The image of the blissful unification of society through consumption suspends disbelief with regard to the reality of division only until the next disillusionment occurs in the sphere of actual consumption. Each and every new product is supposed to offer a dramatic shortcut to the long awaited promised land of total consumption. As such it is ceremoniously presented as the unique and ultimate product. But, as with the fashionable adoption of seemingly rare aristocratic first names which turn out in the end to be borne by a whole generation, so the wouldbe singularity of an object can be offered to the eager hordes only if it has been massproduced. The sole real status attaching to a mediocre object of this kind is to have been placed, however briefly, at the very center of social life and hailed as the revelation of the goal of the production process. But even this spectacular prestige evaporates into vulgarity as soon as the object is taken home by a consumer and hence by all other consumers too. At this point its essential poverty, the natural outcome of the poverty of its production, stands revealed too late. For by this time another product will have been assigned to supply the system with its justification, and will in turn be demanding its moment of acclaim.
— Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle