Guy Ernest Debord
GUY ERNEST DEBORD   Macroknow Library

The Society of the Spectacle.

"By means of the spectacle the ruling order discourses endlessly upon itself in an uninterrupted monologue of self-praise. The spectacle is the self-portrait of power in the age of power's totalitarian rule over the conditions of existence."1a

"It is not just that the relationship to commodities is now plain to see -- commodities are now all that there is to see: the world we see is the world of the commodity."1a

" . . . Stalin, just like any obsolete product, can be cast aside by the very forces that promoted his rise. Each new lie of the advertising industry implicitly acknowledges the one before."1a

"For Marx it is the struggle -- and by no means the law -- that has to be understood. "We know only a single science," says The German Ideology, "the science of history.""1a

" . . . [N]o jacquerie of serfs ever overthrew the barons and no slave revolt in the ancient world ever ended the rule of freemen. The first thing the linear model loses sight of is the fact that the bourgeoisie is the only revolutionary class that has ever been victorious; the only class, also, for which the development of the economy was the cause and consequence of its capture of society."1a

"As a proponent of the replacement of subject by predicate, following Feuerbach's systematic practice of it, The young Marx achieved the most cogent use of this insurrectional style: thus the philosophy of poverty became the poverty of philosophy. The device of détournement restores all their subversive qualities to past critical judgments that have congealed into respectable truths -- or, in other words, that have been transformed into lies."1a

"The principle which Hegel enunciated in the Jenenser Realphilosophie as that of money -- "the life, moving of itself, of that which is dead" -- has now been extended by the spectacle to the entirety of social life."1a

"The spectacle erases . . . the dividing line between true and false, repressing all directly lived truth beneath the real presence of the falsehood maintained by the organization of appearances."1a


* Italics in the original.

1 Guy Debord (1931- 1994). The Society of the Spectacle. Translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith. Donald Nicholson-Smith, 1994. Brooklyn, NY: Zone Books, 2006. (Originally published in France as La société du spectacle in 1967 by Buchet-Chastel. Editions Gallimar, 1992.)
a I Separation Perfected, at 19.
b II The Commodity as Spectacle, at 29.
c III Unity and Division Within Appearances, at 46.
d IV The Proletariat as Subject and Representation, at 52.
e Ibid., at 56-57.
f VIII Negation and Consumption in the Cultural Sphere, at 144-145.
g IX Ideology in Material Form, at 151.
h Ibid., at 153.