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Astral Codex Ten Podcast

Jul 23, 2022

Finalist #11 in the Book Review Contest

[This is one of the finalists in the 2022 book review contest. It’s not by me - it’s by an ACX reader who will remain anonymous until after voting is done, to prevent their identity from influencing your decisions. I’ll be posting about one of these a week for several months. When you’ve read them all, I’ll ask you to vote for a favorite, so remember which ones you liked - SA]



The Society of the Spectacle will make no sense if the reader feels there is nothing fundamentally wrong with contemporary society.” 

Guy Debord was a Marxist theorist and founding member of the Situationist International, among other things.  Like all great thinkers worth their salt, he was an embittered alcoholic who took his own life in despair. [1]

Published in 1967, The Society of the Spectacle is his magnum opus and lasting legacy. It unfolds in staccato bursts, almost like a book of aphorisms.  The writing is pithy and poetic, albeit with the occasional lapse into the meandering, circular prose so typical of critical theory.  This makes it extremely readable, particularly for a work of political philosophy.  One downside of his style is that he tends to state his points in just-so fashion. We’ll have to do some of the legwork for him to flesh things out.

Strap in, boys - we’ve got a bumpy road ahead of us.