In all its specific forms, as information or propaganda, as advertisement or direct entertainment consumption, the spectacle is the present model
of socially dominant life. It is the omnipresent affirmation of the choice already made in production and its corollary consumption. The spectacle’s
form and content are identically the total justification of the existing system’s conditions and goals. The spectacle is also the permanent presence
of this justification, since it occupies the main part of the time lived outside of modern production...
...When economic necessity is replaced by the necessity for boundless economic development, the satisfaction of primary human needs is replaced by an
uninterrupted fabrication of pseudo-needs which are reduced to the single pseudo-need of maintaining the reign of the autonomous economy.
Debord traces the development of a modern society in which authentic social life has been replaced with its representation: "All that once was
directly lived has become mere representation." Debord argues that the history of social life can be understood as "the decline of being into having,
and having into merely appearing." This condition, according to Debord, is the "historical moment at which the commodity completes its colonization
of social life."
I'm still working my way slowly through the dense, challenging text of The Society of the Spectacle, but I'm beginning to see more and more
familiar pieces falling into place. Just found this excellent short film based on Debord's incisive critique of modern western society and
popular/consumer culture. It has shed some light on what I've been reading (and is just plain smart).
Also found this interview with social critic Chris Hedges that, without mentioning it specifically, expands nicely on some of Debord's ideas. Well
worth a watch.
edit on 28-3-2013 by bigfootgurl because: (no reason given)
Bit late in the evening to start watching now but my interest has been piqued. Certainly looks like something very interesting, especially with the
mention of Chris Hedges, someone who I have a lot of time for.
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