The Society of Spectacle has been published for the first time in november 1967. The publisher was Buchet Chastel. The book was re-published by Gérard Leibovici, at the Champ Libre Press in 1971.


Guy Debord had announced the book by having published the first chapter, La séparation achevée, (The achieved separation), in Bulletin de l’Internationale Situationniste, number 11, october 2007, so the last before the 1968 “events”.

The text has kept all his strength and flavour.

Just an example, one should use about criticism of cyberspace:


The spectacle is the ruling order’s nonstop discourse about itself, its never-ending monologue of self-praise, its self-portrait at the stage of totalitarian domination of all aspects of life. The fetishistic appearance of pure objectivity in spectacular relations conceals their true character as relations between people and between classes: a second Nature, with its own inescapable laws, seems to dominate our environment. But the spectacle is not the inevitable consequence of some supposedly natural technological development. On the contrary, the society of the spectacle is a form that chooses its own technological content. If the spectacle, considered in the limited sense of the “mass media” that are its most glaring superficial manifestation, seems to be invading society in the form of a mere 
technical apparatus, it should be understood that this apparatus is in no way neutral and that it has been developed in accordance with the spectacle’s internal dynamics. If the social needs of the age in which such technologies are developed can be met only through their mediation, if the administration of this society and all contact between people has become totally dependent on these means of instantaneous communication, it is because this “communication” is essentially unilateral. The concentration of these media thus amounts to concentrating in the hands of the administrators of the existing system the means that enable them to 
carry on this particular form of administration. The social separation reflected in the spectacle is inseparable from the modern state — the product of the social division of labor that is both the chief instrument of class rule and the concentrated expression of all social divisions.

(The Situationnist International had the texts published with an explicit anti-copyright notice which stated that “the writings may be freely reproduced, translated or adapted, without even indicating their origin”.) 

If you read french, I have written in 2005, about Memoires de G-E Debord, a text  entitled L’Ars Memoriae de Guy Debord, published by Cahier Critique de Poésie n°9. But the great man of this publication was Boris Donné, the impeccable author of [Pour Mémoires] published by Allia.

Always with Donné, a good souvenir is the Exhibition Guy Debord, Situationnists Documents, in the International Center of Poetry Marseille, in Mars 2006. I have proposed a reading of the prologue of In girum imus Nocte, entitled Pop. Cin. Against the public of the cinema. You can find all these texts on the french blog.

This evening in Marseille, it was the first time I have seen the splendid Critique de la séparation film of Debord.

All his films on a nice DVD, see some images here: Guy Debord cinéaste.


The achieved separation (english version)