dealing with the Situationist International and other political currents of the 1960s: Art-Ist magazine's Situationist International special issue and Dancin’ In The Streets!, a collection of texts from Rebel Worker and Heatwave

These two recent publications show the way in which discussion about the Situationist International might be broadened out. In recent years far too much attention has been focused on Guy Debord as an allegedly key figure within the SI. While Debord was one of several individuals central to the group, creatively he was dependent upon collaborators to a degree its other leading members were not. Debord’s strength was as a classical French prose stylist, thus he very often wrote up ideas that were developed collectively and for various reasons assorted recuperators wish to place his signature alone upon these texts. While other Situationists such as Asger Jorn were original if sometimes rather wayward thinkers and doers, Debord remained to the last politically naïf (and I say this because I believe his revolutionary fervour was sincere, I’d call him a bourgeois political sophisticate if I doubted his passion for communism). As a result of this naivety, when viewed from a purely Debordist perspective the SI is inconsequential, a marginal political sect with a handful of followers whose low-grade repackaging of a very specific strand of Marxist discourse is likely to be found wanting by anyone who has encountered a broad spectrum of left-communist positions.