'd like to intervene at this late point in the thread and record my own personal sadness at JB's passing. I've enjoyed his writing immensely since I first came across it 15 or so years ago and over the years I've found his texts to be provocative, piercing, amusing, stimulating, maddening and sometimes more than a little excessive (that being the point, of course). I'm always astonished at this lazy but widespread consensus that posits he is some sort of fool or clown or charlatan (and so often from those who haven't read him, or not at all attentively). If nothing else Baudrillard's critique of media and his reflections on the 'information age' mark him out as an urgently prescient and perceptive thinker. He took up the pioneering work of Marshall McLuhan and was instrumental in formulating and deploying concepts to analyse and make sense of the absolute centrality of media to the functioning of late capitalist society (and, back in the mid-70s he was quick to recognise that the consumer society rendered much of Marx's analysis of a class based society redundant). He has combined (post) Marxism, semiotics, sociology, psychotherapy and (post) structuralism in genuinely original and exciting ways. The writers who influenced Baudriallard and were influenced him are select but outstanding cadre: Ballard, of course, and Pynchon and, my own personal favourite DeLillo. But you can find his ideas discussed in such unlikely non-post modernist novels as Richard Ford's Independance Day also. Baudrillard's like that: he has a habit of creeping into the culture, often in unlkely places and through unlikely means. I can't help thinking that those who so shrilly seek to denounce and dismiss him do so out of the creeping fear that they are indeed infected by the virus of Baudrillard: that their own precious, 'natural' and supposedly pure interority is indeed little more than a mediated, mass-market driven simulation of the most crassest banality.
So farewell then, Jean: thanks for all the cool memories. I hope your final and ultimate fatal strategy took you to somewhere where the hyper-reality proved to be one of escastic seduction...
How do they read in French?
has anyone ever had a conversation about this guy that isnt a debate over whether he's a hack or not?
Im not saying he is. you just very rarely see conversations around him that arent like that. Tea vs. K punk early in this thread is the archetypal idealHe isn't a hack. He just remains at the sub-lukacsian theorisation of the commodity. Same with McLuhan. My beef with people like JD who i quoted upthread is they will call people anti-intellectual whilst themselves engaging in the most hypocritical bourgeois anti-intellectualism which, of course, to camouflage its banality, must constantly resort to circumlocutory prose.
Tea not actually having read him and arguing he was a hack whilst k-punk, who has read him, insists that he wasn't is probably the basic template for a lot of those conversations tbh.Im not saying he is. you just very rarely see conversations around him that arent like that. Tea vs. K punk early in this thread is the archetypal ideal
Sounds like something Virilio would say, also seems incredibly obvious. What was Baudrillard's justification for arguing that wasn't the case?Either way, Jean was wrong. The military sector always grows much faster than the consumer society in capitalism, and it is only later that the developments in military science trickle down to consumers. Computers, games consoles, mass media propaganda, etc.
Sounds like something Virilio would say, also seems incredibly obvious. What was Baudrillard's justification for arguing that wasn't the case?
If the crises demonstrate the incapacity of the bourgeoisie for managing any longer modern productive forces, the transformation of the great establishments for production and distribution into joint-stock companies and state property shows how unnecessary the bourgeoisie are for that purpose. All the social functions of the capitalist are now performed by salaried employees. The capitalist has no further social function than that of pocketing dividends, tearing off coupons, and gambling on the Stock Exchange, where the different capitalists despoil one another of their capital. At first the capitalist mode of production forces out the workers. Now it forces out the capitalists, and reduces them, just as it reduced the workers, to the ranks of the surplus population, although not immediately into those of the industrial reserve army.
But the transformation, either into joint-stock companies, or into state ownership, does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces. In the joint-stock companies this is obvious. And the modern state, again, is only the organisation that bourgeois society takes on in order to support the general external conditions of the capitalist mode of production against the encroachments as well of the workers as of individual capitalists. The modern state, no matter what its form, is essentially a capitalist machine, the state of the capitalists, the ideal personification of the total national capital. The more it proceeds to the taking over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The workers remain wage-workers — proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is rather brought to a head. But, brought to a head, it topples over. State ownership of the productive forces is not the solution of the conflict, but concealed within it are the technical conditions that form the elements of that solution.
The main difference being, I never fucked Jean Baudrillard in the ass, hard:
edit can't leave that encounter here