Now M. Debord and M. Vaneigem have brought out their long-awaited major texts: the Capital and What Is To Be Done?, as it were, of the new movement. This comparison is not meant mockingly. M. Debord invites it, for his book begins with the allusive sentence: “The whole life of those societies in which modern conditions of production prevail presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles.” The situationists, who poke fun at everyone else, take themselves very seriously indeed.
Under the dense Hegelian wrappings with which they muffle their pages several interesting ideas are lurking. M. Debord and M. Vaneigem are attempting, for the first time, a comprehensive critique of alienated society. They are concerned with the manipulation of consumers, the passivity and poverty of leisure activities, the extinction of creativity, in the welfare state.
Situationism in the Times Literary Supplement
March 19, 2010 by versouk