[NetBehaviour] Refutation of All the Judgments...“The Society of the Spectacle”
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sat Jul 30 16:37:00 CEST 2005
*Refutation of All the Judgments, Pro or Con, Thus Far Rendered on the Film
“The Society of the Spectacle”*
The spectacular organization of the present class society has led to two
widely evident consequences. The first is a general deterioration in the
quality of both products and rationales. The second is the fact that
those who claim to find happiness in this society are obliged to
maintain a careful distance from the things they pretend to like —
because they invariably lack the intellectual or other means that would
enable them to attain a direct in-depth knowledge of them, or to
incorporate them into a coherent practice, or to develop any genuine
taste regarding them.
These consequences, which are already so evident when it is a matter of
housing conditions, cultural consumption, sexual liberation, or the
quality of wine, are naturally all the more pronounced when we come to
revolutionary theory and to the formidable language with which that
theory denounces our terminally ill world.
It is thus hardly surprising that this combination of naïve
falsification and ignorant approval, so characteristic of the modern
spectacle, is reflected in the diversely uncomprehending responses to
the film entitled The Society of the Spectacle.
This particular incomprehension is inevitable, and will continue to be
so for some time to come. The spectacle is an infirmity more than a
conspiracy. Those who write for the newspapers and magazines of our time
are not concealing their intelligence: what we see is all they’ve got.
What could they possibly say of any pertinence about a film which
attacks their habits and ideas en bloc, and which does so at a time when
they themselves are beginning to sense the collapse of every one of
them? The stupidity of their reactions stems from the breakdown of their
Those who claim to like my film have liked too many other things to be
capable of liking it; and those who say they don’t like it have also
accepted too many other things for their judgment to have the slightest
The poverty of their discourse reflects the poverty of their lives. You
need only look at their surroundings and their occupations, their
commodities and their ceremonies, which are on view everywhere. You need
only listen to those imbecilic voices giving you contemptuous hourly
updates on the current state of your alienation.
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