Debord Thesis 17

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5 The spectacle cannot be understood as a mere visual excess produced by mass-media technologies.

It is a worldview that has actually been materialized, that has become an objective reality.

Its sole message is: “ What appears is good; what is good appears.” The passive acceptance it demands is already effectively imposed by its monopoly of appearances, its manner of appearing without allowing any reply.

13 The tautological character of the spectacle stems from the fact that its means and ends are identical.

8 The spectacle cannot be abstractly contrasted to concrete social activity. The spectacle that falsifies reality is nevertheless a real product of that reality, while lived reality is materially invaded by the contemplation of the spectacle and ends up absorbing it and aligning itself with it. Each of these seemingly fixed concepts has no other basis than its transformation into its opposite: reality emerges within the spectacle, and the spectacle is real.

This reciprocal alienation is the essence and support of the existing society.

9 In a world that has really been turned upside down, the true is a moment of the false.

10 The concept of the spectacle interrelates and explains a wide range of seemingly unconnected phenomena.

14 The society based on modern industry is not accidentally or superficially spectacular, it is fundamentally spectaclist.

In the spectacle — the visual reflection of the ruling economic order — goals are nothing, development is everything. 15 As indispensable embellishment of currently produced objects, as general articulation of the system’s rationales, and as advanced economic sector that directly creates an ever-increasing multitude of image-objects, the spectacle is the leading production of present-day society.


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