By Guy Debord

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

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

—Alice Debord, 2004

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The broad degeneration of bureaucratic ideology is now approaching its limit in the very country where, on account of overall economic backwardness, the remnants of ideological pretension to revolution must be boosted to the maximum: the very coun­ try, in short, where ideology is most needed, namely China. The crisis that has been steadily widening in China since the spring of 1966 is without prece­ dent in bureaucratic societies. Certainly, the ruling class of bureaucratic state capitalist systems in Russia or Eastern Europe, which in the normal way uses terror to cow the exploited majority, has often found itself torn apart internally by clashes and vendettas sparked by the objective difficulties that it encounters, or else by the subjectively 41 GUY DEBORD delusional style that a totally mendacious power is forced to adopt.

A social occurrence of such magnitude can obviously not be explained, in the anecdotal fashion of bourgeois commentators, in terms of differences over foreign policy; it is glaringly obvious, for in­ stance, that the Chinese bureaucracy is quite happy to ignore the insult represented by the crushing of Vietnam at its very doorstep. Nor could mere personal rivalries concerning the handing over of the reins of power have thrown so much in the balance. When certain leaders are 43 GUY DEBORD denounced for having 'kept Mao Zedong away from power' since the end of the 1950s, every­ thing suggests one of those charges so often in­ vented after the fact during bureaucratic purges, like the claim that Trotsky contrived the civil war on orders from the Mikado, or that Zinoviev backed Lenin to please the British Empire and so on.

50 THE EXPLOSION POINT OF IDEOLOGY In order to understand just how a split at the top of the bureaucracy could travel downwards, rallying cry by rallying cry, creating remote­ controlled confrontations at every level of the party and state apparatus, and eventually among the masses, it should be borne in mind that rem­ nants still exist of the old Chinese administrative system based on quasi-autonomous provinces. The denunciation this January by the Beijing Maoists of 'independent fiefdoms' clearly refers to this reality, and the growing disturbances over the last few months confirms it.

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