Never Work

In 1963, Debord received a letter from the Cercle de la Librarie demanding money for copyright infringement: Debord was accused of having taken the photo of the “Ne travaillez jamais” graffito published in the Internationale Situationniste journal from one of a series of postcards of Parisian scenes with “funny” captions. As in fact he had. However, in a brilliantly crafted response, Debord argued that since he was the author of the original graffito (something for which he claimed he could produce several witnesses), it was in fact the photographer and the publisher who had infringed his copyright. Rejecting the whole of intellectual property law, Debord magnanimously announced that he would not press charges, but he insisted that the publisher remove the “funny” caption from the postcard: “Les conseils superflus.” This advice to stop working was anything but superfluous, and the caption was offensive. As he probably anticipated, Debord never heard from the publisher again.

Quote IconTiqqun suggests that if thirty-five years ago it was necessary to exit the factory in order to spread class struggle to the sites of reproduction and consumption, today it is necessary to articulate a different ambition: repeating the ancient Aventine secession and practicing a politics at a distance from the metropolis, taking leave of the city. If the imperial metropolis names the collapse of the distinction between urban and rural, the question Tiqqun poses is this: is it is possible to secede on the spot, disappearing into what the Situationist International once called ‘positive holes’­ — metropolitan red bases — at the heart of the contemporary city? In short, is it possible to practice a taking leave of this civilization, to practice an ethos of civil war?
Jason E. Smith, ‘The Politics of Incivility: Autonomia and Tiqqun’ (via spiritandteeth)