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The author of this work will attempt to assess the relevance of Guy Debord’s “The Society of the Spectacle” in understanding the capitalist culture. Specifically, Debord had pointed out that “capital accumulated to the point that it becomes the image.”…
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Guy Debords The Society of the Spectacle
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Download file to see previous pages A fundamental point of Debord’s “Society of Spectacle”  is that “in the society where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles.” According to Debord, the spectacle presents itself simultaneous as all of society, as part of society, and as instruments of unification. Spectacles are social relations among people mediated by images. The spectacle is the justification of conditions and goals and occupies the main part of time lived out of modern production. Separation is the beginning and end of the spectacle. This is akin to the Marxist concept of alienation. In the Marxist concept of alienation, for example, the worker’s alienation from his product enabled the capitalist to appropriate the product for himself and in so doing was able to use the product to exploit further the proletariat. However, in the Debordian concept of spectacle, spectacle can be interpreted to have originated from the alienation of the proletariat from his produce and, at the same time, the Debordian perspective that spectacle would lead to further alienation suggest that a spectacle serves to alienate the proletariat and whole of society further away from their lives. Spectacle within society reinforces the reproduction of alienation. In a figure of speech, Debord said that “the spectacle is capital to such a degree of accumulation that it becomes an image.” In particular, Debord pointed out that “the spectacle is the moment when the commodity has attained the total occupation of social life.” The spectacle arises because of a tendency of use value to fall and the consumer has to become a consumer of illusion through spectacle. The spectacle is associated with the abundance of commodities under modern capitalism. In this society of the spectacle, the historical mission is to install truth. Our class lectures on capitalism and culture have pointed out that the idea of a consumer society was popularized sometime after World War II. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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