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Why New Socialist Theory Needs Guy Debord: On The Practice Of Radical Philosophy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter draws on the work of Guy Debord to critically rethink prevailing narratives on the fate of socialism in the twentieth century and beyond. There are critical differences between the spectacle of socialism (or socialism as ideology), on the one hand, and socialism as philosophy or political theory, on the other. While the spectacle of socialism is real in material and ideological terms, it is not really socialist. On this basis, the chapter contends that the future of any socialist politics depends, at least in the first instance, on philosophy. It aims to show, not only how Debord's work helps to see the revolutionary value of philosophy and political theory, but also, how his ideas on situationist praxis can help to think through current impasses for political action.

Keywords: Guy Debord; radical philosophy; socialist theory



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