[NetBehaviour] Refutation of All the Judgments...“The Society of the Spectacle”

marc 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”*
(film soundtrack)

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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