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Episode #171 ... Guy Debord - The Society of the Spectacle

2022-11-01 | 🔗

Today we talk about a famous call to action by the philosopher Guy Debord. 

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hello, everyone, I'm stephen west! This is philosophize. This shows only possible through the generosity of people on patriotic. So thank you all for that contribute what you want for the back catalogue of a show on the website at philosophize, this dot, org philosophize. This podcast on instagram been posting short videos there this week, today's episodes on gaed a boar and his call to action to western society called the society of the spectacle. I hope he loved the show today. So what if somebody told you that you were a member of a religion that you didn't even know that you were a member of an what somebody told you, Even if you were made aware of that fact that you're a part of this religion, they are probably so deeply embedded into the religion. But it wouldn't even really bother you that much that you were a part of it because to you
the illusion of this religion, has become so fundamental to your everyday social life that, whatever the truth is about the world around you just matters less to you than being able to keep going with the illusion that constitutes most of your life. Well, this would be the first time somebody said this to someone they saw us being hopelessly embedded within a religious worldview. The epoch graph of the book we're talking about today is a quote from the philosopher Ludovic fire back from his book. The essence of christianity he's talking in part here about the christians of his time at the relationship that they have with the truth, verses allusion. He said quote but certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the things signified the copy to the original representation to reality. The appearance to the essen, Illusion only is sacred truth. Profane may sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion in
greece's so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness and quote not even know anybody that fits that description in your life. Don't get me wrong not trying to pick on. Christianity here take any religion that you personally disagree with, or at least thank you see through the illusion of it all and will probably find people were the illusion that helps them navigate their everyday life starts to mean, more to them than the actual truth about things, and this is no doubt I design in the religions right amendment can make faithful commitment to the religion of virtue. in the face of opposing evidence than a policy is just not on, when you're going to have to worry about as much take the story of job from the bible. Job had everything in his life taken from them all as oxen donkeys sheep, they were all killed. His servants killed sons. otters, killed. He gets super sick boils all over his skin Alice friends. Stop talking to him
the man had nothing left, but his faith in god and any reasonable person you would think would start to doubt whether there's really some bearded dude up in the sky, with a platform but I'm a boy job, god says much. His faith is unwell in the face of total misery. Look at him he's amazing, It's weathered, and then god rewards job for his faith by giving him twice the stuffy had before gods. The best point is someone sufficiently embedded into a religious worldview as fire box at the highest degree of sake, This is in the illusion and in that world view the truth has to take a back seat. But still the question has to come up. Why The guy we're talking about today. Guida bore use that quote in particular from fire back to describe people living in post world war to europe with peace. the economic prosperity on the horizon with them in aging, more and more, in a modern consumer lifestyle that involves buying things to fill up their homes and watching heavy movies and advertisements about a culture that worship celebrity, I mean he must
thought. To some extent, there was a parallel between someone like a christian and someone exists. within modern consumer culture. To give an analogy, a christian, is to an illusory christian worldview, We are to what the boar calls the society of the spectacle that with a similar level of religious fanaticism and delusion you and I participate in what essentially an economically driven religion that has become so pervasive that dictates pray. Thickly everything about our lives from our identity, to our goals and dreams. To the contents of our friendships, our partner, is even down to the very language that you used to describe the world here in this gonna take a little to explain all the different sides of this, and it's gonna require all of us to at least entertained the thought ix and what, if I am a religious person thinking deeply religious supernatural ways without even realising it, my home, is that by the end of this, that no one feels attacked for life the way that they do, but almost like a met, someone that comes from a completely different culture,
as a totally different way of looking at things, and they spend some time with you in your life. Here's an outsiders perspective of some of the sort that they think is pretty weird, like. I said lot to cover here. So let's get right into the book and a great place to start a book. I've heard is, with the first sentence, sino, but it's actually a pretty big sentence because it foreshadows a lot about the ideas he's building this analysis out of and where he's going to go with the rest of the book, he starts by writing, quote insist It is where modern conditions of production prevail. Life is presented as an immense
humiliation of spectacles, everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation. End quote first thing to know about these two sentences. Is there a reference to the first two sentences of Karl Marx is dost capital written in eighteen, sixty seven similar structure, but the differences between the two passages speaks volumes about how much de boer thinks the world has changed since march was doing his work helps to compare the two. The first line of dots capital is quote the wealth of those societies in which the capital. motor production prevails, presents itself as an immense accumulation of commodities. Our investigation must therefore begin with an analysis of a commodity and quote couple quick important differences to point out here. Marks begins by talking about capitalist modes of production. Where's the boar starts by time
in about what he calls modern conditions of production, the subtext that the board's pointing out there is that, if capitalism is what we're going to call the economic system, that marx was critiquing and eighteen sixty seven, then the term capitalism is for all intents and purposes, useless for describing what d boris critiquing in nineteen sixty seven call, but we have today whatever you want call it something vague like the modern conditions of production, but don't call it capitalism Because whatever were existing in today? This is transformed into that's nothing like what marks was talking about during his time. Another important difference between these two opening lines is: it marks talks about the importance and capitalist society of the quote: immense accumulation of commodities, whereas where's the boers. Talking about how life becomes a quote: immense accumulation of spectacles to understand our religious relationship with what the boers, eventually gonna called the spectre
we have to understand the nature of how mark saw the religious relationship between people living in a capitalist society and commodities that they buy, and it is here and start to identify what an outsider might see as the religious underpin things up how you and I think about things and our culture, imagine an atheist being deeply offended here that the way they live is even being compared to the where religious person lives. Like that's, not a fair comparison. This person might say There are a thousand religions out there and almost all of them engage in one form or another of fetishism fetish. And by definition, meaning that they confer supernatural qualities onto things. Things like religious artifacts rituals, people, things that have natural explanations- that's not fair to me! Well, it just so happens. That's exactly what marx thought! People in capitalist societies are forced to do. He called the commodity fetishism and just a fair warning before us we're talking about all this,
you're someone worried about becoming too cool for your friend group. Probably not a good idea for you to be thinking about something as riveting as the commodity and its relationship to consumer life, I'm just saying You don't have friends anymore after this, because they're does not cool enough for you anymore. Send me males complaining about it that set as consumers born into the society we were. It's easy to hear word commodity and think. What's the big deal, it's a commodity generally speaking as we experienced, a commodity, is something that's created to be bought, sold are traded, Is there really to explain their, but I think would be too bore might want us to consider is just how recent of a phenomenon the commodity is in the grand scheme of human history, people have always needed stuff to make their life possible, but people haven't always produced item solely to fulfil sort of market demand that exists out there, so as the resident economic, religious zeal, here I gotta ask: who cares What does that even matter
to me. The real question becomes what, if anything, changes about our experience of the items that make up our life when they are produced specifically to be bought, sold or traded? One important thing, they'd say changes. That the material things around you that make your life possible. Europe toaster your shoes, your back in everything else, in your life, for that matter? Practically all this stuff was cultivated, produced a manufactured somewhere else, and you have no idea where that is usually the stuff was brought into existence by some one else, and you have no idea who they are usually say what you want as a fan of capitalism, about the efficiency of these modern conditions of production. That's undeniable, but there is always a trade off and one of the trade off here from marks in de boer is going to be that the consumer is fundamental We alienated from the creative process of everything that they buy the performs and morton function in their life, because we,
no longer have to actually make the stuff that we use every day. We don't ever have to consider all the other people, all the expertise that went into making something like your toaster a reality. I sought put one time by a professor get exactly who? So I'm sorry- but I remember the masking their class to consider just their breakfasts that morning think about how many people were involved just in the production of bringing you your breakfast from the farm to your table. Think of all the expertise that all the different levels of farmers- packers, truck drivers, oil refineries to fuel, the trucks, forklift operators clerks at the store and all this works perfectly every day under the modern conditions of production, whether we consider she's going on or not now, this fact can be used both by fate of capitalism and non fans alike fan of capitalism, some born into our world, you might ask them to consider what went into making their food that morning and they be like yeah exactly. This is incredible. Look at her
the people I have access to, where I would never otherwise be able to harness their labour and expertise that all work together to produce thing, as mundane as my breakfast, but simultaneously. This is proof of the consumer's alienation from the production process and it changes way we live in modern society. Take the meat industry as an example. Ask yourself how many people would be willing to raise an animal look at in the eye slaughter. It butcher it and segmented. Often two portions versus how many people are willing to go down to the grocery store and by red cubes wrapped in plastic in the meat department. Hunters will often talk about the raw connection they feel to the animals that they kill and bring home and feed their family with a canoe that is completely lost when you're so alienated from the process that the biggest choice you face when eating in today's world is whether or not it's on sale. Not only does this disconnect allow some,
people to passively engage in a moral choice that they would never otherwise make if they weren't, as alienated as they are, but the boar would say think about it, even with something as basic as feed. In ourselves. In the world we were all born into. We no longer have a connection even to our food at best. What we have is a sort of pseudo connection to food commodities and for the record, can you think any other examples of how this alienation from the production process allows people to passively participate and stuff they be horrified by if they had to actively participate in it. This reality within our culture is only made possible by how separated we are from the people that make the commodities we buy. As mark says, what ends up happening in practice is material relations between people into becoming social relations between things What he's getting at is, if you're sitting in a room right now, full of stuff that you bought and you look around you how valuable any one of these things is comes down to the
that item is positioned within society and within complex social arrangements that are going on all the time, which is to say that how the commodity appear socially matters, far more in terms of its value than any thing to do. with the raw materials that make the thing up, for example, This is why paper money is worth anything at all. Money is barely worth the paper that its printed on, if it wasn't, for you, social agreement that we all participate in that this paper is immaterial simba. a value, gold and silver are not valuable to people simply because their rare or because their hard to get Jeez, if that the case, The other day I was up in my attic, and I found a box and in it was up my great grandfathers, old underwear from w w too, when he storm the beaches omaha yet turns out. He was pretty scared that morning, whose, by no, the reality is: there's nothing intrined.
Equally valuable about any of these commodities in themselves. Commodities become symbolic representations of social agreements and that description by the way, maybe a fantastic, rational economic analysis of the commodity. In its relations, to the consumer. But that has nothing to do with the way that we experienced the things we buy where people, not economists, but we experience, is finished products sitting on the shelf which to reach rate means that we don't necessarily see all the magic that went into making the thing were buying. We don't anything about the people that made it, and we certainly aren't thinking about all the complex social arrangements that determine the things value, ground level. When we buy a nice pair of shoes, we just think I'm buying a nice parachute right now, we're not thinking wow. I can't go home and wrap my feet in these symbols of social relations and abstract labour. No, in practice, we just think These are some awesome shoes and I can't wait to wear them. This is come
to be fed issues and, though, because as consumers were so separated from the complex production and complex social positioning of the stuff we buy, we are forced to confer qualities that are determined socially onto the commodities themselves. In practice, we start to think the things themselves are special, not that they merely appear special, socially and it's the subtle difference and perception that going to create a fundamental cornerstone of our brand of religious thinking, social appearances mean more to us about something's value than substance does the illusion matters more to us, then the truth, the x age, value of an item in the marketplace, matters more to us than anything to do with its use value or how useful it is to us. the people to build and maintain our societies do so. With this psychological premise in mind, this thinking starts to bleed into everything. As the boers gonna say, everything that was once directly.
It has now receded into representation, as his friends does your Agamben says the relationship we, with commodities in the nineteenth century was just a prophecy for what all aspects of society would eventually transform into in the twentieth and twenty first centuries to give a religious parallel to this think about transubstantiation. in a catholic mass to someone sufficiently embedded into the religion, They literally believe that a catholic priest wiggles, is yours over some wine and a cracker, and it actually becomes the body in blood of Jesus Christ, just the appearance of the wine and cracker remain, but the important to consider is that not everybody in that room believes that it literally becomes the body in blood of Christ. People exist at all four levels of religious belief and immersion People in the room realize it still just some wine and a cracker It doesn't really even matter to them that much! That's, not a Well, they're gonna die on because it's what the cracker and why, and symbolically represent, that's important to them, but so too apparent
with us embedded into our economic religion. We all know. People that engage in commodity fetishism thinking that the things their buying are actually special borderline magical things. But again we all existed differently. those of religious immersion and especially, to people that like to think about stuff kind of Let me listen to show like this, you no doubt live with a level of self awareness of how these commodities are really. Just inanimate objects and that any qualities, seem to have our ultimately symbolic to what society collectively decides to make them. So, like the catholic mass, it doesn't bother you to participate in the ritual of saying the parachute possesses these magical qualities because some level. You realize that it's what the shoes symbolise that matters. This is an important point for moving forward. It's a point, the philosopher slavoj g jack, made when he was talking about commodity fetishism in the various toxicity. Given when somebody traditionally believes in a religion, if you were someone that one to get
the question their religious belief. A strategy in the past has been to try to demystify there. belief in something like a god, the thinking you just show them all the ways, their belief doesn't make any sense, and eventually start doubting it and could start to see the things they once believed in from outside perspective. But as these acts says, this is not the case with the modern conditions of production. Believing in supernatural explanations for commodities is not the same the belief in god the commodity is far more insidious to us, the common, It is so normalized. It's such a simple, straightforward thing in our day to day lives. That judge, as even when you show some under religious thought that their participating in and fully realise that its religious and irrational they still have to continue existing, perceiving the world through some ideological lines, even people that totally reject the modern conditions of production, be it through the unconscious, be it through metaphysical, presuppositions peoples
they will continue to live their lives, seeing the commodities themselves as having special qualities. So, as we talk about examples, moving forward. Clearly, not all these are going to apply to you, but for the sake of the thought, experiment try to use these examples to see What level of religious immersion you may existent? Okay, so I was, born into an economic religion or how things appear socially matters far more to me than anything substantive about reality. But what does this have to do with what the boers calling the society of the spectacle is the spectacle de boer describes it in several different ways. In the book. Let's hear some of em, I guess he says the spectacle is an end- stringent used for the goal of pacifying and distracting the masses he says the spectacle is the autocratic, rain of the market economy, the spectacle transforms our reality into a revolving door of commodified images, but quote the spectacle is now a collection of images, but
Social relation among people mediated by images end quote now. First and foremost, the spectacle is an instrument that ultimate purpose in this world is to keep the economic status quo going there it does. This is by keeping people disconnected from reality on practically every level of their existence, see other societies keep the status quo, going in different ways, painful ways he talks about the concentrated spectacle. This would be the sort of tactics used in something like stalinist russia during the boers time. Concentrated spectacle keeps things the way they are things like force propaganda. intimidation, what de boer calls a sort of cult of personality? This is one method of ensuring that things stay the way they are. If that's what you want to do, what we
have in the western world, though, is more of what he calls a diffuse spectacle, meaning that everything that keeps the status quo going is far more spread out. There's no cabal of people at the top poland, the puppet strings to keep the market economy going. In other words, this isn't a conspiracy theory, but it is a conspiracy. Everybody is conspiring to make some money to have the economy be as strong as it possibly can be. That's good for everyone, so everyone participates in keeping the whole thing knowing they go to their jobs for eight hours a day. They participate in the economic conditions of production in some way, and then they go home and they consume stuff another way of putting, that is to say that they further participate in the economic conditions of production peoples in time your lives, becoming spiritual quest to find a reason to wake up the next day and help keep the market economy going. You dont participate. You starved to death, it's very simple, but don't worry all. This is good for you, because hey
you don't like something about your life. You don't like where you live. You have no friends, no one wants to date. You you never get to go anywhere, but why to do is participate in the system, more work, harder work, sixteen hours a day, if you have to, and eventually you can buy better stuff, live better. places and people will magically start to want to hang out with you, as your social appearance becomes, that of some one more valuable in others. Hustler people on the internet every one of them as an sob story. That sounds like church. Oh, I was living in the gutter man I had to. I had to heat my pet chicken that was living in my suitcase with me, but then I a company. I started hustling and now look at me, I'm driving abou gaudy and on time and all you about it on you too. Right now, people may well go door to door, church clothes spread in the gospel. Now, as the boar said before, to keep the economic status quo going, the goal of the spectacle is gonna be to keep everyone alienated from everything. At
different levels. First, the spectacle separates you from the reality of the world around you. Then it separates you from the society that you are a part of after that it separates us from each other. And finally, it separates you from yourself Let's talk about each of these and let's start with the reality of the world around you in private we every generation of human beings that has ever existed. The ring ality of the world around you in your immediate proximity. That is the all that matters to you. That is a world that you participate in the events happen immediately around you are certainly going. Determine where your life is going to go in the future, you are directly. Involved in the events that determine what your life is, but in today's world, One to get a better idea of the relevant events that are going on in the world. You don't look mediately around you anymore, you look at a screen, a screen where some good hearted person their says, they're gonna tell you a story about. What's going on in some in part of the globe. Now these events,
no doubt impact your life down the road in some way in this increasingly globalized world we have, but you don't participate in the events that impact your life or de boer says we dont participate in reality, anymore. Life for us in today's world is just to contemplate the spectacle that is given to us we have put? That would be to say that the appearance is given to us about what's going on in the world? So to matter more to us than actually get the bottom of it ever. The true reality is of what's going on, consider the different levels of religious immersion. Here sure there are people out there that watch the news and they literally believed that they are seeing the reality of the world. Like the personal These are literally eating the body and blood of Jesus, but then there are people out there that watch. The news and they know they should take it with a green assault. They know their clear agendas that are affecting the story. They know. This is just a call action of moving images and sound bites telling in over simplified story about a fragment of, what's actually going on there
oh! The news itself is not a public service. It's a commodity, trying to get you to tune in so they can sell you stuff on commercial breaks. They know that the news describing reality is completely self referential, meaning the new story about reality. Today, back links to for other news stories that you have to accept the validity of for this new story to be valid. Some people at a lower level of religious immersion know that at best what they have access to as a fragment of a fragment of a copy of a car, in that this is all in allusion, but a strange way that doesn't billy bother than that much and it's not because there are bad person or stupid person. He bore living in the society of the spectacle. The elite fusion, truly is more valuable to them. Then, ever is actually going on reality being well informed in the society of the spectacle, just means being up on the latest season of the tv show that tells you what's going on in the world. That is what you're gonna talking about with your friends and family that
what you're going to use as a backdrop when you discuss politics again, your life these days is not so much about participation anymore. It's about contemplation of this spectacle. What this sort of life eventually leads to for de boer is a state of an almost constant feeling of disorientation of dizziness, almost like you're in a house of mirrors, and he can't quite figure out which direction to go in. There is, of course, The obvious distraction from reality, that's possible these days. The escapism from our problems by watching movies, chose playing video games, no shortage of ways to ignore reality. If you wanted to, but then there's the neat trick, the spectacle pulls off that keeps even people that want to change the world for the better incapable of having even a basic conversation about things, because when all the information you have about reality is a representation of a representation when images become autonomous, as the boar says, many that they aren't even mediating something about reality, anymore, they're, just mediating other images,
think of a mean that only makes sense when referencing some other mean or again. The news story that only makes sense, if you accept other news stories when images become autonomous, then thing like misinformation, become extremely powerful tools to keep people divided, because when people can't even agree about the most basic points of a conversation You can get opposing viewpoints, feeling like their living in two completely different universes than any possibility of them coming together green about the problems in the world in finding a way to solve them tackles out the window, in other words, the more the revolutionary potential of the political process is destroyed by the spectacle we have masses of people. Spending thousands of ours of their lives, try to revolutionize an illusion which d
rules even further into masses of people fighting about which illusion is more accurate, sounds a lot like the crusades. You know some people out. There say that marxism is just a transparent ploy to create division between people. But what is this? Then? The boar might ask more than that. Even if people could agree, for a moment about what reality is, if their illusions could have some sort of planetary alignment moment. This world of images is so subject to change all the time that too, ro. The events that matter in the world could be totally different than they were yesterday. The references we're making a year ago are completely different than the references making today there's no continuity. Once again, people in feeling disoriented, like that? grab onto a piece of reality, long enough to ever change for the better, because it transformed into something else contrast this. Again practically every other generation of human being where there was an understanding about what reality is that you gained over time, because there were certain
about the reality of the world that were immutable, but there nothing immutable about the illusions that matter to us today and again when everything is subject, to change on a moment's notice. Where does that leave people when it comes to finding anything that meaningful or enduring peace. and leaving their lives in a place where at least implicitly everything so and meaningless to them. Language, then, which The past has been one of the most important tools for revolutionizing society, for the better language becomes merely something used to this. I've. This stream of images, these fleeting commodified, fragments of reality dont really describe reality, so how anything real ever be revolutionized. The spectacle is the absolute perfection of keeping things the way that they are but it should be said. All these examples so far have just involved the media as an instrument that does this. But this is not just the media. The media, as the boar says, is just the most superficial manifestation of the speck,
It's an obvious example that everyone can see if you're looking for it, but it goes way deeper than that to again an entire religious Attitude that we all carry around with us. He writes quote the spectre, this is not merely the apparatus of media, but the relations between individuals them cells as mediated by the stream of images that represent their daily lived experience of this pseudo reality and quote: let's talk about some examples of this all these are gonna reflect the attitude that grows out of the way we fetish eyes commodities where these social appearance of the thing matters more than the substance of the thing what's going to happen in modern society, is we're going to end up turning that attitude inward towards ourselves and towards other people around us, for example, take the common strategy for choosing political candidates. People will vote for someone that looks feels presidential without ever looking into the details of what the policies are, that they're going to try to get past. If they do read the policies more
people know there never gonna go into office and get any of this stuff done anyway, but they looked apart and some people that most of the battle you see the same thing emerge at the heads of companies and the private sector. Have these enormously powerful people that are the faces of giant businesses, your soul, but feels like a marketing campaign about her, brilliant. These people are like their plan for deeds. Chess at a level. No one can fully understand because there not a smartest them, but then you do some digging into the other side of the story, and it's like are these people really. Unparalleled intellects of our time that are gonna save the world, or is this marketing campaign on being sold to instil confidence in shareholders because the markets based on mass psychology against the funny? into the boar is that even if it is just a marketing campaign for a lot, people out there. It doesn't even
really bother them that much the appearance of saving the world is what matters, not the substance. Think of the people to buy the fake rolex or the faint gucci back or the people. It put things on credit that they can't really afford, because what matters to them is socially appearing a certain way. Not actually being the person think of any example of people wanting to wear the medals, but not earn the medals. It's not fake it till you make it any more faking. It is making it in the society of the practical think of how our lives are often split between the reality of who we are in the physical world and a digital represent. patient of who we are on the internet? We create a digital identity that we curate and we decide how it appears. We choose the select best pictures that represent our life. We choose the filter we decide the people we want to appear to be in that
starts to matter more to some people than anything about the reality of who they are. When someone reacts to posts they see from other people on the internet, read something sad and click the sad face. Emoji, there's a point where you start to wonder: is it really that this Person is so sad about what they just read. Are they really feeling that, or is it that they wanted to publicly express in appearance of sadness to their friends or an appearance that there the kind of person that gives simple the two others in this case in the society of the spectacle, either our emotions becomes something commodified, augmented and more about the appearance of at all than anything, you're actually feeling in reality, how the person that curates an image of themselves online, where there an advocate for social issues that matter to them where they spend their lives, fighting good fight on the internet, speaking truth to power to the fifty people that follow them and agree with them, you gotta start to wonder: does this
and really care so much about these causes order. They care more about appearing as the kind of person that cares about these causes and all the social currency they can get from that. This is an example of an area where all that energy could really be used effectively to change the world for the better, but it ends up just evaporating into this a nerve gas of moral grandstanding and feel good tweets, like the person that dough needs to charity just so they can put the sticker their car that shows they donated like us, celebrity that stages, a pr stunt cameras are rolling as they do something nice in a very religious sort of way. You know and christine neither a dualistic metaphysics that underlies it were effectively. You have two different cells. You have the flawed earthly body, your navigating this moral obstacle course until you die one day, and then you have your soul, which is far more important. It will be lifted out your earthly body fly up into Heaven and live on for eternity. Have we become something similar to that?
We have the self that exists and physical reality, but it ultimately be as a vehicle for this higher version of ourselves in the digital world that far more important to us, and it will live on long after our deaths? This is where I think we can start to see how the spectacle ultimately does just alienated from reality from the society were a part of from the people around us. But the greatest accomplishment of the spectacle is how It is an even alienating us from ourselves. You know four summit That doesn't really know exactly what you want at a life that there's a million different directions he can go, but none of them really You feel that visceral connection, one explanation for that could be that you're not very good at figuring out? What you want because you never really ask yourself what you want. Your life has not been about participation. So far, it's been about content, playing a few different options that were presented to you by the spectacle,
choosing based on how you want a socially appear. After having done the thing you make choices based on how you'll appear not anything to do with the substance of who you are what you ve done. There is what we do with commodities by the way you started. of yourself in terms of your exchange value in the marketplace. Instead of your use value as a person thinking how some people see themselves in the career world? How much can I get paid? relation to how valuable of an asset am I to this company. Think of updating dating world What is my market value, and how can I, find some one where it's an equal exchange of that value? Let's say you go out on a date with that person. What do you guys talk about how you contribute to the economic system? Be it about your work? or your off time. You try to discern their social appearance, even the idea for the first date how'd you come up with that idea. What did you meditate on a rock on the top of a mountain like your baby, yoda or you emulating something that you ve seen somewhere else, one
you're into the relationship for awhile. Is there any way that you behaving, but this person simply because he saw it on a screen somewhere, really think about that. The spectacle ends up concern mean everything about you if you allow it to as to as being turns into having having turns into appearing meaning that most humans that have ever lived, have existed by just being and participating in reality, post world war. Two Europe and the rise in consumerism he's worried that having stuff has become more important to people than being. And he's foreshadowing to a day were simply appearing in a certain way will become more important to people than anything else. The tacit message of the spectacle that we all slowly to accept overtime, something beaten into our heads through little micro transactions on our screens is that what is visible to us- must be important. He says in the book quote: the spectrum presents itself as something enormously positive, indisputable and inaccessible. It says
nothing more than that which appears is good, and that which is good appears in quote. Eventually, we all just sort of come to accept that if I'm seeing something the appearance that I'm seeing that must be important. Somebody's on the tv people are talking about them. They must be important, because, if they weren't important, why would they be on the tv it circular thinking and the flip side to this is that we start we assume that the things that are not visible, but they must not be that important, so again as an example? The social appearance of the com, these we buy in the qualities we give them. That becomes what is important to us, and the raw materials of nature that the commodities are made out of the substance, but that doesn't even something we really think about our sperience of a table is not that it's a bunch of chopped up trees, fashioned into a surface by a person somewhere, it's just a table. Take us another example of this, the movement of urbanization whereby the twenty fifty ninety percent
People are gonna, be living in cities, at least in my country of the united states That's yet another example of how we structure things in a way that coordinates off human in the non human worlds, where one of them, incredibly visible to us the other serves as the invisible source of raw materials that becomes fodder for us. Continuing this constant economic and technological progression. Now a fair question, someone could ask back to all is how much of this is a generational thing, how much grandpa de boer, saying in my day we dealt with things in reality, not like these kids today, with our televisions and moving pictures bore himself didn't have any problem at all with technological progress, but what he would want people to recognise is that, as technology changes impotent lee changes, human relationships right along with it saw an example a few years back like if you were lost in a city right now, and twenty twenty two What would you do to find your way back home
about you, but I would pull out my phone and I would met my way back to wherever I wanted to go back in the nineties, though, maybe you'd pull out your thomas guide to find your way home back in the seventies. Maybe you'd talk to someone and asking for directions in the eighteen hundred maybe pull out a compass and a map twenty thousand years ago, maybe you'd look! at your relative position to the sun and trace your steps back to where you came from point. Is the technology that's available to changes? How you live your life technology available to you was an elaborate spectacle that perpetuates a religious obsession. With appearances alienates you from other people keeps you hypnotized, never really knowing what's going on in reality, commodified your relationships personally formation, even where your eyes are pointing. If this is what techno what he is doing to us. We can look at this stuff is just disinterested technology, anymore, more picky de boer, This is a clear degradation of human life and relationships, not to mention the fact that
You face a situation with this technology that no other human generation has ever had to deal with. You can't just choose to abstain from the economic system, like someone can just walk out of a catholic mass if they think it's all nonsense, you have to be a part of it in some way. And, as you do, that there are literally teams of people out there working include correlation with algorithm super smart people, where their entire job is to look at your tendencies on these screens. And find any way they can to get you to spend more time contemplating the spectacle. Instead of living, there is so much more to talk about here. This episode already been too long. That is as always, though, this podcast is a democracy I will cover whenever the most vocal people decide to ask for on social media. So if you want some more this, let me know later in life. the boy, thought that there was no way out of the spectacle that there was practically nothing in nature or culture that hadn't yet been consumed by it. He did alluded
however, to their not necessarily being a way out, but maybe was away through, regardless the all here today was to entertain a thought experiment where all participate, sitting in an economic process here to some extent we have no choice but to- and I hope. no matter what level of religious emerging you find yourself in that these innovations about how we live our lives. From an outsiders perspective, I hope they can at least help someone. there are being more aware of this substance that underlies the appearances that are far more visible to everyone, because what Somebody told you that you, member of religion, it didn't even know you are a part of and what When you found out about it, it didn't you really bosnia that much! Thank you for listening talk to you next time, real, quick, though this is not a joke, and the irony is not lost on me here, but I did recent start up and instagram and a tick tock for the show making these one minute videos sort of a philosophical injection into your feed, getting better elements,
go day by day, never want to run ads on this podcast. If I don't have to- and I can either beg people to contribute- or I can try to come up with a creative solution- that's my heads at my hope is to get the show out to a larger audience, while also giving something more to the people that make my life possible share it only if you'll love it philosophize. This podcast one word on instagram or tik tok, just trying to put my daughter through college somebody's gotta teacher that lamas do actually exist. I've tried my hardest trust me have a good rest your day,
Transcript generated on 2022-11-02.