The Society of the Spectacle
I'm not well-versed in Marxist school of thought. Therefore, I can be drastically wrong in my understanding.
Guy Debord was not prophesizing. Quite the contrary. He observed these phenomena in his own time. Our feeling of eerie accuracy of describing our society is due to the fact that the disease is now more acute than ever.
There's no way to deny that symbolism leads the way to abstraction, and abstraction allows us to build broader logical systems. Most of our achievements as a species owes much to that. Money, or state, even most of the philosophies, and ethics are mostly make-believe. But, these are not imaginary either. These are inter-subjectively real.
What Debord labelled as the Spectacles are not merely symbols. They are symbols, which doesn't represent the entity they symbolize. According to Debord these spectacles create a false sense of reality devoid of an underlying layer of synapses to any real interest of life:
It should be noted that this phenomenon is not merely psychological. It is a socio-psycho-economic condition with several feedback loops at work. It creates a tendency to acquire things for status or conformity instead of their intended usability or with complete misunderstanding of what the product really is.
A false sense of ownership follows, where in reality we got sold completely. In the digital world, NFTs are just that.
This commodification and subsequent commodification of culture where we try to conform to the dominant way of life brings in to the existence a new type of salespeople with a much shrewd strategy working behind this clueless class:
Debord didn't have a name for it. We call them the influencers.
What is the way out of it? That I don't really know. This machination is at work for a long time.
And when even the rebellion is yet another way to conform, we can consider the future pretty bleak.
The Das Kapital of the 20th century. An essential text, and the main theoretical work of the situationists. Few works of political and cultural theory have been as enduringly provocative. From its publication amid the social upheavals of the 1960's up to the present, the volatile theses of this book have decisively transformed debates on the shape of modernity, capitalism, and everyday life in the late 20th century. This new edition is the Ken Knabb translation. Certainly it has the most "modern" design of all three editions, as well as a short new introduction from the translator.