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[Nettime-bold] Don't forget Debord's 'tude
David Cox on 25 Feb 2001 23:02:49 -0000


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[Nettime-bold] Don't forget Debord's 'tude


By the end of his life, Debord had more or less concluded that the forces
of organised crime had actually become those responsible for the scale and
breadth of the Spectacle in its current form. That the underlying
principles which guided the global political arena were 
standover tactics writ large was evidence to him of how out of control the
power and influence of capital had become.

Debordian Cultural Studies is not necessarily a contradiction in terms;
and the ability to mix 'n' match should not be so easily discarded as the
shopping malling of theory. Debord insisted that political action can only
come about by articulating and making manifest the desires which undergird
social unrest. Films like "Fight Club" and "The Matrix" in a wierd way
echo these same calls to action, filtered as they are through the doppled
stain glass window of spectacular time/space. They encourage young people
to question the legitimacy of the reality of alienated labour and a boring
life.

We should adopt most of all Debord's attitude - a kind of resigned and
private connesseurship of ideas. This is what makes his work and ideas so
incredibly adaptable. He rewired Marx to suit the times he was living in.
Surrounded by the bosses and the kingpins, we too must work
undercover to unravel the mysteries of how the economy keeps us bored, and
keeps us powerless as Debord did. By cutting and pasting and redirecting
the bits of theory which had worked thus far. By not equating the failed
Soviet project with the best aspects of Marxism, and always emphasising
the importance of friendship, adventure and the romance of social change.
The idea is to promote the fact that people can change society, and
routinely do change society. Debord was able to always demonstrate that
ideas can become actions, and that it is possible to work from the margins
to effect action alongside a poetry of proposals which everyone can
identify with.  This is not social democracy, rather a variant on
vanguardist anarcho syndicalism.

His gift was that of the strategist, the role playing game enthusiast, the
lover of drink and food and of the basic freedom to call a city one's own.
Desire is always the strongest motivator.

As Debord said, the SI did not light the spark, they just brought the
gasoline.


DC


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