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Paris, Capital of Modernity by David Harvey

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CHAPTER TWELVE

CONSUMERISM, SPECTACLE, AND LEISURE

The relations connecting the labor of one individual with that of the rest appear, not as direct social relations between individuals at work, but as what they really are, material relations between persons and social relations between things.

—MARX

The spectacle of Empire initially had a purely political aspect that focused on the populism of the Napoleonic legend and the presentation of imperial power. The plan for Paris to assume the mantle of imperial Rome and become the head and heart of civilization in Europe was part of Haussmann’s mandate. Court ceremonies, imperial marriages, burials and visits of foreign dignitaries, military parades (preferably with the Emperor riding in the vanguard ...

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