Comments on the Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord

By Guy Debord

First released in 1967, man Debord's stinging innovative critique of latest society, The Society of the Spectacle, has considering received a cult prestige. Credited by means of many as being the foundation for the information generated by way of the occasions of may possibly 1968 in France, Debord's pitiless assault on commodity fetishism and its incrustation within the practices of way of life maintains to btirn brightly in today's age of satellite tv for pc tv and the soundbite In reviews at the Society of the Spectacle released 20 years later, Debord again to the subjects of his prior research and established how they have been all of the extra proper in a interval while the 'integrated spectacle' used to be dominant. Resolutely refusing to be reconciled to the procedure, Debord trenchantly slices throughout the doxa and mystification provided tip via newshounds and pundits to teach how elements of fact as varied as terrorism and the surroundings, the Mafia and the media, have been stuck within the good judgment of the miraculous society. Pointing the finger sincerely at those that enjoy the common sense of domination, Debord's reviews express the progressive impulse on the middle of situationism.

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The high point in this process has doubtless been reached by the Chinese bureaucracy's laughable fake of the vast terracotta industrial army of the First Emperor, which so many visiting statesmen have been 51 Comments on the Society ofthe Spectacle taken to admire in situ. ' Such a confirmation of the fact that for the first time in history it is possible to govern without the slightest understanding of art or of what is authentic and what is impossible, could alone suffice to make us suppose that the credulous fools who run the economy and the administration will probably lead the world to some great catastrophe; if their actual practice had not already made that crystal clear.

This is why Michelangelo's frescoes will acquire the fresh, bright colours of a cartoon strip, and the genuine furniture at Versailles, the sparkling gilt which will make them resemble the fake Louis XIV suites imported by Texans at such great expense. Feuerbach's judgement on the fact that his time preferred 'the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, fancy to reality', has been thoroughly vindicated by the century of the spectacle, and in several spheres where the nineteenth century preferred to keep its distance from what was already its fundamental nature: industrial capitalism.

Deceptive is a generic and vague word; all forms of uncertain signs and appear­ ance, are deceptive: fallacious denotes duplicity, deceit, studied imposture; sophistic speech, asseveration or reasoning is fallacious. The word has affinities with im ­ postrous [imposteur], inveigling [seducteur], insidious [insi­ dieux] and captious [captieux], but without equivalence. Impostrous denotes all forms of false appearance, or conspiracies to abuse or injure; for example, hypocrisy, calumny, etc. Inveigling expresses action calculated to take possession of someone, to lead them astray by artful and insinuating means.

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