Fabrication of Pseudo-Needs

This Abecedary was originally published on May Day, 2016 and was the final Abecedary shared when I first started this comic. It is also the last Abecedary I drew completely digitally. When I picked the project back up in earnest last year, I switched back to pen and paper.

‘Recuperation’ is a concept written about by the Situationists, where radical political ideas are diluted and rendered un-threatening to the powers that be, by being stripped of their revolutionary potential and commodified. For example, using the imagery of mass social protest to sell Pepsi, or appropriating the ideas of French anarchists to advance a personal brand. Teespring opening soon.


situationist - B. n. 1. Philosophy and Social Sciences. A person who believes in or advocates situationism; a proponent or adherent of situation ethics. 2. Usually with capital initial. A member of the Situationist International; an adherent of the Situationist movement.

For the situationists, the bureaucratic system of industrial society has considerably increased the sum total of the exploitation and repression of man… The tremendous development of science and technology has led to the individual being completely taken over by the system; the individual is no more than a commodity‥. manipulated by the specialists in cultural repression: artists, psychiatrists,.. sociologists and ‘experts’ of all kinds. To fight against a ‘spectacular’ society, in which everything is treated as a commodity and in which creative energy spends itself in the fabrication of pseudo-needs, one must attack on all fronts simultaneously.
— R. Gombin in D.E. Apter & J. Joll, 'Anarchism Today' (1971)