A Sick Planet by Guy Debord

By Guy Debord

Of the 3 self sustaining texts via man Debord incorporated right here, have been first released as pamphlets, whereas the 3rd used to be written in 1971 for inclusion in a projected 13th factor of the Situationist International's magazine which by no means seemed as a result of group's dissolution.

Despite the seeming variety of the topics discussed—the Watts riots in ‘The Decline and Fall of the “Spectacular” Commodity-Economy’ (1965); the disintegration of bureaucratic energy in ‘The Explosion element of Ideology in China’ (1967); pollutants and its illustration in ‘A ailing Planet’ (1971)—all 3 texts care for the various varieties of the ‘spectacle’ and its repercussions. And regardless of the dates in their composition, all 3 stay startlingly correct today.

—Alice Debord, 2004

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In any case, the urgent and essential nature of this choice was so obvious to all that both sides felt it necessary, by reason of the disorder created by this division, to risk immedi­ ately compromising the very conditions of their existence. It may very well be that the fierce deter­ mination of both sides is justified in the sense that the problems of the Chinese bureaucracy are, in fact, insurmountable and, that while the two con­ tending strategies were thus equally inapplicable, it was still necessary to choose between them.

We know that most of the apparatus-and Liu Shaoqi himself, despite the shakiness of his position in 54 THE EXPLOSION POINT OF IDEOLOGY Beijing-put up an obstinate resistance. First, an attempt was made to prevent the tide of Maoist agitation from spreading beyond the universities, where 'work groups' were set up as a counter­ force, but this effort failed; the Maoists emerged onto the streets of all the larger cities and began to use wall posters and direct action to attack tar­ geted officials everywhere-and, not infrequently, committing errors and acting with an excess of zeal.

They are negation at work-'the bad side that produces the movement which makes history by setting up a struggle' (Marx, The Poverty of Philos­ ophy, 184 7). Africa has nothing to do with it. American blacks are as much a product of modern industry as electronics, advertising or the cyclotron. They carry its contradictions within them. They are people that the spectacular para­ dise must integrate and repulse simultaneously, with the result that in their particular case the antagonism between the spectacle and the real activity of human beings is patent.

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