George Orwell on Totalitarianism

“Totalitarianism, however, does not so much promise an age of faith as an age of schizophrenia. A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud. Such a society, no matter how long it persists, can never afford to become either tolerant or intellectually stable.” George Orwell, The Prevention of Literature

Fictitious Interlocutors

“In clinical accounts of schizophrenia,” says Gabel, “the deterioration of the dialectic of totality (with dissociation as its extreme form) and the deterioration of the dialectic of becoming (with catatonia as its extreme form) seem closely interrelated.” Imprisoned in a flattened universe bounded by the screen of the spectacle, behind which his own life has been exiled, the spectator’s consciousness no longer knows anyone but the fictitious interlocutors who subject him to a one—way monologue about their commodities and the politics of their commodities. The spectacle as a whole is his “mirror sign,” presenting illusory escapes from a universal autism. — Guy DeBord, The Society of the Spectacle