Critique of the Situationist International


Capitalism transforms life into the money necessary for living.

«<One tends to do any particular thing towards an end other than that implied by the content of the activity.»> [NB]

The logic of alienation : one is an other; the wage system makes one foreign to what one does, to what one is, to other people.

«<Now, human activity does not produce only goods and relationships, but also representations.»>

Man is not homo faber : the reduction of human life to the economy (since taken up by official marxism) dates from the enthronement of capital.

«<All activity is symbolic : it creates, at one and the same time, products and a vision of the world.»> [NB]

The layout of a primitive village :

“summarizes and assures the relations between Man and the universe, between society and the supernatural world, between the living and the dead.” (Levi-Strauss).

The fetishism of commodities is merely the form taken by this symbolism in societies dominated by exchange. […]

As capital tends to produce everything as capital, to parcelize everything so as to recompose it with the help of market relations, it also makes of representation a specialized sector of production.

Stripped of the means of their material existence, wage-workers are also stripped of the means of producing their ideas, which are produced by a specialized sector (whence the role of the “intellectuals”, a term introduced in France by the Manifesto of the [dreyfusite] Intellectuals, 1898).

«<The proletarian receives these representations (ideas, images, implicit associations, myths) as he receives from capital the other aspects of his life.»>

Schematically speaking, the nineteenth century worker produced his ideas (even reactionary ones) at the cafe, the bar or the club, while today’s worker sees his on television – a tendency which it would certainly be absurd to extrapolate to the point of reducing to it all of reality.

Critique of the Situationist International


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