spectacle |ˈspektək(ə)l| noun

  • Media manipulation of the public which creates an autocratic reign over the market economy.
  • A visually striking performance or display: the acrobatic feats make a good spectacle: the show is pure spectacle.
  • An event or scene regarded in terms of its visual impact: the spectacle of a city’s mass grief.

ORIGIN Middle English: via Old French from Latin spectaculum public show,from spectare, frequentative of specere to look.

In Literature

  • Guy Debord’s (1931–1994) best-known work, La société du spectacle (The Society of the Spectacle) (1967)
  • Debord defines the spectacle as the “autocratic reign of the market economy.” Though the term “mass media” is often used to describe the spectacle’s form, Debord derides its neutrality.
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