>The spectacle is capital to such a degree of accumulation it becomes an image.
Been obsessed with this for 2 years now. Anyone here read it or have an opinion on situationist theory in general? Any good essays/books that critique its perspective?
The theme of The Society of the Spectacle is that we no longer live in a society, but, rather, a ‘spectacle’ that is mediated by images (i.e., appearances—the way we look, dress, act, talk, etc. around others). In this spectacle, one must assimilate and conform to the status-quo in order to find a social sense of acceptance. In other words, nothing is genuine or real, but simply a façade. The spectacle (i.e., society) is a game of fake and phony rules and courtesies. And we all must play by these socially constructed rules lest we be expelled or expunged by the system itself.
garbage; popular with young mensheviks and future bureaucrats in europe because it is garbage. popular with the lgbt riot pussies in muscowy because it was popular with mensheviks and bureaucrats in the west.
It's difficult to see the point in anything when you absorb this perspective
Good post. It's probably why Debord shot himself in the heart. <see image>.
Yeah the ideological stance Debord's theory takes is difficult to handle, not only because it dictates the world will end unless we deal with it, but also because Debord killed himself because he saw no way out of it.
Implying Debord had 'rebel chic' and nothing of substance to offer.
what the fuck is a career leftist?
There is no way out of this society. Conform and assimilate and be accepted or don't and be outcast.
To add some humor to this post, let's just say Debord was something of a D&D master (or, rather, creator), contenting himself with playing games he created by and for himself. Take A Game of War, for instance.
Thanks man, I actually never heard of this until now.
Debord's conclusion that there was no way out is surely outdated now we have the internet and even more advancements in technology that were not foreseeable at the time?
He would have agreed with this. The situationists wanted to experience a 'higher game' than the one presented by the economic paradigm. If we used technology properly, we could all become D&D masters of our own entertainment experiences rather than the pathetic forms presented to us atm
Op here, I've just started reading this now because I heard it can be a helpful remedy to a lot of depressing critical thinking
anyone else read it with thoughts?
What do you imagine was happening "before"? It's not like capitalism invented group membership signaling, status signaling, etc.
It's not even restricted to humans.
>It's not like capitalism invented group membership signaling, status signaling, etc
It didn't, it re-appropriated the visual hierarchy from which we draw our status signals which is why they are so often defined by money, glamour, and other abstractions.
Sure. I don't see what makes this case special though. You could even argue that there's less "spectacle" going around because money is concrete and practical compared to things that other societies have status competitions for, e.g. religious piety.
It's not a 'special case', it's the ongoing predicament of the modern day.
There is no way there is 'less' spectacle. The powerful constantly grind toward maximising profit which requires the ability to assimilate the masses hopes and desires and therefore means the spectacle intensifies and invades every aspect of life.
Remember when youtube had no adverts?
>The powerful constantly grind toward maximising profit which requires the ability to assimilate the masses hopes and desires
More like now we (implying we're not part of thepowerful.jpg) can "release" our hopes and desires, since our life is no longer absorbed by our jobs. Fo shizzle, thepowerful.jpg can sell something to satisfy this yearning so him/them can get a profit. Just like anything in capitalism. And I don't see how is this bad.
But this is a highly skeptical age. Consider the fact that we're talking critically about status signaling competitions. This would literally have been impossible pre-capitalism, because nobody thought critically about the spectacle of the time. Belief in God or Rome etc. was far more overwhelming and total and "invasive" than whatever we have today. The idea that the spectacle has intensified is invalidated by the very existence of this thread that's talking about it.
>because dolce and gabana handbags are presented to us as a more important status symbol than planting a tree + it's more intense than ever
Obviously, not. Did you read about Trimalchio? About grave goods? For fuck's sake, bling bling wasn't invented yesterday.
Nuttin but a nice sentence.
And this >>7685502 is simply yet more evidence in that direction. Back then 25 images did a better job than 30000 do today. The multiplication of these symbols isn't because they're so strong, it's because they're so fucking weak that you need to heap them on by the truckload to get something done.
Don't understand your post.
>our life is no longer absorbed by our jobs.
um yes they are
good point. though it is debatable whether the spectacle of authority from God or Rome was more 'overwhelming' than the threat of a nuclear holocaust. Also don't think the intensification of the spectacle would mean we wouldn't be discussing it.
This idea that we are now a society of watchers/the watched comes up again and again.
Constantly viewing others does seem to make us more self conscious, but this whole schtick is just another way of framing normal human behaviour
Are you implying that it is impossible to simultaneously be: (A) exposed to more spectacle than ever before, and (B) aware that we are being exposed to more spectacle than ever before?
Holy fucking shit, retards like this make me want to punch my screen. Yes, our technology is just so fucking crazy no one could have imagined it yesterday. It changes everything, good thing we're living in a technological utopia now, where there is "real democracy on everything", even on public space, through the internet.
This is so stupid it might as well be bait, but I'll still answer: The Spectacle doesn't magically cease to be once you're aware of it. How the fuck do you think that would work? It actually subsumes the whole idea of the "spectacle" and incorporates it into itself. Basically, whenever you read about the spectacle in the media, IT IS the spectacle itself.
Baudrillard is just a pseudo-philosophical obscurantist hack, who just throws some random scientific terms removed from their context and chains them together, and calls it his "philosophy". The gullible reader watches in awe without actually understanding anything, then goes on to tell others to read it, so he can show off how "smart" he is for reading sociological pomo trash.
it doesn't say there is real democracy on anything merely that the internet provides the 'opportunity' for this but yet we fail to implement this hence the discussion hence the spectacle HOW EMBARRASSING 4 U.
Not really. Spectacle has existed since the neanderthals shit, but the concept of historical superstructure (which allows us to come up with critical and, in some way, scientific doubts about our lifestyle) is young.
I bet you think Lacanian psychoanalysis is the hot shit, and that things like this makes sense as well.
OP here, hehe read this ages ago, thanks gonna read it again and wonder how fucked up life and academia is
I suppose questions about human nature and foundational beliefs decide whether or not you agree with people like Debord? Like whether or not you think man has the potential to create a utopia. If you don't think he does, then situationist thought might appear to be nonsense.
Similarly if you believe in God or something divine then Baudrillard's theories becomes much less potent.
Does anyone else think it's weird that people pay to go uni and study philosophy on how everything is fucked.
I might just be talking about England but...
Think about the fact that many foreign students, especially wealthy asian ones, are
1. Invited to study in the west.
2. They take lectures on philosophers such as this where they are taught the west fucked everything for everybody.
3. return angrily to the east
4. Cultural marxism???
Read it, absolutely great. Like one of the reviewers said, it's like a Zizek book without all the boring bits inbetween the good stuff.
Anything more like it, something that focuses on the culture and society that capitalism creates, and not just the economic part of it?
I've been reading and mostly enjoying it, granted I'm still a pleb even when I'm about to graduate, and still have trouble getting over some of the language.
the fact that I'm reading it in correlation with my thesis on the comic book writing of Grant Morrison probably reveals my pleb status considerably.The long segment that is basically a recap of Soviet history seems pretty extraneous to me for the most part, and it risks sometimes going into the rut of "this is what Marx/Bakunin actually intended, therefore you're wrong!".
tl;dr S-SOCIETY IS F-FORCING ME TO WATCH TV. I C-CAN'T STOP!
MUH WATER COOLER DISCUSSION OF LATEST POP CULTURE EVENTS IS OPPRESSING ME!
Literally just practice the virtues and moderate your pleasures and pay no attention to media culture.
Guy Debord is that guy who makes threads on 4chan about how he needs to quit 4chan.
Claiming that the spectacle only exists on the TV is dismissing it altogether. Because it's just a part of it, it misses the fact that what we are living is in fact the spectacle, the whole of society revolves around it. What about conspicuous consumption, the political sphere, people living for ideals they don't really believe themselves?
le cultural marxism meme
especially in england continental philosophy is not in vogue, so youll likely get the history of thought (plato through to descartes etc) and then the analytic tradition maybe with the occasional optional module that will do nihilism, marxism, existentialism, post-structuralism etc
That's nice that you're trying to redpill the entire world on not being a dumbass but there's no need to kill yourself because you're a french man who doesn't know how to ignore America without getting rustled.
It's dumb bullshit that borders on "When I was a kid, things were real! Uphill, too!"
How can it be so bad if you're here posting on Gawkerchan? Even moot can quit the spectacle.
Baudrillard's concept of hyperreality is bogus, a holdover from the last century when in order to become famous in pseudo-intellectual circles all you had to do was coin some stupid new word and tie it to a pseudo-concept, which became all the more believable because no one could understand it, and thus refute it. But all these tricks are up now. With my arrival on the scene, all pseudo-concepts will be laid bare — it is impossible to deceive me. One would have to have more intellect than me in order to do so, but if any such person arrived why would he need deception? Deception in this sense is only a tool of the weak — and Baudrillard was weak.
His weakness can be seen in every single one of his analyses. Analyzing the consumer society yet failing to draw any conclusions from this analysis on how one should act when one found oneself in such a society. What good is the analysis, then, if no conclusions can be drawn from it? And what a pathetic little line he ends the whole thing with! "We will await for events to smash this white Mass!" He will "await" — i.e. sit on his ass while glued for information to the media he so flagrantly despises — while being ready to scribble at any moment. To scribble before and after — but to participate in the events, let alone be instrumental in bringing them about — oh, no. That work is too dirty for the clean hands of an academic. So let's just wait and scribble.
All his analyses are weak in this manner, even the last one, in which he fails to draw any conclusions at all really from his game theory, even going as far as to assert that there is no reason to exalt the rules of the game! This screams to me: bad player, bad player, bad player! But what, deep down, did Baudrillard really know about games? The only game he played was the writing game, and in this, in this confined and limited context of pseudo-intellectual Frenchmen of the twentieth century, he was indeed a master. But the pseudo-intellectual game is not the only game there is, nor even the most important, and drawing your lessons for all games from this little narrow experience is bound to lead you astray.
The way to fix it is to know about it. We need to dissimulate. If everyone is aware of these simulations and the power behind them then we will begin to see this power as a simulation.
Man did you even fucking read it? Nice job typing out two paragraphs of "I didn't read the whole thing and missed the most important parts"
Just kill yourself lad
The thing with Baudrillard is how all his books end with a whimper, a poof, a lot of psychobabble. With the exception of the early ones — e.g. The Consumer Society's few brave noises at the end — they all follow this pattern. Their strength may lie in the beginning or the middle — anywhere but the end. The exact opposite from Nietzsche's, whose later works start slowly and build up at the end with almost a kind of explosion. Another point of the difference in temper between the two great thinkers.
With me it is otherwise. There is violence everywhere, in almost each and every paragraph I write. I can say with Wittgenstein that "I destroy, I destroy, I destroy". There is so much sickness and decay on this planet that I cannot in all good conscience do otherwise: after all, the almost complete annihilation of the so-called "human race" is my task; theoretically at first, and once the theory is done moving on to the practical stage.
The fact is that after the analysis is over you are supposed to close up your word-processor, put aside your books and papers, and go out there and make it happen. The book itself is the first step in that process, and certainly a very powerful one, as it is the herald call that marshals your forces for the offensive, but it is only a step. There are many other steps to it, thank god, otherwise the world would be scarcely better than a text adventure game.
You really need to have a solid foundation of Marxian theory to really understand Debord. A lot of people pick up SotS thinking it's just a polemic of consumer culture and find themselves lost when they read it - I know, I was one of them. Bone up on Marx's theory of value, particularly commodity fetishism and you'll have a far greater understanding of how Debord is using said theory and inverting it somewhat to posit something new.
fuck off when people poopoo critical theory like 'don't watch tv, it's that easy' um no it's not because the majority of of people watch tv which informs the social reality in which I fucking live so therefor it requires a discussion in how to overthrow its insidious presence fuck off.
you are the cunt standing in the ruins of society 40 years from now and saying 'why did we let this happen...we should have talked about this...'
Sluts, chads and autists, man.
Op here, I've read Das Capital back to back, Baudrillard, and this Mark fisher book
thanks so much for the suggestions
There are lots of things like Potlatch, gift giving economy, art and its relation to public space that the situationists wrote about that I was hoping people could discuss. It involves a debate about foundational beliefs in the potential for human nature does it not?
You people need Baudrillard in your lives.
Baudrillard touches this crucial problem by the horns. He specifically distinguishes symbolic art from post-modern art of the simulacrum (copy of a copy). The images today are not symbolic and don't function in the same way they functioned in the early modern and pre-modern eras.
Also vid related
The difference between Society of the Spectacle and Simulacra and Simulation is that Baudrillard was at the time more influenced by semiotic theory and less by Marxist analysis of ideology after his break with it having written the "Mirror of Production".
The two works are complementary to each other. Like Baudrillard later said Situationism was an event of it's time, and even if it no longer exists it can still tell us how things evolved the way they are and the reactions against it or how to cope with it , like De Bords psycho-geography.
SotS is about creating your own rules of a game like other anons said, while SaS is about the rules of the present cultural language/semiotic situation.
>SotS is about creating your own rules of a game like other anons said, while SaS is about the rules of the present cultural language/semiotic situation.
so create you own roadshow but try not to think about the fact that god is dead and life is meaningless?
>Disneyland’s imaginary aspects aren’t true or false. They’re just deterrents that are used to make us forget that the whole country surrounding it is a fiction. The reason that Disneyland is set up to look like it is a children’s paradise is to make us somehow believe that outside of it, adults are doing actual work and living real adult lives. Well, childishness is fucking everywhere. You know it, I know it. What is truly disgusting are the adults that go there and act like children to convince themselves that they don’t do that all day every day in their own lives.
I like that book too. It's probably the most important book of it's time.
You can read Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation. It side steps semiotics which arose from that philosophy but I couldn't get into.
Saw the OP, didn't care what you cunts had to say, but felt like shitting a little on your thread anyway.
Do whatever you want, you idiot. Neglect an interesting read because 4chan told you the feminisms was a baddie, even though the book is about aesthetics and has nothing to do with the former. I could care less how you artificially stunt your intellectual development.
still doesn't understand, unable to contribute, still bitter
I love how the two sides of this board often seem to descend into petty bickering amongst one another when they could instead choose to move beyond things and proliferate the literature on film, culture, and media studies for the betterment of lit.
A very general understanding of how he influenced Marx's philosophy. A very good 'Intro to Marx' book would do they fairly sufficiently. Don't put yourself through Hegel. Marx read him so you don't have to.