The independence of the commodity

The autonomy of the commodity is at the root of the dictatorship of appearance; of the fundamental tautology of the spectacle, where importance is always presupposed and defined by the staging of importance. The prefabricated pseudo-event which dominates and orients the real is an event that is no longer visible for what it contains, but which has no other content than to be visible. For example, what is the most grand claim made for Capital pants, strengthened by the submission of thousands of their surveyed citizens (a submission which, the poster does not fail to note, they “themselves have chosen” the details)? Precisely what these fetishes proclaim: they are “the very expression of their own fashion”. The slavish Southernism of these commodities obviously appears as indisputable before the human cattle that it has branded. Rarely has an advertisement of such concertedly weak inventiveness so ably expressed unconsciously the split between men and their objectification; [thus] the insolent rebellion of their own actions return against them as an alien power. All the desires of the era are suspended until our victory in this War of Secession.

And a translation of the ad:

First published in Internationale Situationniste no. 10,  March 1966. Translated from the French by Anthony Hayes, September 2012.  Thanks to NOT BORED! and Alastair Hemmens. A scan of the original article from page 37 of IS no. 10 is available here.

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This entry was posted in I.S. no. 10, Situationist International, Translation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The independence of the commodity

  1. Jimbo says:

    Sharp thkngini! Thanks for the answer.

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