Democracy and terrorism

From Guy Debord's Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (1990) [emphasis his]:

Once it attains the stage of the integrated spectacle, self-proclaimed democratic society seems to be generally accepted as the realisation of a fragile perfection. So that it must no longer be exposed to attacks, being fragile; and indeed it is no longer open to attack, being perfect as no other society before it. It is a fragile society because it has great difficulty managing its dangerous technological expansion. But it is a perfect society for governing; and the proof is that all those who aspire to govern want to govern this one, in the same way, changing hardly a thing. For the first time in contemporary Europe no party or faction of a party even tries to pretend that they wish to change anything significant. The commodity is beyond criticism: as a general system and even as the particular forms of junk which heads of industry choose to put on the market at any given time.


Such a perfect democracy constructs its own inconceivable foe: terrorism. Its wish is to be judged by its enemies rather than by its results. The story of terrorism is written by the state and it is therefore highly instructive. The spectators must certainly never know everything about terrorism, but they must always know enough to convince them that, compared with terrorism, everything else must be acceptable, or in any case more rational and democratic.

Enhanced by Zemanta