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By Guy Debord

ISBN-10: 0860913023

ISBN-13: 9780860913023

First released in 1967, man Debord's stinging innovative critique of latest society, The Society of the Spectacle, has due to the fact obtained a cult prestige. Credited by way of many as being the foundation for the tips generated by way of the occasions of could 1968 in France, Debord's pitiless assault on commodity fetishism and its incrustation within the practices of lifestyle 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 back to the topics of his earlier research and established how they have been all of the extra suitable in a interval whilst the 'integrated spectacle' was once dominant. Resolutely refusing to be reconciled to the approach, Debord trenchantly slices in the course of the doxa and mystification provided tip by means of newshounds and pundits to teach how facets of fact as different as terrorism and the surroundings, the Mafia and the media, have been stuck within the common sense of the surprising society. Pointing the finger truly at those that enjoy the common sense of domination, Debord's reviews express the progressive impulse on the center of situationism.

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Sample text

The conspiracy theory of history' was in the nine­ teenth century a reactionary and ridiculous belief, at a time when so many powerful social movements were stirring up the masses. Today's pseudo-rebels are well aware of this, thanks to hearsay or a few books, and believe that it remains true for eternity. They refuse to recognise the real praxis of their time; it is too sad for their cold hopes. The state notes this fact, and plays on it. When almost every aspect of international political life and ever more important aspects of internal poli­ tics are conducted and displayed in the style of the secret services, with decoys, disinformation and double explanations (one may conceal another, or may only seem to) the spectacle confines itself to revealing a wearisome world of necessary incomprehensibility.

It is asked instead to 39 Comments on the Society ofthe Spectacle immediately justify everything that happens. As stupid in this field, which it exploits with the most ruinous disregard, as it is everywhere else, spectacular domina­ tion has cut down the vast tree of scientific knowledge in order to make itself a truncheon. To obey this ultimate social demand for a manifestly impossible justification, it is better not to be able to think at all, but rather to be well trained in the conveniences of spectacular language.

Everything will be more beautiful than before, for the tourists' cameras. 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.

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Comments on the Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord

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