ISSN: 1705-6411

Volume 5, Number 2 (July, 2008).

"Must we ourselves not become gods?" The Visual Theories of Foucault, Debord and Baudrillard in Explaining Contemporary Power Structures

Jesse Owen Hearns-Branaman
(Ph.D. Candidate, Institute of Communication Studies, University of Leeds, UK)

I. Introduction: God Is Dead! Long Live God!

I am always a bit of a situationist, and for me Nietzsche is someone who is completely topical.1

It was Christianity which first painted the Devil on the world’s wall;
It was Christianity which first brought sin into the world.
Belief in the cure which it offered has now been shaken to its deepest roots; But belief in the sickness which it taught and propagated continues to exist.2

            Since the slow, drawn out Death of God, starting almost before he was born, accelerating during the reformation and ending sometime in the nineteenth century, the ruling classes have needed to find different ways to control the population and maintain their positions of power. Before the Death it was religion and the corresponding master/slave morality power structures that made people know their place in feudal society, to make that society function well for the benefit of certain people. This early system met its match later on with the growth of the scientific method and rational thinking that corresponded to the project of the Enlightenment, leading to the decline of the monarchical power systems, God’s purported representatives on earth, across Europe and eventually the world. Finally, the continued unprecedented growth of mass capitalism and consumerism was the nail in the coffin.
            In his The Gay Science, Nietzsche’s Madman demands of his crowd for the deed of killing God, “Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”.3 Who or what can replace God’s function in society? Who now has the responsibility? If there is no deity in control of things, then who is?  The Madman also asks, in order to give penitence for the killing of God, “What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent?”.4 If religious rituals can no longer distract man, if religious morals can no longer control man, if the religious establishment can no longer get tribute from the masses to build its great monuments, what new power structures will come about to ensure the system will continue to function?
            These questions were pondered over well into the 20th Century, but of course after any major calamity some perspective is required to improve our hindsight; more conclusive answers were long in coming. Michel Foucault’s exhaustive research provided a substantial answer, that of the change in disciplinary systems that had developed since the Enlightenment in order to shift our focus away from power, inwards and towards each other.5 The replacement for God is to be the people themselves, enhanced by their technological innovations, keeping each other in check. And what of the new festivals we need? Guy Debord6 points out that it cannot simply be a coincidence that, in conjunction with capitalism and commodity fetishism, the modern mass media system has developed movies, television, and later the internet and reality TV, and other sources of spectacle in order to dazzle us, distract us, and give us a new star-system.
            Are these concepts, panopticism and the spectacle, developed in the 1960’s and 1970’s still appropriate today? Jean Baudrillard, nominally a follower of Debord and a contemporary of Foucault (but based more in the Durkheimian sociological tradition7), questioned both Foucault’s and Debord’s accounts, calling the former’s too outmoded while dragging the latter’s further and further into the present. A discussion of these thinkers and concepts, taken together, provide necessary concepts for further theorizing today’s world.

II. Bentham’s Panopticon & Foucault’s Panopticism
            While doing research for the book Surveiller et Punir: Naissance de la Prison (1975), Michel Foucault came across a slew of articles from the late18th and early 19th Centuries concerning the architectural functions of certain institutional buildings, most pointing back to the figure of Jeremy Bentham, the designer of the Panopticon. Foucault devoted an entire chapter in his book to this architectural concept,8 which he thought was an excellent metaphor for the changing power relations in society, naming it ‘panopticism.’
            Bentham’s Panopticon was developed during the Enlightenment as an improved method for observing prisoners, students, or other occupants in of institution. ‘In short, it reverses the principle of the dungeon,’ reversing the functions of light deprivation and concealment; this time “Visibility is a trap”.9 Instead of hidden in darkness, the occupants would be out in the open, for Bentham felt that “he who is subjugated to a field of visibility, and who knows it, assumes responsibility for the constraints of power [and] becomes the principle of his own subjection”.10
            This also mimics the reversal taking place in politics throughout Europe at the time, an aftershock caused by the explosive evolution and expansion of capitalism during and after the Industrial Revolution. As Heilbroner notes, the de facto functions of government and business were reversed in the process, the government now having mandate over aspects such as infrastructure growth, while corporations took over the allocation of labour, contrary to the practices in the former feudal system.11 This new “distribution of ‘economic’ and ‘political’ functions takes place in a manner that … conceals and disguises the actual processes at work,”12 for the exposure of the system’s true nature would certainly lead to increased discontent and disillusionment with the system.
            Since the decline of monarchy and corresponding church power structures, the old “ceremonies, the rituals, [and] the marks by which the sovereign’s surplus power was manifested” to become “useless”,13 therefore, the design of the Panopticon fills in the gap in this new emerging societal structure. The main mechanism is allowing the occupants to see they might be being observed at any time from the guards, or other occupants, of the central observation tower, but never allowing them to confirm it. In this way power becomes visible, for the occupant can always see the “guard tower” and unverifiable, both as a cost-saving, efficiency increasing function for the institution as well as helping to acclimatise the occupants to that particular environment.14 He believes that panopticism as a power structure is not simply limited to institutional settings such as prisons, hospitals and schools; it is “a generalizable model of functioning” as well as “a figure of political technology”.15
            Another reason for the increased application of panoptic power systems is due to the rise of capitalism and the “accumulation of men”,16 such as the greater workforce needed for industrialization. Foucault believes this shows that “it is impossible to get the development of productive forces characteristic of capitalism if we do not at the same time have apparatuses of power”.17 This structure was also necessary to increase efficiency, the prominent trait of capitalist expansion, allowing a single person to observe hundreds of people at a time. Foucault views the Panopticon as “a machine in which everyone is caught, those who exercise power just as much as those over whom it is exercised”.18
            An extension of this analysis helps answer another important question which further extends the metaphor to society: Who should be in charge of the guard tower? Foucault notes another recent societal change, that of diverting the general population’s gaze away from spectacle, causing us to become more reflexive. Whereas before the only one above the King or Queen was God, now whoever is acting as the God’s Eye in the central observation tower can also be observed by anyone as well, echoing the post-Enlightenment thought that proposed to give the masses increasing controls and checks over the governance of their country. Foucault postulates the one in control replaces the function of “the eye of God”, corresponding to the change in the “seeing machine,” the metaphorical central observation tower, which “has become a transparent building in which the exercise of power maybe be supervised by society as a whole”.19 This reflects the reformulation of pyramidal power structures, where now the “summit doesn’t form the ‘source’ or ‘principle’ from which all power derives,” instead the top and bottom need “mutual support” to function completely.20
            This is all part of Foucault’s greater theory of decentralized power relations contained in his thought around this time.

Power is not something that is divided between those who have it… exclusively and those who don’t have it and are subject to it. Power must be analyzed… as something that functions only when it is part of a chain… never localized… never appropriated in the way that wealth or a commodity can be appropriated.21

In addition, we can see this panoptic system is in sharp contrast to the old systems of power relations, the classical model of the spectacle (slightly related to Debord’s conception), where the mass focus was on just a few objects, such as a king or religious artefacts. These monarchical and religious power structures were suitable for feudalism, but had to be replaced if the new more efficient, decentralised economic organization needed by capitalism were to take place. By removing the fetish on the “body of the king, with its strange material and physical presence,” panopticism “functions outside [the] sudden, violent, discontinuous forms that are bound up with the exercise of sovereignty”,22 thereby maintaining the stability needed for capitalism. In conjunction with that principle, Foucault sees panopticism as the ideal way to deal with “a multiplicity of individuals on whom a task or a particular form of behaviour must be imposed”,23 implying it’s potential for the behavioural conditioning, such as that previously performed by religious institutions.

III. Society of Surveillance or The End of the Panopticon?
            On the surface, the description of the panopticon provided above seems quite applicable to 21st century society, especially since the advancement of technology has increased the methods available for us to spy on each other. Security cameras can be found all over large cities, in public spaces and private buildings, around the world. With the advent of advanced miniaturization technologies even people’s homes can have small video cameras which have “transformed surveillance into a practice in which average citizens could control, rather than be controlled by, a recording gaze”.24 In a way this development supports Foucault’s determination of the God’s Eye view could now be shared by all, but also brings up new questions of subjectivity.
            The increase of internet usage has also seen the corresponding increase in software used to track our movements. While technology such as security cameras follows the prescription of visible and unverifiable power, internet espionage is invisible. Even though we know someone, either a government official or just a teenage hacker, might be there reading our email or our bank records at anytime we still persist in using the technology, but the question remains, can an invisible and unverifiable threat continue to discipline us? New cultural practices have evolved, as well. The practice of live stream web-camera shows and, more recently, blogging reveals that in one way we are “being encouraged to become the producers – and the ethnographers – of [our own] virtual lives”.25 The prevalence of this could also be considered a reaction to increased rationalization of a surveillance-filled society, also realized in the growing popularity of reality-TV shows.26 This of course does not pose, in my mind, much of a problem for Foucault’s panopticism as it was not meant to be taken quite so literally.
            In his essay “Precession of simulacra” (1983), Jean Baudrillard dedicates one of his major sections to attacking panopticism.27 One of his main contentions lies with new communication theories, such as Marshall McLuhan’s “the media is the message” mantra. Baudrillard radicalizes this, saying there has since been a “merging of the medium and the message” which has lead to an “end of perspective and panoptic space”.28 Without a subject how can surveillance work? Modern media and communication have changed completely since Foucault’s time, especially since the original conception of the Panopticon. For Baudrillard Foucault’s theories are no longer applicable beyond a metaphorical form. Baudrillard posits that it has now become “impossible to locate an instance of the [panoptic] model, of power, of the gaze, of the medium itself, since you are always already on the other side. No more subject, focal point or periphery”.29 There can be no more “transparency” as Foucault posits, because that “presupposes an objective space (that of the Renaissance) and the omnipotence of a despotic gaze”.30 Foucault’s basing of his findings on “a magisterial but obsolete theory”31 forms a rotten foundation, one that taints the rest of panopticism and renders it obsolete as well.
            Baudrillard also disagrees with Foucault’s concepts of power, saying that power “for some time now produces nothing but the signs of its resemblance”32 due to the self-referential nature of almost everything caused by the proliferation of signs by the mass media. The majority of news media events are not real, but advanced constructs, as Daniel Boorstein calls them, in his book The Image (1961), “pseudo-events”. The rise of modern public relations establishment, along with the proliferation of newspapers and people’s demand for more news, necessitated the creation of more events, especially ones staged only for their own good, such as the opening of a new luxury hotel,33 which has caused a change in our perceptions of what constitutes a “real” event.
            Baudrillard expands on that, claiming that mass media consumption is now defined as “the substitution of the code for the referential dimension”,34 and that these pseudo-events have since become “inscribed in advance in the decoding and orchestrating rituals of the media… they function as a set of signs dedicated exclusively to their recurrence as signs”.35 This makes them completely unverifiable, and at best we can describe them as a simulation of real events. While “Foucault unmasks all the final or causal illusions concerning power,” in the end he fails because “he does not tell us anything concerning the simulacrum of power itself”,36 therefore that theory is outdated and inapplicable to describe modern society. Kein points out that many modern security systems are, in fact, the embodiment of a simulacrum of power, for they are simulated to be visible and unverifiable, such as boxes made to look like security cameras that can be bought for cheap.37
            Additionally, Foucault says “it would be wrong to say that the principle of visibility governs all technologies of power used since the end of the nineteenth century”,38 so there must be other techniques used to control the masses. Panopticism may answer the question about the replacement for God, that is our God’s Eye view from the central tower that is our Panoptic society, the other questions is as yet unanswered. It is useful at this point to step back to the decade before Discipline and Punish to peer through Guy Debord’s lens on society.

IV. Debord’s Spectacular Society
            Written in a small room, its main references the works of Hegel, Pascal, Marx and Lukács, Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle39 is an example of radical 20th Century neo-Marxist thought. It was influential in the 1960’s, where it was quickly translated in many versions, and today. Debord, avant-gardist of many trades and founder of the Situationist International movement, had a wide range of ideas about the effects of modern commodification on society. He published a handful intense and broad works which have stood the test of time well among critical theorists.
            An early example of this thought can be found in The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy, published in 1965. It manly concerned what he labelled as the “revolution” or “rebellion” of the American blacks “against … the world of the commodity in which worker-consumers are hierarchically subordinated to commodity standards”,40 an event that took place in Los Angeles in August, 1965, more commonly called the Watts Riots. Debord thought this event was a prime example of the results of late-capitalism, where the oft subjugated blacks, in an apparent form of proletariat insurrection, rioted, destroying “commodities to show their human superiority over commodities” which had previously been controlling their life.41 This position is very radical indeed; however if put in the context of his later works and the Situationist mode of thought in general, it is quite typical and has positive theoretical potential. His main concern was the way in which the media reacted to this event and other revolutionary events in the 1960’s, especially the effects of mass media on the audience. Concerning the strikes at the University of California at Berkeley in December 1964, Debord noted that: “the spectacle [i.e. through the mass media] promptly responded with exposés of widespread student drinking, drug use and sexual immorality – the same activities for which blacks have long been reproached.42
            The mass media, understood by Debord as an extension of America’s advanced capitalist economy, react and respond to events like this by demonizing the protestors, drawing the television audience’s gaze elsewhere, in this case by connecting the protests of hippies to that of the blacks, in an attempt to restore the status quo. The protestors and rebels were also berated for becoming sub-human, or animal-like, another rejection of the spectacle-commodity economy, whose aim is to “reduce people to objects”.43 People then start to assign to “objects … human qualities,” confusing the separation. People can no longer tell what is human, what is natural or not;44 and the answer lies in the commodity.
            In the Society of the Spectacle a similar, but more mature – radicalized and modernized neo-Marxist, approach is used to analyze modern society. The text itself is very dense, changes focus many times, and is notoriously difficult to summarize. Even defining what Debord means by “the spectacle” is quite impossible without a close reading the book and related material. Debord biographer Anselm Jappe believes it is most important to “show that the spectacle is the most highly developed form of a society based on commodity production and its corollary, the ‘fetishism of commodities’”.45 Basically, Debord found “the spectacle” to be the most appropriate term to describe all contemporary human interaction. This is a daunting task, but also one that is done with knowing futility for he simply wants to draw people’s attention to his modernized Marxist and Lukácsian theories about the current stage in the evolution of society.
            To describe the minute inner-workings of this Debord’s complex theory is beyond the scope of this essay, but it is interesting to point to how it contrasts with Foucault’s comparable ideas about modern power relations. Debord doesn’t talk about the function of discipline because he views power as being about “separation,” which is “the alpha and omega of the spectacle”.46 People are separated from each other by the spectacle, but at the same time can only be reunited through it; it is in this reunification that the spectacle-commodity economy makes its profit. The alienation inherent to capitalism has now been harnessed and is indeed “crucial for capitalist development”.47 Images are quite important for the spectacle’s functions, since visual means of communication, like television, cinema and advertising, have become increasingly pervasive, and in the early 21st Century are even more prevalent than ever due to the expansion of communication technology, such as the internet, and people’s apparent acceptance of constant exposure to advertising. .
            Society of the Spectacle also postulates about the religious implications of this new world. Jappe claims that a close reading of Debord reveals that “the spectacle is the heir of religion”,48 and many metaphorical illusions are made in the book. The modern spectacle improves on the classic model of religious spectacle, the latter still being the object of ridicule for Foucault.49 It no longer focuses on loss and absence, but on presence, “but within this depiction what is permitted is rigidly distinguished from what is possible,” unlike religious spectacle, which mainly focused on “permission”.50 This closely follows the mode of the concurrent transformation to an image-based society lead by advanced media technologies.
            Debord makes an example of the habit people have of hoarding “collectable” items and pop-culture related knick-knacks, claiming that this new custom is “following in the footsteps of the old religious fetishism … the fetishism of the commodity also achieves its moment of acute fervour”.51 He also notes, concerning events such as media marketing campaigns for movies or other consumer goods, people seem to express “an outpouring of religious zeal in honour of the commodity’s sovereign freedom”.52
            This answers Nietzsche’s Madman’s question quite well; our new “sacred games” are movies, political stories constructed in the news media, celebrity gossip columns, TV shows, advertising, and all other forms of the culture-commodity industries [promotional culture]; all bent on grabbing our attention, separating us from each other, then selling us things that either make us (temporarily, of course,) happy; reunite us with our estranged friends; or promise to make us more attractive so we can become whole again by finding our true love. We have been so blinded by this brilliant spectacle, and so immersed in it, that it is very difficult for us to see it.
            Society of the Spectacle was so all inclusive, so Debord believes, that when he wrote Comments on the Society of the Spectacle in 1988, he decided not to add any thing to his original thesis other than elaborating on the concept of the “integrated spectacle”.53 He does clarify some points and misrepresentations that people had come made in the preceding 21 years. “Rather than talk of the spectacle, people often prefer to use the term ‘media’,” however that is “a mere instrument” used by the spectacle because it appears to have “impartial ‘professionalism’… a unilateral purity” which helps legitimize the spectacle’s further spread.54 New technologies have not dampened the power of the spectacle or allowed dissenting opinions to form, for “the harsh logic of the spectacle controls the abundant diversity of media extravagances”,55 so an increase in media, even antiestablishment media, means a corresponding increase in the power of the spectacle.

V. The Spectacular End
            To again use Baudrillard to attack Debord at this point would seem fair in regards to Foucault, but the endeavour would be rather fruitless. The former both “represent essentially negative was of reading how capitalism has mutated since Marx’s day and which … throws into question the essential project of Marxist thinking on social relations”.56 Be that as it may, Baudrillard’s criticisms of Debord still follow closely that of Foucault.
            In fact, Baudrillard seems to think that panoptic space is closely related to the spectacle and the spectacular, and they have all become obsolete due to the end of perspective and the lack of subjectivity. “The end of the spectacle brings with it the collapse of reality into hyperrealism, the meticulous reproduction of the real, preferably through another reproductive medium such as advertising or photography”,57 where signs are only can only be copies of other signs, which themselves are only copies of other signs, etc.
            One example he gives is an early reality-TV show called The Louds, which he believes is a symbol of how television is “no longer a spectacular medium”.58 The producers of that show, as with later reality-TV shows, claim that the show captures reality as if the cameras were not there. Baudrillard turns this paradox around: “More interesting is the phantasm of filming The Louds as if TV wasn’t there… Here the real can be seen to have never existed … without the distance which produces perspective space and our depth of vision”.59 This is connected closely with his other concerns about lack of subjectivity in modern culture, which also problematizes Debord and Foucault’s favouring of the power of the subjective/objective divide.
            Additionally, what Debord views as the “fetishization” of objects is, instead, viewed by Baudrillard as a function of the serialization of object consumption.  Objects become “no longer a sequence of mere objects, but a chain of signifiers, in so far as all of these signify one another reciprocally … drawing the consumer into a series of more complex motivations” in which our “purchasing impulse” is “orientate[d] … towards networks of objects” to attain “the highest degree of commitment” towards the objects “to the limits of economic potential”.60 This serialization of objects, which Baudrillard develops later into hyper-realism and simulation, can be viewed as part of the separation-rejoining aspect of Debord’s spectacle, but the religious aspects are removed, being replaced with more of a habitual motivation, while leaving the slight note of helplessness for release from the system.
            It could be argued that Baudrillard and Debord’s theories border on Nihilism, as with other such post-structuralist and some neo-Marxist thought, and seem to go against the spirit in which Nietzsche’s Madman asked his questions. But as Hussey points out, the negativity attached to them is quite unfair, for it is “only by asserting the full force of the negative as a lived experience… can the social be fully integrated into political thought” and have a chance of changing things for the better.61 Following this, it can be argued that formulating strategies to deal with problems that they raise is far more pragmatic and effective. Hence, many of Baudrillard and Debord’s followers have taken a more proactive, anti-Nihilist stance in regards to their ideas in an attempt to rescue them from the dust-bin of obscurity.
            For instance, Douglas Kellner62 takes, what is to my mind, a more modern and reasoned approach to Debord’s spectacle, defending it’s continued existence, and seemingly adding in some of Baudrillard’s observations as well. He observes it as a structural shift in society, where “The spectacular society spreads its wares mainly through the mechanisms of leisure and consumption, services and entertainment, ruled by the dictates of advertising and a commercialized mass media”.63 And he correctly observes that “Celebrities are the icons of media culture, the gods and goddesses of everyday life”,64 being, in part, replacements for the spectacle of the monarchy and religion. This is not universal, however, for in a society like the UK which still maintain a symbolic monarchy, they can, instead, “be seen as harmless and we, the people, could enjoy the colourful charades of the state events, [and the] pleasurable cultural relics”65 since the royal family has now been cast more as celebrities than real power holders.

VI. Conclusion
            Both of these conceptions, the spectacle and panopticism, are still widely discussed in the modern world. In 2003, Elmer gave three slight modernizing adjustments to panopticism, claiming that it “has moved from the carceral enclosure of the prison to the consumer database”; that with so much consumerism “discipline” is not a very applicable term suggesting “enticement,” and that its relationship to society has become more “synoptic,” which is just a synonym for the spectacle.66 At the same time some view the spectacle as being ever more powerful, especially through technologically advanced media products, like blockbuster movies and the massive potential for new media brought about by the Internet.67
            Taking these two concepts, panopticism and the spectacle, alone is quite interesting to contemplate, but in the end rather ineffectual. To explain the society we are living in now, one without widespread belief in punishment by a supernatural being keeping us in place, is much more complicated and multifaceted than that. We cannot say that panopticism-based God’s Eye view is all that is keeping society together for the benefit the certain few, nor can we say our new spectacular rituals is the only thing keeping us distracted from the real way the world works. However, by combining them together we get a more powerful weapon – one where our gaze is cast in all directions at once, at our rulers, at each other, at ourselves. While it may appear overwhelming at first, and the miasmal simulation that fogs our hyper-real lives doesn’t help either, the first step is theorizing the depths of problem. Capitalism remains, as Baudrillard said, a panoptic machine of truth, rationality and productivity”.68 As it continues to globalize the concepts of Foucault and Debord remain powerful alongside a Baudrillardian approach of continuous challenge. As only he could speak to the problem of this paper: “God exists (perhaps), but I don’t believe in Him”.69

Jesse Owen Hearns-Branaman holds an M.A. in International Communications Studies from the University of Nottingham in the UK and a B.A. in Radio and Television Studies from San Francisco State University in the U.S.

Endnotes

1 Jean Baudrillard. Baudrillard Live: Selected Interviews (edited by Mike Gane). London: Routledge, 1993:203.

2 Frederick Nietzsche. “he Wanderer and His Shadow” §78 in R. J. Hollingdale (translator). A Nietzsche Reader, London: Penguin Classics, 1977:173

3 Ibid.:203.

4 Ibid.

5 Michel Foucault. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1977a). Translated by A. Sheridan, London: Penguin, 1991; and “The Eye of Power”, in Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977 (1977b), Edited by C. Gordon, New York: Longman, 1980.

6 Guy Debord. The Society of the Spectacle (1967). New York: Zone Books, 1994; and Comments on the Society of the Spectacle Translated by M. Imrie, New York: Verso, 1988.

7 See William Merrin. Baudrillard and the Media. London: Polity Press, 2005; and George Ritzer’s “Introduction” to Jean Baudrillard. The Consumer Society (1970). London: SAGE, 1998:1-24

8 Michel Foucault. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1977a). Translated by A. Sheridan, London: Penguin, 1991:195-230

9 Ibid.:200.

10 Ibid.:202-203.

11 R.L. Heilbroner. The Nature and Logic of Capitalism. New York: Norton, 1985:95-103.

12 Ibid.:98.

13 Michel Foucault. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1977a). Translated by A. Sheridan, London: Penguin, 1991:202.

14 Ibid.:201.

15 Ibid:205.

16 Michel Foucault. Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977 (1977b), Edited by C. Gordon, New York: Longman, 1980:151.

17 Ibid.:158.

18 Ibid.:156.

19 Michel Foucault. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1977a). London: Penguin, 1991:157; and Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977 (1977b), New York: Longman, 1980:207.

20 Michel Foucault. Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977 (1977b), Edited by C. Gordon, New York: Longman, 1980:159.

21 Michel Foucault. Society Must Be Defended (1976). Edited by M. Bertani and A. Fontana, New York: Penguin, 2003:29.

22 Michel Foucault. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1977a). London: Penguin, 1991:208.

23 Ibid.:205.

24 Vincent P. Pecora, “The culture of surveillance”, in Qualitative Sociology, Volume 25, Number 3,  2002:347.

25 Ibid.

26 Mark Andrejevic, “The kinder, gentler gaze of Big Brother: Reality TV in the era of digital capitalism”. In New Media Society, Volume 4, Number 2, 2002:252-253.

27 Jean Baudrillard. “Precision of simulacra” in Simulations. New York: Semiotext(e), 1983.

28 Ibid.:54.

29 Ibid.:53.

30 Ibid.:52.

31 Jean Baudrillard. “Forget Foucault”, in Forget Foucault/Forget Baudrillard (1977). New York , Semiotext(e), 1987:16.

32 Jean Baudrillard. “Precision of simulacra” in Simulations. New York: Semiotext(e), 1983:45.

33 Daniel Boorstin. The Image (1961). New York: Vintage, 1992:7-44.

34 Jean Baudrillard. The Consumer Society (1970). London: SAGE, 1998:125.

35 Jean Baudrillard. “Precision of simulacra” in Simulations. New York: Semiotext(e), 1983:41-42.

36 Jean Baudrillard. “Forget Foucault”, in Forget Foucault/Forget Baudrillard (1977). New York , Semiotext(e), 1987:40.

37 Grant Kein. “Postmodern gargoyles, simulated power aesthetics”. In Qualitative Inquiry, Volume 12, Number 4, 2006.

38 Michel Foucault. Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977 (1977b), New York: Longman, 1980:148.

39 T. J. Clark. Foreword to Anselm Jappe’s Biography Guy Debord, (accessed from NotBored.org, May 10th, 2007), 1998.

40 Guy Debord. The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy. Situationist International Online, cddc.vt.edu/SIOnline, 1965:paragraph 5

41 Ibid.

42 Ibid., paragraph 9.

43 Ibid., paragraph 15.

44 Ibid.

45 Anselm Jappe. A Guide to Guy Debord’s Concept of the Spectacle. London: Treason Press, 1999:5

46 Guy Debord. Society of the Spectacle (1967). New York: Zone Books, 1994:§25.

47 Anselm Jappe. A Guide to Guy Debord’s Concept of the Spectacle. London: Treason Press, 1999:6.

48 Ibid.:5.

49 Michel Foucault. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1977a). London: Penguin, 1991:202-206.

50 Guy Debord. Society of the Spectacle (1967). New York: Zone Books, 1994: §25.

51 Ibid.: §67

52 Ibid.

53 See Guy Debord. Comments on the Society of the Spectacle. New York: Verso, 1988:§4.

54 Ibid:§3

55 Ibid.

56 Andrew Hussey. “Spectacle, simulation and spectre: Debord, Baudrillard and the ghost of Marx”. In Parallax, Number 7, Volume 3, 2001:64.

57 Jean Baudrillard. Symbolic Exchange and Death (1976). London: SAGE, 1993:69.

58 Jean Baudrillard. Simulations. New York: Semiotext(e), 1983:54.

59 Ibid:50.

60 Jean Baudrillard. The Consumer Society (1970). London: SAGE, 1998:27.

61 Andrew Hussey. “Spectacle, simulation and spectre: Debord, Baudrillard and the ghost of Marx”. In Parallax, Number 7, Volume 3, 2001:68-70.

62 See Douglas Kellner. Media Spectacle. New York: Routledge, 2003, and Kellner’s “‘Baudrillard, Globalization and Terrorism: Some Comments on Recent Adventures of the Image and Spectacle on the Occasion of Baudrillard’s 75th Birthday” in International Journal for Baudrillard Studies,
Volume 2, Number 1, January, 2005: http://www.ubishops.ca/BaudrillardStudies/vol2_1/kellner.htm

63 Douglas Kellner. “Baudrillard, Globalization and Terrorism: Some Comments on Recent Adventures of the Image and Spectacle on the Occasion of Baudrillard’s 75th Birthday” in International Journal for Baudrillard Studies, Volume 2, Number 1, January, 2005. URL

64 Ibid:27

65 E. T. Eldridge, Jenny Kitzinger and Kevin Williams. The Mass Media and Power in Modern Britain. Oxford University Press, 1997:88-87.

66 Greg Elmer. “A diagram of panoptic surveillance”. in New Media & Society, Volume 5, Number 2, 2003:232.

67 Douglas Kellner. Media Spectacle. New York: Routledge, 2003.

68 Jean Baudrillard. In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities, New York: Semiotext(e), 1983:69.

69 Jean Baudrillard. The Perfect Crime. New York: Semiotext(e), 1996:91.


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