Anarchism/Marxism Debates

curtiss_leung at curtiss_leung at
Thu Aug 19 09:37:19 PDT 1999

Rakesh writes:

> I would like to consider the problem of need creation in what the

> situationists have called the society of the spectacle but have not

> yet read Anselm Jappe's bio Guy Debord, with a foreward by TJ Clark.

> Univ of California Press, 1999.

I have it and have made my way through most of it. It's the first

decent book on Debord and SI I've found; the Sadie Plants and Greil

Marcuses and their ilk need bother us no more. It takes Debord as an

insurrectionary Marxist, not an anarchist, and certainly not a

postmodernist scene-monger. I find myself wishing it were a bigger

book; that way, I could smack the dim-bulb vulgar pro-situs who insist

otherwise (they're certainly not going to read it).

As far as the creation of needs go, it's worth noting that in his

essay defending the riots in Watts, Debord wrote approvingly that it

was the first uprising in history to justify itself on the grounds

that there was no airconditioning during a heat wave. I mention this

because a recent article in the rag _Radical Philosophy_ cast Debord

as a "romantic anti-Capitalist", which, seems to me, is as

questionable as the anarchist and postmoderist labels. There are

paeans to "artisanal production" in Debord's writing, but I don't

believe he shunned technology as such.



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