Contradiction / For the Power of Councils. Bureaucratic Comix Berkeley (CA): Contradiction / Bureau of Public Secrets, January 1971. 1 p.; 45 x 57 cm.; black ink on aging brown stock

An early poster by the group Contradiction/ For the Power of Councils, to which Ken Knabb – who later went on to launch his Bureau of Public Secrets – belonged. From a formal standpoint, this comix is of a great interest, as it draws from both comic strips and photographs. Issued following the December 1969-January 1970 worker revolt in Poland, this poster also stands out in its critique of a wide range of communist leaders (Lenin, Castro, Trotsky, Ho Chi Minh and others. ), very much in the Situationist vein. Signed ‘for the Power of the Councils’ (the name ‘Contradiction’ was not adopted until July 1971). Posted in major cities in the U.S. and Western Europe.

“An ex-member of Contradiction says that this ‘notes the role of the various movement heroes, locals and imported, vis-a-vis- the recent workers’ uprising in Poland. Our paster was reprinted in April 1971 by Create Situations; whose distribution of which, however, left something to be desired in the way of rigor…In its time and place, ‘Bureaucratic Comix’ was an appropriate agitation, as evidenced, for example, by the speed and vehemence with which local militants ripped the poster from the walls of Berkeley, ordinarily noted for the peaceful coexistence of all cultureal and political fragments…” (Beni 15).

500 copies issues by Bureau of Public secrets, reprinted in 1000 copies by Negation in April 1971. Rare, with only 3 copies in institutional holdings (NYU, Berkeley, IISG) and none available in the trade (this copy purchased from Bolerium Books)

Text and facsimile copy available at Available at