Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What is the Society of the Spectacle ?

      We are no longer in an era where the focus goes all into surviving and making the best out of your life. It has completely changed and today it is almost as if people are living in a fairy tale, so surreal that many no longer pay much attention to what really matters. The world in which we live today is filled with so many fantasies that everyday the values that were once important to society are disappearing. This is a result of what Guy-Ernest Debord calls the society of the spectacle, where humans are not managing the money they worked hard to obtain properly and are instead spending it on products that they get persuaded to believe that are a necessity. 

      In his work Debord mentions that, "Economic growth frees societies from the natural pressure which required their direct struggle for survival, but at that point it is from their liberator that they are not liberated" (Debord 40) It is a trap that people are basically falling into where the big companies that they associate with, known as the liberators by Debord, are taking advantage of the economy to get this same people to consume their own goods. This is the spectacle that society is ruled by, and unfortunately its effects have a negative impact on everyone. It has made these big corporations more powerful while the people that have produced their goods have lost many of their positive values.

      As the picture above states, this era is no longer ruled by humans but it's actually dominated by technology which also plays a big role in this "commodity." This commodity is the fantasy world that is placed upon us, and as Debord said, "the satisfaction of primary human needs is replaced by an uninterrupted fabrication of pseudo-needs."(Debord 51) This is a serious issue that everyone experiences today, where the most recent tech device or whatever item has been released needs to be purchased in order for people to satisfy their "needs." This consumer society also promotes this idea which influences the public to continue to feel the need to have something that's most of the time useless. 

      Guy Debord is in complete disapproval of what society has become in this new generation. Priority is becoming less of a significant term to the public and this is as a result of big businesses brain washing people. Due to this many individuals are literally not aware of what they are doing since their actions are controlled by these huge companies that have it the easy way. In a capitalist economy is even worst, because there are way more corporations that would do anything to sell whatever they produce. Wherever you go there is some type of advertisement that persuades you to do a certain action. It is everywhere and unfortunately it cannot be controlled by just anyone.

      Debord also mentions that,"The spectacle is the moment when the commodity has attained the total occupation of social life."(Debord 42) Disney Pixar's movie "Wall-e" which released in 2008 is a great animated film that criticizes society as a result of the "spectacle." Even though the movie is set in the future, it shows a reality that humans are not far away from facing which is complete dependence of these big corporations that are ruling our world. In the film commodity is in total control of social life and everything that goes around. There is absolutely nothing positive about this future society as it is depicted mainly due to the fact that it really is how everything would end up looking as a result of this society of the spectacle.  

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