Young people everywhere have been allowed to choose between love and a garbage disposal unit. Everywhere they have chosen the garbage disposal unit.— Guy Debord
The most jaw-dropping Guy Debord quotes to get the best of your day
In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.
Quotations are useful in periods of ignorance or obscurantist beliefs.
The spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images.
In a world that has REALLY been turned on its head, truth is a moment of falsehood.
Where the real world changes into simple images, the simple images become real beings and effective motivations of hypnotic behavior.
Boredom is always counter-revolutionary. Always.
The spectacle is the bad dream of a modern society in chains and ultimately expresses nothing more than its wish for sleep. The spectacle is the guardian of that sleep.
Like lost children we live our unfinished adventures.
It is hardly surprising that children should enthusiastically start their education at an early age with the Absolute Knowledge of computer science; while they are unable to read, for reading demands making judgments at every line. Conversation is almost dead, and soon so too will be those who knew how to speak.
The story of terrorism is written by the state and it is therefore highly instructive… compared with terrorism, everything else must be acceptable, or in any case more rational and democratic.
None of the activity stolen by work can be regained by submitting to what work has produced. - The Society of The Spectacle
Behind the masks of total choice, different forms of the same alienation confront each other.
people who personify the system are indeed well known for not being what they seem to be; they have achieved greatness by embracing a level of reality lower than that of the most insignificant individual life- and everyone knows it.
The more he identifies with the dominant images of need, the less he understands his own life and his own desires. The spectacle’s estrangement from the acting subject is expressed by the fact that the individual’s gestures are no longer his own; they are the gestures of someone else who represents them to him.
Ideas improve. The meaning of words participates in the improvement. Plagiarism is necessary. Progress implies it. It embraces an author's phrase, makes use of his expressions, erases a false idea, and replaces it with the right idea.
Work is only justified by leisure time.
To admit the emptiness of leisure time is to admit the impossibility of life.
No longer is science asked to understand the world, or to improve any part of it. It is asked instead to immediately justify everything that happens... spectacular domination has cut down the vast tree of scientific knowledge in order to make itself a truncheon.
Everyone accepts that there are inevitably little areas of secrecy reserved for specialists; as regards things in general, many believe they are in on the secret.
Tourism, human circulation considered as consumption is fundamentally nothing more than the leisure of going to see what has become banal.
Art... can become the direct organization of more highly evolved sensations.
Looting is a natural response to the unnatural and inhuman society of commodity abundance. It instantly undermines the commodity as such, and it also exposes what the commodity ultimately implies: the army, the police and the other specialized detachments of the state's monopoly of armed violence.
The advertisements during intermissions are the truest reflection of an intermission from life.
There is nothing more natural than to consider everything as starting from oneself, chosen as the center of the world; one finds oneself thus capable of condemning the world without even wanting to hear its deceitful chatter.
In the zone of perdition where my youth went as if to complete its education, one would have said that the portents of an imminent collapse of the whole edifice of civilization had made an appointment.
Plagiarism is necessary, progress implies it
I have written much less than most people who write;
I have drunk much more than most people who drink.
He will essentially follow the language of the spectacle, for it is the only one he is familiar with.
The more powerful the class, the more it claims not to exist.
The spectacle is capital accumulated to the point where it becomes image.
What appears is good; what is good appears.
Revolution is not 'showing' life to people, but making them live.
A revolutionary organization must always remember that its objective is not getting its adherents to listen to convincing talks by expert leaders, but getting them to speak for themselves, in order to achieve, or at least strive toward, an equal degree of participation.
With the destruction of history, contemporary events themselves retreat into a remote and fabulous realm of unverifiable stories, uncheckable statistics, unlikely explanations and untenable reasoning.
The loss of quality that is so evident at every level of spectacular language, from the objects it glorifies to the behavior it regulates, stems from the basic nature of a production system that shuns reality. The commodity form reduces everything to quantitative equivalence. The quantitative is what it develops, and it can develop only within the quantitative.
An organization must always remember that its objective is not getting people to listen to speeches by experts, but getting them to speak for themselves.
... just as early industrial capitalism moved the focus of existence from being to having, post-industrial culture has moved that focus from having to appearing.
In our society now, we prefer to see ourselves living than living.
All that once was directly lived has become mere representation.
What is false creates taste, and reinforces itself by knowingly eliminating any possible reference to the authentic. And what is genuine is reconstructed as quickly as possible, to resemble the false.
Among the small number of things that I have liked and known how to do well, what I have assuredly known how to do best is drink. Even though I have read a lot, I have drunk even more. I have written much less than most people who write; but I have drunk much more than most people who drink.
As specialists of apparent life, stars serve as superficial objects that people can identify with in order to compensate for the fragmented productive specialisations that they actually live.
The Sage of Toronto... spent several decades marveling at the numerous freedoms created by a "global village" instantly and effortlessly accessible to all. Villages, unlike towns, have always been ruled by conformism, isolation, petty surveillance, boredom and repetitive malicious gossip about the same families. Which is a precise enough description of the global spectacle's present vulgarity.
Art need no longer be an account of past sensations.
It can become the direct organization of more highly evolved sensations. It is a question of producing ourselves, not things that enslave us.