The Fetish in the Spectacle
- an object of unreasonably excessive attention or reverence

(on the nature and forms of redemption)
introduction 4

The power of rituals - rules of the game of power

For tens of thousands of years, rituals have helped humans to cope with their existence.

"Church liturgies and political ceremonies make it clear: rituals are productions and representations of power. They work by appealing emotionally to their participants and spectators and by captivating them. The people involved in ritual acts believe in the function and necessity of the rituals and produce their effects through their belief. These include conveying the social hierarchies implicit in ritual arrangements, which rituals often conceal by giving themselves the appearance of being "natural" and as if they have always existed without being subject to historical change.

"In rituals, something is staged and performed that cannot be expressed or represented in any other way. Herein lies the specificity of ritual arrangements. As in the actions of theatre, the physical character of rituals with their materiality generate sensations and experiences in participants and spectators that are difficult to convey in any other way. The magic and power of rituals are rooted in this."

A fetish (derived from the French fétiche, which comes from the Portuguese feitiço, and this in turn from the Latin facticius, "artificial" and facere, "to make") is an object to which supernatural powers are attributed, or especially a man-made object that has power over others. Essentially, fetishism is the attribution of inherent value or powers to an object.

Originally, the Portuguese developed the concept of fetish to refer to the objects used in religious practices by the West African peoples of the time.

The belief in the organic vitality and spirituality of the natural world

The theory of fetishism was formulated in the late 18th century by G. W. F. Hegel in his Lectures on the Philosophy of History. According to Hegel, Africans were incapable of abstract thought, their ideas and actions were determined by impulses, and therefore a fetish object could be anything that was arbitrarily endowed with imaginary powers....

Oh yes, to have power!

Karl Marx already wrote in Capital about the fetish character of the commodity and its mystery: "At first glance, a commodity seems to be a trivial thing. But if you look more closely, you can recognise its metaphysical subtleties and theological quirks in the commodity.

We too have become commodity.

Later Guy Debord has found in the concept of the spectacle the point at which one can leverage contemporary society.

The fetishism of commodities is a deterministic myth, designed to conserve the existing order by convincing the people in it that they can do no other. By picturing themselves as unfree, men make themselves unfree: their prophecy of powerlessness is self-fulfilling.

Jean Baudrillard begins to treat fetishism as a sign of social value; the fetish object is seen as a symbol of the owner's social status. Here, the fetish is no longer an unreal object to which properties are attributed that it does not have in reality, but it is a means of conveying social values through material culture. For Baudrillard, the fetish is the site of a fusion or confusion of subject and object...

The performative cultures

In all periods of history and in all societies, certain ideas, principles, writings, objects or practices have been understood as superior and unavailable.

Thus, they were also ascribed a regulatory function for collective ways of thinking and acting.

De/sacralisations are understood as processes and practices through which things, persons and ideas are communicated as unavailable, unchangeable and order-giving instances or confirm or change their elevated status.
Basically, it is about legitimising rule and the social relevance of certain power interests. Through the use of familiar rituals, value concepts of a political discourse can be mystified/sacralised (or desacralised) and simultaneously legitimised.

(An example is ringing in the stock exchange day - the priest does the same in his mass: After the first "Amen" after the offertory ( communion), the bell is rung).

Author's private note: In Mexico, a rubbish man with bell goes ahead to announce rubbish truck

These processes of sacralisation have so far been understood as progressive disenchantment.

See more about "Why do they ring the bell at the stock exchange?" here:

Everything has become a commodity - including tolerance

A speculative direction:
From the perception to the empowerment of the world

In his book "Archaeology of Knowledge", Michel Foucault asks about the conditions of statements.
Foucault describes statements as a product of relationships between economic and social processes or systems of norms (especially institutions, sciences, etc.).
Statements are thus a result of "reinscriptions and rewritings" in discourses and dispositives.

This also means that concepts, terms and definitions are constantly forgotten and destroyed.
The archaeology of knowledge asks questions such as: How should one specify the various terms with which one tries to grasp discontinuity in history (threshold, rupture, incision, change, transformation)?

There is still a killer, not only on the road:

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