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  • Preface: Guy Debord, Donald Trump, and the Politics of the Spectacle

    Douglas Kellner

    Chapter from the book: Briziarelli M. & Armano E. 2017. The Spectacle 2.0: Reading Debord in the Context of Digital Capitalism.


    Donald Trump has lived the Spectacle from the time in New York when as a young entrepreneur and man about town he performed his business and personal life in gossip columns, tabloids, and rumour mills. This author argues that his election in 2016 US presidential election is the culmination of the politics of the spectacle that was first described by Guy Debord. This contribution contends that Trump is a master of ‘media spectacle’, a concept the author has been developing and applying to US politics and media since the mid-1990s but which now appears more interactive, and therefore, more dialectical than in its original formulation. Trump’s successful election was the result of the first reality TV candidate to run his campaign like a reality TV series. Thus media spectacle is playing an increasingly important role in US politics. Indeed ‘Guy Debord might be astonished at the extent to which spectacle has come to dominate politics in high-tech supercapitalist societies of the hyperspectacle’.

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    Kellner, D. 2017. Preface: Guy Debord, Donald Trump, and the Politics of the Spectacle. In: Briziarelli M. & Armano E (eds.), The Spectacle 2.0. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book11.a

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    Published on Dec. 12, 2017