Free eBook La Société du Spectacle –

Few Works Of Political And Cultural Theory Have Been As Enduringly Provocative As Guy Debord S The Society Of The Spectacle From Its Publication Amid The Social Upheavals Of The S Up To The Present, The Volatile Theses Of This Book Have Decisively Transformed Debates On The Shape Of Modernity, Capitalism And Everyday Life In The Late Twentieth Century Now Finally Available In A Superb English Translation Approved By The Author, Debord S Text Remains As Crucial As Ever For Understanding The Contemporary Effects Of Power, Which Are Increasingly Inseparable From The New Virtual Worlds Of Our Rapidly Changing Image Information Culture 9 in a world that really has been turned on its head, truth is a moment of falsehood.20 the absolute denial of life, in the shape of a fallacious paradise, is no longer projected onto the heavens, but finds its place instead within material life itself the spectacle is hence a technological version of the exiling of human powers in a world beyond and the perfection of separation within human beings.67 a use of the commodity arises that is sufficient unto itself what this means for the consumer is an outpouring of religious zeal in honor of the commodity s sovereign freedom waves of enthusiasm for particular products, fueled and boosted by the communications media, are propagated with lightning speed a film sparks a fashion craze, or a magazine launches a chain of clubs that in turn spins off a line of products the sheer fad item perfectly expresses the fact that, as the mass of commodities becomes and absurd, absurdity becomes a commodity in its own right188 when a newly independent art paints its world in brilliant colors, then a moment of life has grown old by art s brilliant colors it cannot be rejuvenated but only recalled to mind the greatness of art makes its appearance only as dusk begins to fall over life. I never went to university nor did the majority of my friends and so never received any manner of guidance or instruction, or even bar table theoretical bullshitting, at the academic level to go along with my burgeoning interest in philosophy, politics, and culture For better and for worse and mostly the latter I have carved my own path through the tangled thickets of critical genius and doctrinal snares, a haphazard sampling of great minds from across the ages, non systematic and initially stemming from the tutelary prose of Bertrand Russell For this reason, I found myself coming to the Marxist exponents without a solid grounding in the master s thought and, thus, ofttimes ended up confused and or led down erroneous trails than I presumably would have been with a sounder grasp of the theoretical details Or not mayhaps a certain amount of ignorance, or na vet , actually allowed me to penetrate the occlusions or obfuscations that ensnared deeply immersed adepts Who, apart from The Shadow, knows In any case, Society of the Spectacle was amongst my first forays into the labyrinthine philosophical cultural terrain of the postwar twentieth century I found it a tantalizing and mysterious conundrum, with moments of a profound and shocking clarity but, overall, quite difficult, a serious challenge to follow, unpack, and comprehend As Jimmy Cline nicely puts it Even for a theoretical text written by an extreme leftist, in the late sixties, in Paris, this is a convoluted read The saying goes that life s a circus, but Debord seems to be addressing what exactly must constitute a post modern society such that the triumphal late capitalist incarnation of the circus with its gaudily omnipresent cultural, political, and economic performers, venues, and effects need be generated and configured in order to mold and maintain it as such.I read this back in the late nineties, and truth to tell I can hardly remember any clear cut details Unless the book really gripped me, my shelf life for reliable reading memory is about, oh, five years, max I would love to have another go at it soon perhaps after I have finally gotten around to ingesting my electronic copy of Sadie Plant s Situationist exposition as I would hopefully have a better understanding of what exactly Debord was trying to say and why he was trying to say it determining its relevance in the new century in relation to such a springboard effort as, say, Heath and Potter s collaboration should prove an interesting task, especially now that the spectacle can be both and less circumscribed with the advent of a vast array of media mediums that operate 24 7 As for the prose itself these piquant poetic puzzles and artful allusions, these polished arrangements of a bespectacled, chain smoking, Gallic sphinx I trust they have lost none of their Gordian charm to the abrasions of time. The Society of the SpectacleReview in English below Debord , 67 68 98 08.I m not sure to what extend this particular greek translation is responsible of the difficulty of Debord s text, but it s certainly a demanding read that takes all the focus and devotion one can give it Yet, behind the writing style s excessive formality, lies a gospel which was published in 67 and inspired the French May of 68 A work that, today, seems to be apt than ever The question is why it never inspired a May of 98 or one of 08 and how many Mays shall pass before this society of the spectacle collapses on its own dead corpse.Multiple readings are necessary. Re read this bad boy for research purposes The spectacle is a concept that s very swanky to talk about in dinner parties like George Orwell s 1984, but it is often simplified and, ironically enough, objectified by its debaters Everybody acknowledge we live in the society of spectacle, but either don t believe its rules apply to them or adopt a defeatist attitude towards it.What is the spectacle, then Debord has a great way of summarizing it the colonization of human life by commodities It s people arguing over iPhones vs Androids People crafting their identity around fictional characters ahem Tyler Durden ahem and shunning their relationship to their real environment It s people thinking hard work alone will lead them anywhere they want because they ve been told by people who haven t necessarily worked harder than them in order to become successful and who are very self conscious about protecting the social order they prosper in You get the gist We live in a neoliberalism economy where the most important think we can do is buy, so the best way we can turn the system around it by starting to think critically about your own consumerism It s 2017 Let s make Guy Debord cool again.