simple living, home grown food, clean air

Debord for beginners

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1. In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.

12 .The spectacle presents itself as something enormously positive, indisputable and inaccessible. It says nothing more than “that which appears is good, that which is good appears”. The attitude that it demands in principle is passive acceptance, which in fact it already obtained by its manner of appearing without reply, by its monopoly of appearance.

17. The first phase of domination of the economy over social life brought into the definition of all human realization the obvious degradation of being into having. The present phase of total occupation of social life by the accumulated results of the economy leads to a generalized sliding of having into appearing, from which all actual “having” must draw its immediate prestige and its ultimate function. At the same time all individual reality has become social reality directly dependent on social power and shaped by it. It is allowed to appear only to the extent that it is not.

26. With the generalized separation of the worker and his products, every unitary view of accomplished activity and direct personal communication between producers are lost. Accompanying the process of accumulation of separate products and the concentration of the productive process, unity and communication become the exclusive attribute of the system’s management. The success of the economic system of separation is the proletarianization of the world.

28. The economic system founded on isolation is a circular production of isolation. The technology is based on isolation, and the technical process isolates in turn. From the automobile to television, all the goods selected by the spectacular system are also its weapons for a constant reinforcement of the conditions of isolation of “lonely crowds”.

Society of the Spectacle 1967

Guy Debord (1931 – 1994) was a French Marxist theorist, writer, filmmaker, member of the Letterist International, founder of a Letterist faction, and founding member of the Situationist International(SI). (From Wikipedia)

Given the chance, Debord would probably have been an advocate of reduced consumption, permaculture and intentional communities as an antidote to the “conditions of isolation of lonely crowds”. Not sure he would have been much good with a spade though…


Author: marco

growing food and making do with less

One thought on “Debord for beginners

  1. Hi Marco, I like the immense accumulation of spectacles picture. I bet you’ve got an immense accumulation of nappies and baby grows to wash now! Congratulations to you and Nok. x

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