To Mr. J.R. Jones:
Your June 9th review of 60s garage-influenced Swedish band (International) Noise Conspiracy gave deserving praise to their music and their covert attempt at playing illegal rock clubs in China yet also gave some inaccuracies about the situationists, the current organization of life, and revolutionary theory/practice. In short:
A. The situationists were neither anarchists, Marxists, nor any one-sided ideological position/tendency since they, correctly, believed holding ideologies (i.e., dead, petrified thoughts) is alienating. They did critically synthesize elements of Hegelian-Marxian philosophy, psychoanalysis, Dada, and anarchy–for their theory/practice.
B. Social injustice and boredom are interconnected since they are some of the results of our current organization of life where we don’t have complete control over all aspects of our lives. Instead emotional/psychological repression copulates with capitalist production and births monstrous hierarchies which separate us from ourselves and others. Even if you escape economic poverty, you are still confronted with the impoverished choices of being an alienated consumer and worker. Whether it’s obvious physical state violence (ex. police brutality and the death penalty) or the daily tedium of wage slavery, commuting, school, shopping, welfare offices, commercial radio, TV, etc–they both prevent people from combining passion and rationalism to create new kinds of self and social realization, participation, and communication. Only revolution can allow us to fully explore those possibilities on a global scale.
C. The critical use of situationist theory, or any actual self-critical and big-picture grasping revolutionary theory, doesn’t have to lead to paralysis. In fact, even large mass uprisings such as in France during May-June 1968 with millions of workers and students were partially inspired by situationist theory. If revolution is therapeutic, then revolutionary theory must begin at home. Situationist theory (not its half-assed reduction into an ideology of situationism) allows us to subvert ourselves as we subvert the world. Even small beginning steps in confronting our own daily complicity in this bad joke of a society are much more satisfying than apathy or being another robot for the most politically correct leader. Our own autonomous critical activity is ultimately full of more possibilities than the compromises and guilt-mongering of leftist ideologues (i.e., the residue of Leninist vanguard parties, “progressive” electoral parties, anarcho-syndicalists and other anarcho nostalgia/classicist purists, and other work fetishists). Humor helps in preventing ideological rigidity from forming.
In closing, J.R. keep writing on rock music but remember nothing is above questioning including ourselves and the role of the critic. Excuse me now I’m late for a street orgy. I promised some ex-International Socialist Organization members I would devirginize them wearing a Richie Daley mask. For more on practical uses of revolutionary theory read Ken Knabb’s book Public Secrets or Web site: www.bpf.org.