The Society of the Spectacle – Guy Debord (1967)

1960s: Days of Rage


The Society of the Spectacle (French: La société du spectacle) is a 1967 work of philosophy and Marxist critical theory by Guy Debord, in which the author develops and presents the concept of the Spectacle. The book is considered an important text for the Situationist movement. Debord published a follow-up book Comments on the Society of the Spectacle in 1988. The work is a series of 221 short theses. They contain approximately a paragraph each. Debord traces the development of a modern society in which authentic social life has been replaced with its representation: ‘All that once was directly lived has become mere representation.’ Debord argues that the history of social life can be understood as ‘the decline of being into having, and having into merely appearing.’ This condition, according to Debord, is the ‘historical moment at which the commodity completes its colonization

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