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  • Guy Debord, a Critique of Modernism and Fordism: What Lessons for Today?

    Olivier Frayssé

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


    The advent of the Age of the Internet seems to have vindicated Debord's approach to the life vs. the Spectacle issue. The multiplication of screens even suggests a mise en abyme of the concept as we spend an increasing part of our lives watching merchandise such as smartphones that showcase the world as merchandise, from news to pornography and to all sorts of consumer goods and services. The omnipresent reality of the virtual expresses itself as ‘second life’. And, as Christian Fuchs (2015) has shown, the Internet has brought commodity fetishism to unprecedented heights by obfuscating labour processes beyond anything capitalism had done before. But, like so many other things, both the Internet and Debord's concepts need to be reterritorialized and historicized. This is what Mathieu O'Neil and the author commenced regarding some aspects of the Internet (O’ Neil and Frayssé, 2015). In very much the same spirit, this chapter explores the relationship between Debord's thinking and those elements of US economy, politics, culture and society that he referred to more or less explicitly, and that also bear on our understanding of the Age of the Internet.

    Fuchs, Christian. 2015. Reading Marx in the Information Age, New York: Routledge.
    O’Neil, Mathieu and Frayssé, Olivier (eds.). 2015. Digital Labour and Prosumer Capitalism: The US Matrix. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Frayssé, O. 2017. Guy Debord, a Critique of Modernism and Fordism: What Lessons for Today?. In: Briziarelli M. & Armano E (eds.), The Spectacle 2.0. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book11.d

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    Published on Dec. 12, 2017