The Boy Scout's Guide to the Situationist International

SKU: 9781914567087
Author: Tom Vague
Publisher: Active Distribution
ISBN: 9781914567087
Published: 2021
Format: Pamphlet
Size: 4.1 x 5.8
Page count: 35
Subjects: History, Art, Situationism

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Originally printed in the notorious zine Vague (issue 49) this is Tom Vague's guide to the even more notorious Situationist International whose influence upon radical art and protest movements from Paris and London in 1968 through to The Angry Brigade, King Mob and eventually the Sex Pistols and punk rock cannot be overstated.

The Situationist International formed in 1957 out of the Lettrist International, a Parisian avant-garde art group who predated punk by almost 30 years in wearing trousers painted with slogans. Owing as much to Dada and the Surrealists as Marx and Bakunin, the Situationists’ starting point was the original working class movement had been crushed, by the bourgeoisie in the west and the bolsheviks in the east; working class organisations like trade unions and leftist political parties had sold out to world capitalism; and capitalism could appropriate even the most radical ideas and return them safely in the form of harmless ideologies.In opposition to this process, the leading Situationist Guy Debord formulated his theory of the Spectacle: ‘The moment when the commodity has achieved the total occupation of life.’ Debord argued, in the Internationale Situationniste journal, that through computers, television, rapid transport systems and other forms of advanced technology, capitalism controlled the very conditions of existence. Hence the world we see is not the real world but the world we are conditioned to see: the Society of the Spectacle. Debord saw the end result as alienation, but didn’t necessarily see this as a bad thing as he felt this would eventually break the stranglehold of spectacular society.

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