Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Jean Baudrillard / "The Structural Law of value and the Order of Simulacra" – summary and review – part 2



Jean Baudrillard / "The Structural Law of value and the Order of Simulacra" – summary and review
part 1 - 2 - 3 


Television and internet society are one of Jean Baudrillard's focal concerns in "The Structural Law of value and the Order of Simulacra". These societies, writes Baudrillard, cease believing in their own realities, and have traded them for signs. The basic experience of postmodernity is the constant decoding of signs which have taken over the cultural arena and have become an end for themselves. The question of signifying has replace the question of meaning, Baudrillard holds, and has created formal communication which functions at the level of signs without having to be translated into referential reality. For Baudrillard this world, in which signs are endlessly recycled and produce a fictitious reality, undeniable on account of being fictitious, is called "hyperrealism" with relatiy functioning as a simulacra – a copy with no origin.
In "The Structural Law of value and the Order of Simulacra" Baudrillard suggests a "structural revolution of value". For him, the world of hyperrealism creates a market economy of hyperrealist desires (i.e. a use of realistic apparatuses in order to represent simulacra). These desires are spread by the media in different corners of the cultural representation. Unlike the old economy, the Freudian one which deals with balancing the pleasure principle and social needs, Baudrillard's new hyperrealist economy gives itself to the pleasure principle without any restraints. However, Baudrillard notes, this economy is no threat to the social order, for it exits and function in a entirely fictitious world. In this world, it generate legitimacy for perceiving reality as a system of radicalized fantasies, which in time turn into the natural scale by which the world is comprehended. However, simulacra in not unified, and Baudrillard devoted the rest of "The Structural Law of value and the Order of Simulacra" to describing the three orders of simulacra.

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Jean Baudrillard/ "The Structural Law of value and the Order of Simulacra" – summary and review
part 1 - 2 - 3 

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