Endnotes: Bring out your dead

The two parties to the exchange we are publishing, Troploin and Théorie Communiste, both emerged from a tendency in the early 1970s that, on the basis of new characteristics of the class struggle, critically appropriated the historical ultra-left in both its German / Dutch (council communist) and Italian (Bordigist) varieties as well the more recent work of the Situationist International and Socialisme ou Barbarie. Before we can introduce the texts themselves we must therefore introduce this common background.From the Refusal of Work to “Communisation”When Guy Debord wrote “never work” on the wall of a left-bank alleyway in 1954, the slogan, appropriated from Rimbaud3, was still heavily indebted to surrealism and its avant-garde progeny. That is to say, it evoked at least in part a romanticised vision of late nineteenth century bohemia — a world of déclassé artists and intellectuals who had become caught between the traditional relations of patronage and the new cultural marketplace in which they were obliged to vend their wares. The bohemians’ negative attitude towards work had been both a revolt against, and an expression of, this polarized condition: caught between an aristocratic disdain for the “professional”, and a petit-bourgeois resentment of all other social classes, they came to see all work, their own included, as debased. This posture of refusal was rendered political by the surrealists, who transformed the nihilistic gestures of Rimbaud, Lautréamont, and the dadaists, into the revolutionary call for a “war on work”

Source: Endnotes: Bring out your dead

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