Talk:Spectacle (critical theory)

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Nietzsche's mass secret?[edit]

In the legacy section this is said: "Andrew Hussey claims in his biography of Debord that the term spectacle began life not in a Marxist context, but was first borrowed from Nietzsche and his concept of the mass secret." I can't find any information about this concept online. Is it more commonly known as something else? (talk) 02:11, 5 September 2012 (UTC)


Removed clean-up tone label, as there are no reasons given here.KD Tries Again 18:19, 18 June 2007 (UTC)KD


the book itself (La Société du spectacle) is not in the references by choice? PedroCarvalho (talk) 23:01, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

"Throughout his life he fought to make his ideas truly revolutionary. His ideas appear to be gaining more and more relevance and interest. Web sites such as the Bureau of Public Secrets at which is maintained by Ken Knabb and Not Bored are increasingly visited. " This was pulled from the History and Influences section. These seem to be asserting facts without any supporting sources. It also smacks, a little, of a pro-situationist bias. Just a thought.Stryc9 19:39, 15 December 2010 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Davidallenhayes (talkcontribs)


As "Situationism" is widely held not to have existed, I suggest a renaming of this article. Spectacle (Situationist International) is unwieldy and misses the point. Spectacle (critical theory) or Spectacle (philosophy) seem more succinct and consistent with Wikipedia naming conventions. Any other ideas? скоморохъ 00:10, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Just over a year ago, Recuperation (situationism) was moved to Recuperation (sociology), which is, undoubtedly, an improvement, but still misses the mark somewhat. It does, though, point toward the problem of naming, renaming, and categorizing Situationist ideas. Lumping everything under "Situationism," though, makes the situation, if you will, worse. "Critical theory," I would argue, is the best of the choices proffered, especially considering its continued use by Lyotard, Baudrillard, etc. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 01:45, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Right, but isn't critical theory what Adorno, Habermas, Butler etc. do rather than what Vaneigem, Jorn, Debord etc. do? скоморохъ 02:08, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, yes... but, my take on the matter is that, though "critical theory" was a creation of the Frankfurt School, the term is now used to describe a wide array of Marxist and post-Marxist social, cultural, and literary criticism. Indeed, though many would disagree with me, I would argue that Debord & Co. are closer to Adorno & Horkheimer than to Baudrillard and the postmodernists. But, this may not be the place for that discussion. The point is, critical theory may be the best term, not ideal, but the best we can come up with. ---RepublicanJacobiteThe'FortyFive' 04:46, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
How is Spectacle (Situationist International) unwieldy or missing the point? Rorysolomon (talk) 01:23, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 12:19, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Spectacle (Situationism)Spectacle (critical theory)

  • I'd like to revive the discussion of renaming this article. Using "Situationism" is problematic and inaccurate. If anyone is opposed to using "(critical theory)" then perhaps "(sociology)" would suffice, although Guy Debord was really much more of a filmmaker and artist than he was a sociologist per se. —Rorysolomon (talk) 05:15, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
  • I suggest to name it Spectacle (Debord), since he is the main proponent of the concept. He metioned it in some articles of the SI in the early 60s, and wrote the main book about it. Alternatively, the longer Spectacle (Situationist International), or just Spectacle (Situationist) may be used. Labeling it as "Critical theory" or "Sociology" is too generic and blurs the concept instead of clarifying it, the same mistake that was made with Recuperation (sociology).--Sum (talk) 16:42, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

What is the subject of this article[edit]

  • Before we go any further: in layman's language, what is a spectacle as defined in this article?, for those who are not philosophers. The only place where I get spectacles is an optician. The quote "We live in a spectacular society ..." gives the impression that a spectacle is something seen which is not really there, e.g. images in newspapers / television / books / described in text or by voice / suchlike rather than going there and seeing it (using "spectacular" in a non-standard use) :: that differs from general usage, where something real is a spectacle if it is spectacular (in its usual colloquial usage). Anthony Appleyard (talk) 10:31, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
    • We are not here to educate you.--Sum (talk) 11:15, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
  • But the article should make it clear to the average intelligent reader who is not a trained philosopher, what a "spectacle" is as used in this article. To most people "spectacle" means "event memorable for the appearance it creates", or eyeglasses. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 14:08, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
    • I have to agree somewhat with Sum. The theory is well explained in the article. And if that is confusing or incomplete, it should be cleaned up. But I believe that is beyond the scope of this current discussion. Rorysolomon (talk) 07:09, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
  • But I think we are making this too hard. See the guidelines here: . I again vote for "(critical theory)". The point of the parenthetical phrase is not to clarify anything about the topic, it is just to provide a generic term to disambiguate the topic from other uses. "Critical theory" is nice because it encompasses both cultural theory and sociology (which both apply here), and it is in use elsewhere. Rorysolomon (talk) 07:09, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


This article makes no sense. What is the spectacle it's nominally about? There's a lot of indirect references and handwavery but no actual definition. (talk) 19:22, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

These secondary sources may be helpful in improving the article: What Debord can teach us about protest, Guy Debord predicted our distracted society. AV3000 (talk) 11:47, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

3rd paragraph of Marx & Lukács[edit]

The third paragraph of the Marx and Lukács section departs from these foundations of the spectacle theory and regurgitates, almost word for word, a few sentences from the first chapter of Society of the Spectacle. Frenzyface (talk) 12:40, 7 June 2015 (UTC)