How the Delinquents Politicized
Internationale Situationniste #12 (September 1969)
Translated by Reuben Keehan
ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS in November and December of 1967, Debord, Vaneigem and Viénet were brought before the police judiciary in relation to a comic strip by Vaneigem, two images from which were published in I.S.#11. They agreed that they were effectively authors and editors of the journal, and that they were in charge of its publication and distribution. The prosecutors seemed to have a problem with some incitements to theft, debauchery, rioting and murder (of "rulers"), that people might garner from the words and actions of the characters in these brief comics. This rather new type of publishing offense promised an unusual legal process but, in the end, without us knowing why, the investigation established that there was not enough evidence prosecute those responsible.
Without going into whether or not the incitements in question had a more or less sustained effect, it should be pointed out that Vaneigem's comics translated, reissued and widely reproduced in several countries (notably England, the United States and Sweden) have attained a remarkable posterity even in France, as all the experiments of our CMDO comrades were conducted in a similar manner. As a result, a number of comic strips of revolutionary intent have been published by various autonomous groups. The theses explicated in this journal by René Viénet in 1967 [The Situationists and the New Forms of Action Against Politics and Art] have been completely confirmed by experiments with every agitational measure that he envisaged, with the momentary exception of the use of cinema.