In this 2006 interview, Robert Kurz offers a succinct definition the “radical critique of value”, and discusses the nature of the commodity and markets, the “ontologization of value”, abstract labor, the unsavory side of Enlightenment ideology, “the liberation of the abstract individual” as a result of the current global crisis, the “double Marx”, fetishism, Anselm Jappe’s book The Adventures of the Commodity, the continuing relevance of Guy Debord’s concept of the spectacle, and other topics, in an interview for a Brazilian online publication.
In this new Preface to the 2014 Spanish critical edition of Manuscript Found in Vitoria, Miguel Amorós discusses the historical background of the Manuscript (first published in 1977) and two other important post-situationist texts (La sociale guerre au Portugal (1975) [The Social War in Portugal] and Précis de récuperation (1976) [Manual of Recuperation]) with particular emphasis on the roles played by Jaime Semprun, Guy Debord and several of their comrades, including other former situationists, in attempts to foment subversion in Portugal and Spain in the 1970s, and the volatile disputes typical of the Debordian milieu.
A critique of the Situationist International, emphasizing the divergent trajectories of Guy Debord and Raoul Vaneigem, focusing on the role of the concept of alchemy in the SI’s theory of the revolution, with discussions of, among other topics, revolution as “transmutation”, the alchemical proto-dialectic and its relation to the Hegelian-Marxist dialectic of “supersession”, Vaneigem’s alleged debt to Schopenhauer (the “will to live”), André Breton and the “alchemy of the word”, the meaning and origin of the metaphor of the quest for the “evil Grail”, the enigmatic Hamburg Theses, and the “contradictions” of the SI’s favorable attitude towards automation and technology.
A short summary of the history of the Situationist International, with brief discussions of its artistic origins, its significance as the “the most political artistic vanguard and the most artistic political vanguard” of its time, the role of the critique of everyday life in the development of its project, and the recuperation of many situationist themes by capitalism since May ’68, whose achievements with regard to individual freedom "were nothing but the pale reflection of the freedom of the market”.
“Mode d’emploi du détournement” originally appeared in the Belgian surrealist journal Les Lèvres Nues #8 (May 1956). This translation by Ken Knabb is from the Situationist International Anthology (Revised and Expanded Edition, 2006).