I got through the SI anthology, it was a whopper of a book. Gives you insight into the group and its objectives. The writing in the late 50s were almost utopian. The core ideas of Detournement were there and the ambiences of spaces were quite exciting but as they got into the sixties they refused to let their imaginations get the better of them and instead were pragmatic as it was supposed to be a revolution of everyday life not another power swap or representation. So it got a bit dry and it made their eventual break up seem like a breath of fresh air. They didn’t want to be another group of like minded individuals falling over each other in communal agreement but instead be critical and dynamic. That is hard as groups tend to agree with each other and socially bond which can make critical discourse difficult. They tended to break with groups and individuals booting them out of the SI if they disagreed sharply. Was this to remain pure? All it did was create splinter groups but at least the SI remained set on its objectives and denied many groups of authenticity. The real problem is the whole idea of being authentic and having a goal with no definitive end. The core idea is to undermine current spectacle based society trying not to become a spectacle oneself and get recuperated into the system. Making radical ideas remain radical. That is hard.
The other day I was thinking of change as a gradual process that is absorbed (to the SI this is recuperation) and I have no problem with that but when you think of the Obama rally for change it seems only to manipulate the majority to gain power and really has America changed? I can’t really say as I am not living day to day in that country but the idea of change is very powerful and the idea of it is also the core of the SI. Possibly the SI wanted absolute change ie revolution. Obama wanted a change of government and got it by appealing to the masses. The SI wanted you to change, ie all of you to take power not give it to a representative but really take it and be responsible. What that creates is up to everyone.
Just a few slogans to finish: I am free under lock and key, I am change.