Spectacle of what?


spectacle of what?

This is an article I wrote a few months ago. It will soon be appearing in a Spanish translation in the journal 2&3DORM. The complete text of the article in the original English can be found in pdf format here. Below is the abstract.

Abstract (of sorts)

What is at stake in the Situationist critique of the spectacle is the idea of what the spectacle falsifies. For some philosophical critics of the spectacle, it is precisely this which reveals the theory’s shortcomings. Guy Debord’s elaboration, they argue, is merely an updated version of Plato’s indictment of mimesis and poetry. Debord thus demonstrates his philosophical naivety by arguing that behind or beyond the false representations of the spectacle lies the possibility of recovering “true” life. However, this line of argument singularly fails to understand the critique of the spectacle on its own terms, instead reducing the critique to a merely philosophical problem. Debord is largely uninterested in the age old philosophical and religious problem of an ineffable “true world” and its material representations. Rather, he is concerned with the way falsehood is a moment of the truth of capitalist social relations, and, in particular, how this produced falsehood tends to develop under the impact of the technological refinement of material representations in the context of commodity production, exchange and consumption. Debord names ‘spectacle’ the metaphysical assumptions and concrete reality conjured by the commodity through its colonisation of everyday life. Contrary to his scholastic opponents, Debord does not oppose truth to the spectacle—indeed, such an opposition is already encompassed in the spectacle’s reign. Rather he poses the possibility of fashioning a world that does not require the projection and alienation of human powers into an ethereal otherworld, whether secular or religious.

Keywords: appearance, artificiality, Jean Baudrillard, Cornelius Castoriadis, falsehood, Ludwig Feuerbach, Guy Debord, ideology, Karl Marx, orthodox Marxism, the critique of Marxism, metaphysics, mimesis, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jacques Rancière, reality, representation, the Spectacle, truth

Full article available here.

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1 Response to Spectacle of what?

  1. Pingback: On Gilles Dauvé and the Situationist International |

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