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Lyssa
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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Wed May 21, 2014 12:51 pm

Baudrillard wrote:
"Here then is the most important event of our modern societies, the most subtle and most profound trick of their history: the advent, in the very course of their socialization, of their mobilization, of their productive and revolutionary intensification,...the advent of a force of inertia, of an immense indifference, and of the silent power of indifference. What we call the masses. This mass, this inert material of the social, does not arise from a lack of exchange, information, and communication, but on the contrary from the multiplication and saturation of exchange, information, etc. It is born of the hyper-density of the city, of merchandise, of messages, of circuits. It is the cold star of the social and, surrounding this mass, history chills, slows down, events succeed one another and are annihilated in indifference. Neutralized, immunized by information, the masses in turn neutralize history and play(act) as a screen of absorption.

"We are already at the point where political and social events do not have sufficient autonomous energy to move us, and thus they unfold as in a silent film for which we are, not individually, but collectively, irresponsible. History ends there, and you may see how: not because of lack of character, nor of violence...nor of events, but of a slowing down, indifference, and stupefaction....[History's] effects accelerate, but its sense slackens, ineluctably.

"Are we, like the galaxies, caught in a definitive movement that distances us one from another at a prodigious speed, or is this dispersion to infinity destined to end, and the human molecules to approach one another according to an inverse movement of gravitation? The problem of the disappearance of music is the same as that of history: it will not disappear for want of music, it will disappear in the perfection of its materiality.

It is also thus with history, there too we have gone beyond that limit where, as a result of informational sophistication, history as such has ceased to exist. [There has been a] short-circuit between cause and effect,...a radical uncertainty about the truth, about the very reality of the event.

By definition, this 'vanishing point', the point on this side of which there was history, there was music, there was a meaning to the event, to the social, to sexuality,...this point is irrecoverable. Where must we stop information?...We will never know what history was before becoming exasperated in the technical perfection of information, or before vanishing in the multiplicity of codes -- we will never know what all things were before vanishing in the realization of their model.

It could be that the very energy of the liberation of the species (the demographic, technological acceleration, the acceleration of exchanges in the course of centuries) creates an excess of mass and of resistance which goes faster than the initial energy, and which would thus drag us in an unrelenting movement of contraction and inertia."

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Sat May 31, 2014 8:15 pm












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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:12 pm

Baudrillard wrote:
"Profusion, piling high are clearly the most striking descriptive features. The big department stores, with their abundance of canned foods and clothing, of foodstuffs and ready-made garments, are like the primal landscape, the geometrical locus of abundance. But every street, with its cluttered, glittering shop-windows (the least scarce commodity here being light, without which the merchandise would be merely what it is), their displays of cooked meats, and indeed the entire alimentary and vestimentary feast, all stimulate magical salivation. There is something more in this piling high than the quantity of products: the manifest presence of surplus, the magical, definitive negation of scarcity, the maternal, luxurious sense of being already in the Land of Cockaigne. Our markets, major shopping thoroughfares and superstores also mimic a new- found nature of prodigious fecundity. These are our Valleys of Canaan where, in place of milk and honey, streams of neon flow down over ketchup and plastic. But no matter! We find here the fervid hope that there should be not enough, but too much -- and too much for everyone: by buying a piece of this land, you acquire the crumbling pyramid of oysters, meats, pears or tinned asparagus. You buy the part for the whole. And this metonymic, repetitive discourse of consumable matter, of the commodity, becomes once again, through a great collective metaphor -- by virtue of its very excess -- the image of the gift, and of that inexhaustible and spectacular prodigality which characterizes the feast." [The Consumer Society]


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:13 pm

Baudrillard wrote:
"Beyond stacking, which is the most rudimentary yet cogent form of abundance, objects are organized in packages or collections. Almost all the shops selling clothing or household appliances offer a range of differentiated objects, evoking, echoing and offsetting one another. The antique dealer's window provides the aristocratic, luxury version of these sets of objects, which evoke not so much a superabundance of substance as a gamut of select and complementary objects presented for the consumer to choose among, but presented also to create in him a psychological chain reaction, as he peruses them, inventories them and grasps them as a total category. Few objects today are offered alone, without a context of objects which `speaks' them. And this changes the consumer's relation to the object: he no longer relates to a particular object in its specific utility, but to a set of objects in its total signification. Washing machine, refrigerator and dishwasher taken together have a different meaning from the one each has individually as an appliance. The shop-window, the advertisement, the manufacturer and the brand name, which here plays a crucial role, impose a coherent, collective vision, as though they were an almost indissociable totality, a series. This is, then, no longer a sequence of mere objects, but a chain of signifiers, in so far as all of these signify one another reciprocally as part of a more complex super-object, drawing the consumer into a series of more complex motivations. It is evident that objects are never offered for consumption in absolute disorder. They may, in certain cases, imitate disorder the better to seduce, but they are always arranged to mark out directive paths, to orientate the purchasing impulse towards networks of objects in order to captivate that impulse and bring it, in keeping with its own logic, to the highest degree of commitment, to the limits of its economic potential. Clothing, machines and toiletries thus constitute object pathways, which establish inertial constraints in the consumer: he will move logically from one object to another. He will be caught up in a calculus of objects, and this is something quite different from the frenzy of buying and acquisitiveness to which the simple profusion of commodities gives rise."[The Consumer Society]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:15 pm

Baudrillard wrote:
"A new art of living, a new way of living, say the adverts -- a `switched--on' daily experience. You can shop pleasantly in a single air-conditioned location, buy your food there, purchase things for your flat or country cottage -- clothing, flowers, the latest novel or the latest gadget. And you can do all this in a single trip, while husband and children watch a film, and then all dine together right there.

The famous slogan, `Ugliness doesn't sell', is now passé. It might be replaced by: `The beauty of the setting is the prime requirement for happy living.'

The unprecedented comfort of strolling among shops whose tempting wares are openly displayed on the mall, without even a shop-window for a screen, the mall itself being a combination of the rue de la Paix and the Champs-- Elysées. Adorned with fountains, artificial trees, pavilions and benches, it is wholly exempt from changes of season or bad weather: an exceptional system of climate control, requiring 13 kilometres of air-conditioning ducts, makes for perpetual springtime.

Not only can you buy anything here, from shoelaces to an airline ticket; not only can you find insurance companies and cinemas, banks or medical services, bridge clubs and art exhibitions, but you are not a slave to the clock. The mall, like any street, is accessible night and day, seven days a week.

The drugstore can become a whole town: this is the case with Parly 2 with its giant shopping centre in which `art and leisure mingle with everyday life' and each group of residences radiates out from its swimming-pool, where the local clubhouse becomes its focus. A church built `in the round', tennis courts (`the least we could do'), elegant boutiques and a library. The tiniest ski resort borrows this `universalist' model of the drugstore: all activities there are encapsulated in, systematically combined around and centred on the basic concept of `ambience' We are at the point where consumption is laying hold of the whole of life, where all activities are sequenced in the same combinatorial mode, where the course of satisfaction is outlined in advance, hour by hour, where the `environment' is total -- fully air-conditioned, organized, culturalized. In the phenomenology of consumption, this general `air-conditioning' of life, goods, objects, services, behaviour and social relations represents the perfected,`consummated' [consommé] stage of an evolution which runs from affluence pure and simple, through interconnected networks of objects, to the total conditioning of action and time, and finally to the systematic atmospherics built into those cities of the future that are our drugstores, Parly 2s and modern airports." [The Consumer Society]



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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:10 pm

If you watch the Matrix movies Baudrillard's book Simulations is on Neo's apartment desk in the first movie.

I'm quite the fan of Charles Baudrillard and his works.
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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:55 pm

LaughingMan wrote:
If you watch the Matrix movies Baudrillard's book Simulations is on Neo's apartment desk in the first movie.

I'm quite the fan of Charles Baudrillard and his works.


It was discussed in the Desert of the Real thread here; check it out.


And yes, Baudrillard as a neo-Marxist is eye-opening on how things have precessed...

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Mon Jul 14, 2014 7:57 pm

Baudrillard wrote:
"What we have here is precisely the approach of the handyman trying one screw after another to see if they fit, a rudimentary exploratory method based on trial-and-error, with no rational investigation involved.

With the quiz machine we find the same principle. There is no learning. A minicomputer asks you questions, offering a range of five replies to each. You choose the right answer. Time counts. If you respond instantaneously, you get maximum points and are a `champion'. This is not, therefore, thinking time, but reaction time. The machine does not bring intellectual processes into play, but merely immediate reaction mechanisms. You must not weigh up the proposed answers or deliberate: you have to see the right answer, register it like a stimulus on the same optomotor lines as the photo-electric cell. To know is to see (cf. the Riesmannian `radar', which allows you to move about among other people, maintaining or cutting off the contact, immediately selecting positive and negative relationships). Most of all, there must be no analytical thinking: this is penalized by a lower points total due to the time wasted." [The Consumer Society]





Baudrillard wrote:
"The machine was the emblem of industrial society. The gadget is the emblem of post-industrial society. No rigorous definition of the gadget exists. If, however, we agree to define the object of consumption by the relative disappearance of its objective function (as an implement) and a corresponding increase in its sign function, and if we accept that the object of consumption is characterized by a kind of functional uselessness (what is consumed is precisely something other than the `useful'), then the gadget is indeed the truth of the object in consumer society. Hence, anything can become a gadget and everything potentially is one. The gadget might be said, then, to be defined by its potential uselessness and its ludic combinatorial value.

The gadget is defined in fact by the way we act with it, which is not utilitarian or symbolic in character, but ludic. It is the ludic which increasingly governs our relations to objects, persons, culture, leisure and, at times, work, and also politics. It is the ludic which is becoming the dominant tone of our daily habitus, to the extent indeed that everything -- objects, goods, relationships, services -- is becoming gadgetry or gimmickry. The ludic represents a very particular type of investment: it is not economic (useless objects) and not symbolic (the gadget/ object has no soul), but consists in a play with combinations, a combinatorial modulation: a play on the technical variants or potentialities of the object -- in innovation a playing with the rules of play, in destruction a playing with life and death as the ultimate combination. Here, our domestic gadgets link up once again with slot machines, tirlipots and the other cultural radio games, the quiz machine in the drugstore, the car dashboard and the whole range of `serious' technical apparatus which makes up the modern `ambience' of work from the telephone to the computer -- all those things we play with more or less consciously, fascinated as we are by the operation of machines, by childlike discovery and manipulation by vague or passionate curiosity for the `play' of mechanisms, the play of colours, the play of variants: this is the very soul of passionate play [le jeu-passiou], but diffuse and generalized and hence less cogent, emptied of its pathos and become mere curiosity -- something between indifference and fascination, which might be defined by its opposition to passion. Passion may be understood as a concrete relation to a total person or to some object taken as a person. lt implies total investment and assumes an intense symbolic value. Whereas ludic curiosity is merely interest -- albeit violent interest -- in the play of elements." [The Consumer Society]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:46 pm

Lyssa wrote:
LaughingMan wrote:
If you watch the Matrix movies Baudrillard's book Simulations is on Neo's apartment desk in the first movie.

I'm quite the fan of Charles Baudrillard and his works.


It was discussed in the Desert of the Real thread here; check it out.


And yes, Baudrillard as a neo-Marxist is eye-opening on how things have precessed...

Ex-Marxist.  He later became obsessed with existentialism.

I'll check it out sometime. Thanks for the suggestion.
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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:04 pm

LaughingMan wrote:
Lyssa wrote:
LaughingMan wrote:
If you watch the Matrix movies Baudrillard's book Simulations is on Neo's apartment desk in the first movie.

I'm quite the fan of Charles Baudrillard and his works.


It was discussed in the Desert of the Real thread here; check it out.


And yes, Baudrillard as a neo-Marxist is eye-opening on how things have precessed...

Ex-Marxist.  He later became obsessed with existentialism.

He extends Marx; he simply shows that what Marx argued has now changed into a tight structure-cluster;

Baudrillard wrote:
"The goal of the economy is not the maximization of production for the individual, but the maximization of production linked in with the value system of the society' (Parsons). Needs are directed not so much towards objects as towards values, and their satisfaction initially has the sense of signing up to those values. The fundamental, unconscious, automatic choice of the consumer is to accept the style of life of a particular society (it is, therefore, no longer a choice(!) and the theory of the autonomy and sovereignty of the consumer is refuted)."[The Consumer Society]

It is no longer labour per se, but Values that are now exchanged.


Quote :
I'll check it out sometime.  Thanks for the suggestion.


Here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and you're welcome.

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:59 am

Baudrillard wrote:
"A new art of living, a new way of living, say the adverts -- a `switched--on' daily experience. You can shop pleasantly in a single air-conditioned location, buy your food there, purchase things for your flat or country cottage -- clothing, flowers, the latest novel or the latest gadget. And you can do all this in a single trip, while husband and children watch a film, and then all dine together right there.

The famous slogan, `Ugliness doesn't sell', is now passé. It might be replaced by: `The beauty of the setting is the prime requirement for happy living.'

The unprecedented comfort of strolling among shops whose tempting wares are openly displayed on the mall, without even a shop-window for a screen, the mall itself being a combination of the rue de la Paix and the Champs-- Elysées. Adorned with fountains, artificial trees, pavilions and benches, it is wholly exempt from changes of season or bad weather: an exceptional system of climate control, requiring 13 kilometres of air-conditioning ducts, makes for perpetual springtime.

Not only can you buy anything here, from shoelaces to an airline ticket; not only can you find insurance companies and cinemas, banks or medical services, bridge clubs and art exhibitions, but you are not a slave to the clock. The mall, like any street, is accessible night and day, seven days a week." [The consumer Society]  



Quote :
"Insomnia incubates megalomania. The mighty caliph Harun al-Rashid walked through One Thousand and One Nights as an insomniac. Nero was insomniac. Hitler was insomniac. Cioran understood the connection: "You enter into a conflict with the whole world, with sleeping humanity. You no longer feel like one person among others, because others live unconsciously. One develops a demented pride. One tells oneself, 'My destiny is different, I know the experience of the uninterrupted vigil.' Only pride, the pride of a catastrophe, gives you courage then. One cultivates the extraordinarily flattering feeling of no longer being part of ordinary humanity."

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With Baudrillard's comment, we see individual narcissism, has changed into a collective narcissism and psychosis of "The Special Destiny"...

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:18 pm

Indirect narcissism/egoism, where the individual remains pure in its selfless health, because its identity is now projected through otherness.
It can be narcissistic and egotistic through and with others.
A Judeo-Christian practice.
The Jews and Christians/Muslims propose the more arrogant dogmas ever imagined by man, and yet they do so with a individual expression of humility, of altruistic surrender.
God is their power through association.

God can be replaced by an idea(l), such as a political movement or the idea of Humanity, as this purified, sanctified identifier, void of sexual components - pure noetic construct.
One is born into privilege - entitled to respect, love, rights and so on; a birthright.

The individual's innocence is preserved - it is pure selflessness, because its identity has very little to do with its individuation - the individuation is illusion, shallow appearance.
It's identity is now as part of a collective, associated with an abstraction - its "individuality" only in relation to it.
When it expresses self, egotistically, it does so via the shared identifier.
It speaks on behalf of the idea(l).


Also relates to success and failure as concepts of value assessment in modern capitalistic systems.
An individual is only successful in relation to otherness - the fame/fortune duo.

Fame = communal popularity - positive reputation amongst the majority.
Construction of image, public character (caricature) which is desirable, seductive, likable, valued and so becomes popular as the personification of the common ideal.
Repression and/or sublimation of personae, the inherited organic hierarchies (psychology) to accomplish to succeed.

Fortune = marketability - what you do, who you are, is desirable to the majority.
A feeding of the lowest-common-denominator - compromising self to remain marketable, to impact the other positively, to be something the other wants within the shared meme (socioeconomic/cultural standard of evaluating quality; quantification/codification of quality).

All actions, behaviors are judged, evaluated, within this prism of fame/fortune: it determines their worthlessness or worthiness.

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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:12 am

A quick introduction to Baudrillard...

Quote :
""To become an object of consumption an object must first become a sign . . . it must become external, in a sense, to a relationship that it now merely signifies." (Baudrillard, 1996a: 200)

Baudrillard begins this study by noting that while ‘mankind’, as a historical category, remains relatively stable, there are rapid changes in the world of objects and technology. Baudrillard argues that increasingly objects have short life-spans: where pyramids and cathedrals saw the passing of many generations of human beings, today an individual will live through many generations of consumer objects. Objects are increasingly disposable. They are highly valued, prized and cherished – but only for a short time. We no longer seek a sense of the timeless in our objects; instead our use of objects, and our objects’ use of us, binds us to a temporality of constant renewal.

In System Baudrillard actually writes in the subject, criticising other accounts of the new technological objects precisely because they assume a ‘consistent’ level of analysis ‘unrelated to any individual or collective discourse’ (1996a: 5). Baudrillard’s interest is in objects, technical and decorative, which form a cultural system of meaning. It is the system of meaning that is given priority, not the subject’s interpretations and engagements with it. Indeed, Baudrillard contends that humans increasingly appear ‘irrational’ in their desires, in comparison to the functional ‘rationality’ of objects (1996a: . For Baudrillard, influenced by structuralist theory, the system has constraining power over individuals; indeed, it is only through the system that the notion of ‘individual’ is meaningful. Yet there is, for Baudrillard, something within us that resists inscription within the system. The desires and emotional investments of the subject ‘surge back’ through the object system, finding means of expression: the subject is decentred in Baudrillard’s work – but very much alive!

The object system, organised by the codes of fashion and the imperative of functionality, operates as a principle of ‘ideological integration’ (Baudrillard, 1996a: 9). The subject becomes ‘person’ through the process of ‘personalisation’, the terms of which are set by the sign-object system. Of course individual choices are made and internal dialogues are carried out, but always vis-à-vis objects, images or signs. The process of personalisation is a site of contestation and active investment, not a fait accompli determined from above the system. Personal and emotional ‘inessentials’ are expressed through objects in unpredictable ways, as in the case of the collector of objects, but whatever choices are made, and whatever choices are resisted, the object system translates drives, emotions and their ambivalences into sign form. Once rendered into signs they are managed and regulated by the system as commodities. All signs are exchangeable and, in a sense, equivalent with other signs: their differences are at the level of content and combination, which is made possible by their similarity at the level of form. Signs separate, abstract, order and render ‘thing-like’ the complex of ambivalent symbolic relations between people and objects.

The subject in Baudrillard’s analysis is, at this stage, the subject as Freudo-Marxist theories portray it. Drives (Trieb in Freud), such as aggressiveness and erotic cravings, are processed through signs. Increasingly sexual and aggressive drives are promoted by the consumer system; we are encouraged to realise our desires, to indulge our cravings. In Marcuse’s terms drives are ‘repressively de-sublimated’, or channelled into the consumer system. We are entreated to follow our desires but ‘our’ desires have been coded and mapped, in advance, to appropriate objects.

The social self exists in a state of anxiety, it needs to connect through technological means, to get close to others but not too close.
Baudrillard develops what Riesman (1961) called the ‘other-directed’ form of social character. This refers to the individuated being, uprooted from tradition (‘tradition-directedness’) but also distinct from the ‘inner-directed’ individual that Weber (1992) famously linked to the morality of Protestant Puritanism. The ‘other-directed’ individual requires a social ‘radar’ (Riesman, 1961: 126–60) that enables constant self-monitoring and adaptation in terms of what others are doing. We each must become our own public relations officer, rather than our own priest or policeman. That is, we must define ourselves in relation to others both by conforming and crucially by introducing small or ‘marginal’ differences that we promote in order to define our distinctiveness, individuality or ‘personality’ (Baudrillard, 1998a: 87–98).

Like workers and classes before them, objects are ‘freed’ from relatively fixed traditional meanings and symbolic ties. In the process, Baudrillard insists, many objects become banal or ‘nondescript’. Several examples are given: traditional beds in solid wood are compared with modern, fashionable, functional beds (think Ikea). The latter are devoid of ritual or ceremonial meaning: a ‘marriage’ bed cannot be distinguished from any other double bed. The bed no longer has ‘absolute’ value, or value in itself. Instead it has ‘combinatorial’ value in that it is designed to complement other items in the ‘bedrooms’ range. The functional bed may well be invested with meanings in the course of experience and may come to signify love or passion. However, the meaningfulness of this process is predicated on the individual subject making choices based on ‘needs’ from a pre-coded range and then accumulating or accruing experiences to their ‘identity’. Baudrillard develops a powerful critique of subject/identity as constructed through ‘needs’, themselves generated by the sign-code: ‘personalised’ or customised personalities are, he insists, given by the code. But surely traditional society was even more constraining, so what exactly makes the traditional bed different and more ‘expressive’?

Objects in the traditional order, then, are ‘symbolic’ in the sense that they symbolise the lived relations that exist between desires (primarily sexual) and culture (respectable, hierarchical, normative). Further, the form that these relations take is governed by rule and ritual.
The sign-object system offers a form of ‘liberation’, but, according to Baudrillard, this freedom is formal, not actual, and must be critiqued. The sign system offers relief, or even deliverance, from the ambivalences and restrictions of the symbolic order, from the constraints of ascribed status. Choices are offered: we become the designers of our own lives, or at least our own interiors!

The system constructs us as free consumers, as people who buy the products that are for sale because we want them as they satisfy our needs. Indeed, Baudrillard rails against the academic disciplines of sociology and economics for accepting the idea of ‘the consumer’ as a given: as an ontological fact. For economists such as the influential J. K. Galbraith, humanity consists of free and self-conscious individual beings with identifiable sets of needs and the desire to satisfy them. But needs are not freestanding essences; instead ‘the system of needs is the product of the system of production’ (1998a: 74, original emphasis). Needs do not come about in response to particular objects, one by one, but are generated from a grid or code ‘as system-elements’, not within a unique relationship between individual and object. The code, then, is a collective and unconscious social constraint, a morality, an obligation. The tautology that Baudrillard seeks to expose is the mutually constructing nature of needs, desires and consumer goods – an unbroken circuit. Once we are convinced we possess ‘needs’ we have already consented to the consumer system because it generates the principle of abstract needs in search of satisfaction. We may recognise that the consumer system does not satisfy our needs ‘properly’ or fully, or that it rips us off in the process – but we tend not to question the existence of these freestanding, objective ‘needs’. The principle of ‘need’ is, for Baudrillard, the crucial ideological construct of the capitalist system (1981: 63–87).

And once consumers have invested value in the commodities they consume, these values are ‘real’, they cannot be dismissed as false or fake, though they are certainly ideologically structured (1996a: 153). To be a consumer is to be self-coding and is a considerable accomplishment demanding much time and effort. Consumers are required to act: to reflect, to decide, to choose – yet always within the particular, ideologically structured frame of reference that they exist within.

The abstractness of signs, as lifted out of lived relations, makes possible their ever-changing combination and recombination in a limitless process of integration: ‘no object can escape this logic, just as no product can escape the formal logic of the commodity’ (Baudrillard, 1996a: 41). So the consumer society does not simply involve a shift in the economic sphere from the primacy of production to the primacy of consumption. Instead, Baudrillard argues, there has been a shift in the very nature of social reality that in scope far exceeds the confines of economic structures and institutions.

The process of replacing symbolic relations with coded signs is greatly accelerated by consumer capitalism, but it is not identical to it.

"Your happiness loves Cadbury’s."

"We are taken as the object’s aims, and the object loves us. And because we are loved we feel that we exist; we are ‘personalised’. This is the essential thing – the actual purchase of the object is secondary. The abundance of products puts an end to scarcity; the abundance of advertising puts an end to insecurity.
" (Baudrillard, 1996a: 171)" [William Pawlett, Jean Baudrillard against Banality]

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"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Mon Feb 02, 2015 1:05 pm

The Beaubourg Effect

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Baudrillard wrote:
"A whole other violence appears today, which we no longer know how to analyze, because it escapes the traditional schema of explosive violence: implosive violence that no longer results from the extension of a system, but from its saturation and its retraction, as is the case for physical stellar systems. A violence that follows an inordinate densifkation of the social, the state of an overregulated system, a network (of knowledge, information, power) that is overencumbered, and of a hypertrophic control investing all the interstitial pathways.

This violence is unintelligible to us because our whole imaginary has as its axis the logic of expanding systems. It is indecipherable because undetermined. Perhaps it no longer even comes from the schema of indeterminacy. Because the aleatory models that have taken over from classical models of determination and causality are not fundamentally different. They translate the passage of defined systems of expansion to systems of production and expansion on all levels - in a star or in a rhizome, it doesn't matter - all the philosophies of the release of energy, of the irradiation of intensities and of the molecularization of desire go in the same direction, that of a saturation as far as the interstitial and the infinity of networks. The difference from the molar to the molecular is only a modulation, the last perhaps, in the fundamental energetic process of expanding systems.

Something else if we move from a millennial phase of the liberation and disconnection of energies to a phase of implosion, after a kind of maximum radiation (see Bataille's concepts of loss and expenditure in this sense, and the solar myth of an inexhaustible radiation, on which he founds his sumptuary anthropology: it is the last explosive and radiating myth of our philosophy, the last fire of artifice of a fundamentally general economy, but this no longer has any meaning for us), to a phase of the reversion of the social - gigantic reversion of a field once the point of saturation is reached. The stellar systems also do not cease to exist once their radiating energy is dissipated: they implode according to a process that is at first slow, and then progressively accelerates - they contract at a fabulous speed, and become involutive systems, which absorb all the surrounding energies, so that they become black holes where the world as we know it, as radiation and indefinite energy potential, is abolished." [[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]]
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PostSubject: Re: Baudrillard Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:25 pm

Baudrillard wrote:
""...what if the sign did not relate either to the object or to meaning, but to the promotion of the sign as sign? And what if information did not relate either to the event or the facts, but to the promotion of information itself as event? And more precisely today: what if television no longer related to anything except itself as message?" [Screened Out]

Baudrillard wrote:
"Information devours its own content."

"Information is thought to create communication, and even if the waste is enormous, a general consensus would have it that nevertheless, as a whole, there be an excess of meaning, which is redistributed in all the interstices of the social -- just as consensus would have it that material production, despite its dysfunctions and irrationalities, opens onto an excess of wealth and social purpose. We are all complicitous in this myth. It is the alpha and omega of our modernity, without which the credibility of our social organization would collapse. Well, the fact is that it is collapsing, and for this very reason: because where we think that information produces meaning, the opposite occurs.

"Information devours its own content. It devours communication and the social. And for two reasons.


"1. Rather than creating communication, it exhausts itself in the act of staging communication. Rather than producing meaning, it exhausts itself in the staging of meaning. A gigantic process of simulation that is very familiar...

"It is useless to ask if it is the loss of communication that produces this escalation in the simulacrum, or whether it is the simulacrum that is there first for dissuasive ends, to short-circuit in advance any possibility of communication (precession of the model that calls an end to the real). Useless to ask which is the first term, there is none, it is a circular process -- that of simulation, that of the hyperreal. The hyperreality of communication and of meaning. More real than the real, that is how the real is abolished...


"2. Behind this exacerbated mise-en-scene of communication, the mass media, the pressure of information pursues an irresistible destructuration of the social.

"Thus information dissolves meaning and dissolves the social, in a sort of nebulous state dedicated not to a surplus of innovation, but, on the contrary, to total entropy...

"Only the medium can make an event -- whatever the contents, whether they are conformist or subversive. A serious problem for all counterinformation, pirate radios, antimedia, etc. But there is something even more serious, which McLuhan himself did not see. Because beyond this neutralization of all content, one could still expect to manipulate the medium in its form and to transform the real by using the impact of the medium as form. If all the content is wiped out, there is perhaps still a subversive, revolutionary use value of the medium as such. That is -- and this is where McLuhan's formula leads, pushed to its limit -- there is not only an implosion of the message in the medium, there is, in the same movement, the implosion of the medium itself in the real, the implosion of the medium and of the real in a sort of hyperreal nebula, in which even the definition and distinct notion of the medium can no longer be determined...

"Evidently, there is a paradox in this inextricable conjunction of the masses and the media: do the media neutralize meaning and produce unformed or informed masses, or is it the masses who victoriously resist the media by directing or absorbing all the messages that the media produce without responding to them?...

"Are the mass media on the side of power in the manipulation of the masses, or are they on the side of the masses in the liquidation of meaning, in the violence perpetrated on meaning, and in fascination? Is it the media that induce fascination in the masses, or is it the masses who direct the media into the spectacle?...The media carry meaning and countermeaning, they manipulate in all directions at once, nothing can control this process, they are the vehicle for the simulation internal to the system and the simulation that destroys the system, according to an absolutely Mobian and circular logic -- and it is exactly like this. There is no alternative to this, no logical resolution." [Simulacra]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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