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"The Assault On Culture" is not a work that I could revise, I would have to write a completely new book. Naturally, I am flattered that an Italian translation should appear eight years after this work was first published in English, since Mirella Bandini's "L'estetico il politico da COBRA all'Internationale Situazionista 1948-57" not only predates my own excursion into this territory, but by limiting her area of focus Bandini was able to be deal with her chosen subject matter in much greater depth. Likewise, through the medium of Gianfranco Sanguinetti and others, the situationist critique has had a far greater influence in Italy than in Anglo-American countries.

Since "The Assault On Culture" was first published in 1988, there has been an explosion of material dealing with both the Situationists and Fluxus. One of the things that has disappointed me about much of this coverage is its narrow focus. In an article entitled "The Second Death Of The Situationist International" (International Review 80, Brussels Spring 1995), the International Communist Current point out that Mustapha Khayati "joined the Democratic Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, without this causing his immediate exclusion from the SI; in the end, it was Khayati who resigned. At its Venice conference in 1969, the SI simply accepted the resignation with the argument that it did not accept 'dual memberships'. In short, whether Khayati joined a group like the ICO or enrolled in a bourgeois army (why not the police, it all comes to the same thing?) made no difference to the SI."

It is not difficult to understand why the ICC consider Khayati's resignation to be "the best proof of the SI's lack of rigour". However, this is merely one example of the situationist 'project' descending into farce. Equally incriminating is the fact that while J. V. Martin remained a member of the Debordist SI until its dissolution in 1972, this had no effect on his ongoing friendship with the partisans of the 2nd Situationist International, who were regularly damned as 'Nashists' in the pages of "Internationale Situationiste". For example, in "The Organisation Question For The SI" included in issue 12 (Paris 1969), Debord writes: "The exclusions have almost always been responses to objective threats that existing conditions hold in store for our action. There is a danger of this recurring at higher levels. All sorts of 'Nashisms' could reconstitute themselves, we must simply be in a position to destroy them."

According to one of the more amusing Situationist Bauhaus legends, after the 1962 split in the international Debord was desperate to uncover the 'real' identity of Ambrosius Fjord who'd 'signed' several 'Nashist' manifestos. J. V. Martin, who was in on the joke, never revealed to Debord that Ambrosius Fjord was actually the name of Jorgen Nash's horse despite being charged with the task of investigation. While the effectiveness of this prank may have been exaggerated in its constant retelling, Martin was on the editorial board of "The Antinational Situationist", a journal with which the 2nd Situationist International attempted to relaunch itself two years after Debord's Situationist International was dissolved. Given the anarchist character of "The Antinational Situationist", including apologetics for Bakuninist methods of organisation, Martin's ongoing involvement with Jorgen Nash and Jens Jorgen Thorsen tarnishes Debord's 'rigorous' image every bit as much as Khayati's membership of the Democratic Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Much could have been made of the activities of the 2nd Situationist International to unify the material in the following pages, if I'd had a greater knowledge of the subject at the time I composed "The Assault On Culture". While individual members of Fluxus passed through the Situationist Bauhaus in Sweden, both Black Mask and Kommune 1 endorsed the 'Nashist' 'Declaration On The New International Solidarity Among Artists'. This manifesto formed part of an intervention at the 1968 Venice Biennale which included the occupation of the Swedish pavilion, where the official works were replaced with a 'situationist environment'. More seriously, while I have never called myself an anarchist, I had not developed a sufficient critique of anarchism at the time this book was written to effectively distance myself from the anarchist swamp. Despite these faults, I hope what follows is of some use to those who recognise the necessity of constantly reforging the passage between theory and practice...

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Assault On Culture contents page

Most translated editions of "Assault" have also included the following text: Palingenesis of the Avant-Garde

Assault cover UK 2nd
UK 2nd edition

Assault cover UK 1st
UK first edition

Assault cover Brazil
In Portuguese

Assault cover Spain
In Spanish

Assault cover Poland
In Polish

Assault cover Italy
In Italian