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Provisional Statutes of the SI

adopted 30 September 1969 at the 8th SI Conference in Venice

Translated by Ken Knabb

Participation in the SI and National Sections

1. The SI is an international association of individuals who, having demonstrated an equality of capabilities — in general, not in every detail — for our common theoretical and practical activity, are equal in all aspects of its democratic management. Majority decision is executed by everyone; a minority has the duty to break if the issue in dispute seems to it to concern a fundamental matter among the previously recognized bases of agreement.

2. The SI organizes its activity on the basis of a division into national sections. This “national” criterion is understood in both geographical and cultural terms; it is possible, and in fact desirable, that each section be itself partially international in its composition. Each section is also “national” in the sense that it engages in a central advanced activity in a given country and does not seek to subdivide into regional subgroups in that country. A section might envisage such a subdivision within itself in certain exceptional geographical conditions, but the SI would continue to relate to the section only as a single unit.

3. A member of the SI is ipso facto a member of any national section where he expresses his decision to live and participate. Each member is responsible to the SI as a whole, and the SI is collectively responsible for the known behavior of each of its members.

4. The general assembly of all the members of the SI is the only decisionmaking power over all theoretical and practical choices. To the exact degree that there exist practical obstacles to the presence of everyone, the SI recognizes a system of delegates representing each of the members. These delegates may or may not bear specific, imperative mandates. Decisions made by delegates are revocable by those who have mandated them if the mandates have been left open; they are not revocable in cases in which a delegate has correctly executed a specific mandate.

Organization of National Sections

5. Each national section, on its own responsibility and within the general guidelines adopted by the entire SI, democratically decides on all its activities and tactics on its own terrain. It alone decides on all aspects of the publications, contacts and projects it sees fit to pursue. If possible it publishes a journal, the editorial management of which is entirely in its own hands. It goes without saying that personally undertaken projects or theoretical hypotheses cannot be limited by the section, nor by the SI as a whole — except in cases where they are manifestly hostile to the SI’s very bases.

6. Each national section is the sole judge, in its region, of breaks with persons on the outside and of admissions to the section. It is responsible to the SI as a whole only for guarding against anything that might lower the general level of the SI (cf. Article #3) or introduce a notable inequality among participants. The entire SI automatically recognizes and upholds all these breaks and admissions as soon as it is informed of them.

7. Each section is master of its exclusions. It must immediately furnish the reasons and all pertinent documents to all the other sections. In cases where the facts are disputed by the excluded comrades, or in cases where another section requests a new discussion bearing on the very basis of the dispute, these exclusions are suspended until a general conference of the SI (or a meeting of delegates) makes the final decision. As a general rule, it is not admissible that theoretical or programatic oppositions — even serious ones — be dealt with by exclusion before a general meeting of the SI can discuss the matter. But all practical failings must be dealt with on the spot. Any divergence or choice that does not require exclusion allows for resignation.

8. On any theoretical or tactical question that has not met with unanimity during a discussion, each member is free to maintain his own opinion (as long as he does not break practical solidarity). If the same problems and divergences are met with on several successive occasions, the members who are in agreement on one of the options have the right to openly constitute a tendency, and to draft texts to clarify and sustain their point of view, until there is some final resolution (by rediscovered unanimity, by a break, or by a practical supersession of the divergence). Such texts may be circulated throughout the SI and may also appear in the publications of one or more sections. A tendency bearing on a general tactical problem should normally itself be international (thereby tracing a division within several sections).

9. In exceptional cases in which a situationist finds himself isolated and yet active on a concrete terrain (a country where he alone acts in the name of the SI), he alone must determine his activity, while remaining answerable to the SI as a whole.

10. The present national sections can agree to temporarily share their contacts or activities in certain countries where no SI section exists, in accordance with considerations of common language or geographical proximity. Such apportionment must not be institutionalized nor must it notably increase the importance of one of the sections relative to the others.

11. Each national section will organize its own complete financial autonomy; but in this domain, too, it will, as its means permit, show solidarity with other sections that might be in need.

Coordination Between Sections

12. A general conference of the SI should meet as often as possible with all members, or at least the greatest possible number of them who can get there. In no case will it be held without the presence of at least one delegate from the section that would have the greatest difficulty in getting there.

13. To coordinate the SI’s activity in the periods between conferences, meetings of delegates from the sections will be held as often as necessary. Each delegate disposes of the exact number of votes as the number of situationists from the section that has mandated him. In cases where two different positions exist within a section, such a section would have to have two delegates, each representing the number of votes supporting his position. Any member of the SI can participate and vote in these delegate meetings (in such a case, his vote obviously could not also be allotted to a delegate).

14. A section that cannot send a delegate to these meetings has the right to have itself represented by a situationist it chooses from another section, who will bear a specific mandate. The selected delegate should be informed far enough in advance to allow him to refuse to uphold a mandate if he disapproves of its content. The section that cannot attend would in that case have to ask another situationist to defend its point of view.