You are on page 1of 132


Shadow-Boxing the System..........................70

Critiques Shadow-Boxing Overview.............................72
Strategic Passivity........................................74
The Catastrophe Fix.......................................2 Strategic Passivity Overview........................75
Catastrophe Fix 2NC Overview......................6 Infinite Remainder........................................77
Catastrophe Fix 2NR Overview......................8 Feminist Plastic Surgery...............................80
Disaster Porn......................................... .........9 Feminist Plastic Surgery Overview...............84
Disaster Porn Overview................................12 Implosion of the State...................................85
Commodification of Suffering........................13 Imperialism as Anti-Imperialism....................87
We Search for Images..................................15 Viral Communism.........................................89
Nuclear Hyperreality.....................................17 Power Lashing Out.......................................91
Nuclear Hyperreality 2NC Overview.............22 Power Lash Out Overview............................92
Nuclear Hyperreality 2NR Overview.............24 The Debt............................................... ........93
Proliferation Stops War.................................25 Debt Overview.............................. ................95
Proliferation Stops War Overview.................26 Simulation of Politics.................................... .96
Illusion of War................................. ..............27 Media Information Sucks..............................99
Illusion of War Overview...............................30 Banishing the Right..................................... 101
Biosphere 2..................................................32 Banishing the Right Overview.....................105
Biosphere 2(NC) Overview...........................35 Disney World..............................................106
Biosphere 2(NR) Overview...........................36 ....................................... ...........................108
Maleficent Ecology........................................ 37 Radical Thought Alternative........................109
Maleficent Ecology 2NC Overview................ 40 Our Framework............................... ............112
Maleficent Ecology 2NR Overview................ 41 Framework Overview..................................115
Maleficent v. Deep Ecology 1AR...................42 Aff Doesn’t Get to Pick Framework.............117
Sentimentality to Animals..............................43 A2: Perm........................................... ..........118
Sentimentality to Animals Overview..............44 A2: Postmodernism is Bad.........................123
Global v. Universal............................... ........45 A2: We Still Solve!......................................125
Global v. Universal 2NC Overview................48 A2: Need a Textual Alternative....................126
Global v. Universal 2NR Overview................50 A2: Disaster Porn.......................................127
Globalization of Violence..............................51 Must Engage System................................. .129
Globalization of Violence Overview..............57 Alternative Fails..........................................131
Spirit of Terrorism........................................ ..58
Spirit of Terrorism Overview..........................61
Infection of Democracy.................................62
Culture Crash...............................................65
Culture Crash Overview................................68

Jean Baudrillard is a professor of philosophy of culture and media criticism at the European Graduate School in Saas-
Fee, Switzerland.
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

The Catastrophe Fix

The images of catastrophe and destruction they present are like a

drug, used by the first world nations to feed off the suffering of
the rest of the world. Their efforts to solve these problems are
coproductive with the disasters themselves, and this constant
search for new spectacle will lead to the destruction of the human
species as the ultimate reality TV show.
Baudrillard in 94 [Jean, “The Illusion of the End” p. 66-71]
We have long denounced the capitalistic, economic exploitation of the poverty of the
'other half of the world' [['autre monde]. We must today denounce the moral and
sentimental exploitation of that poverty - charity cannibalism being worse than
oppressive violence. The extraction and humanitarian reprocessing of a destitution which
has become the equivalent of oil deposits and gold mines. The extortion of the spectacle
of poverty and, at the same time, of our charitable condescension: a worldwide
appreciated surplus of fine sentiments and bad conscience. We should, in fact, see this
not as the extraction of raw materials, but as a waste-reprocessing enterprise. Their
destitution and our bad conscience are, in effect, all part of the waste-products of history-
the main thing is to recycle them to produce a new energy source.
We have here an escalation in the psychological balance of terror. World capitalist
oppression is now merely the vehicle and alibi for this other, much more ferocious, form
of moral predation. One might almost say, contrary to the Marxist analysis, that material
exploitation is only there to extract that spiritual raw material that is the misery of
peoples, which serves as psychological nourishment for the rich countries and media
nourishment for our daily lives.
The 'Fourth World' (we are no longer dealing with a 'developing' Third World) is once
again beleaguered, this time as a catastrophe-bearing stratum. The West is whitewashed
in the reprocessing of the rest of the world as waste and residue. And the white world
repents and seeks absolution - it, too, the waste-product of its own history.
The South is a natural producer of raw materials, the latest of which is catastrophe. The
North, for its part, specializes in the reprocessing of raw materials and hence also in the
reprocessing of catastrophe. Bloodsucking protection, humanitarian interference,
Medecins sans frontieres, international solidarity, etc. The last phase of colonialism: the
New Sentimental Order is merely the latest form of the New World Order. Other people's
destitution becomes our adventure playground. Thus, the humanitarian offensive aimed
at the Kurds - a show of repentance on the part of the Western powers after allowing
Saddam Hussein to crush them - is in reality merely the second phase of the war, a phase
in which charitable intervention finishes off the work of extermination. We are the
consumers of the ever delightful spectacle of poverty and catastrophe, and of the moving
spectacle of our own efforts to alleviate it (which, in fact, merely function to secure the
conditions of reproduction of the catastrophe market); there, at least, in the order of
moral profits, the Marxist analysis is wholly applicable: we see to it that extreme poverty
is reproduced as a symbolic deposit, as a fuel essential to the moral and sentimental
equilibrium of the West.
In our defence, it might be said that this extreme poverty was largely of our own making
and it is therefore normal that we should profit by it.


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

The Catastrophe Fix

<<Baudrillard 94 continued 2/3>>

There can be no finer proof that the distress of the rest of the world is at the root of
Western power and that the spectacle of that distress is its crowning glory than the
inauguration, on the roof of the Arche de la Defense, with a sumptuous buffet laid on by
the Fondation des Droits de l'homme, of an exhibition of the finest photos of world
poverty. Should we be surprised that spaces are set aside in the Arche d' Alliance. for
universal suffering hallowed by caviar and champagne?
Just as the economic crisis of the West will not be complete so long as it can still exploit
the resources of the rest of the world, so the symbolic crisis will be complete only when it
is no longer able to feed on the other half's human and natural catastrophes (Eastern
Europe, the Gulf, the Kurds, Bangladesh, etc.). We need this drug, which serves us as an
aphrodisiac and hallucinogen. And the poor countries are the best suppliers - as, indeed,
they are of other drugs. We provide them, through our media, with the means to exploit
this paradoxical resource, just as we give them the means to exhaust their natural
resources with our technologies. Our whole culture lives off this catastrophic cannibalism,
relayed in cynical mode by the news media, and carried forward in moral mode by our
humanitarian aid, which is a way of encouraging it and ensuring its continuity, just as
economic aid is a strategy for perpetuating under-development. Up to now, the financial
sacrifice has been compensated a hundredfold by the moral gain. But when the
catastrophe market itself reaches crisis point, in accordance with the implacable logic of
the market, when distress becomes scarce or the marginal returns on it fall from
overexploitation, when we run out of disasters from elsewhere or when they can no
longer be traded like coffee or other commodities, the West will be forced to produce its
own catastrophe for itself, in order to meet its need for spectacle and that voracious
appetite for symbols which characterizes it even more than its voracious appetite for
food. It will reach the point where it devours itself. When we have finished sucking out
the destiny of others, we shall have to invent one for ourselves. The Great Crash, the
symbolic crash, will come in the end from us Westerners, but only when we are no longer
able to feed on the hallucinogenic misery which comes to us from the other half of the
Yet they do not seem keen to give up their monopoly. The Middle East, Bangladesh, black
Africa and Latin America are really going flat out in the distress and catastrophe stakes,
and thus in providing symbolic nourishment for the rich world. They might be said to be
overdoing it: heaping earthquakes, floods, famines and ecological disasters one upon
another, and finding the means to massacre each other most of the time. The 'disaster
show' goes on without any let-up and our sacrificial debt to them far exceeds their
economic debt. The misery with which they generously overwhelm us is something we
shall never be able to repay. The sacrifices we offer in return are laughable (a tornado or
two, a few tiny holocausts on the roads, the odd financial sacrifice) and, moreover, by
some infernal logic, these work out as much greater gains for us, whereas our kindnesses
have merely added to the natural catastrophes another one immeasurably worse: the
demographic catastrophe, a veritable epidemic which we deplore each day in pictures.
In short, there is such distortion between North and South, to the symbolic advantage of
the South (a hundred thousand Iraqi dead against casualties numbered in tens on our
side: in every case we are the losers), that one day everything will break down. One day,
the West will break down if we are not soon washed clean of this shame, if an
international congress of the poor countries does not very quickly decide to share out
this symbolic

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____


The Catastrophe Fix

<<Baudrillard 94 continued 3/3>>

privilege of misery and catastrophe. It is of course normal, since we refuse to allow the
spread of nuclear weapons, that they should refuse to allow the spread of the
catastrophe weapon. But it is not right that they should exert that monopoly indefinitely.
In any case, the under-developed are only so by comparison with the Western system and its
presumed success. In the light of its assumed failure, they are not under-developed at all.
They are only so in terms of a dominant evolutionism which has always
been the worst of colonial ideologies. The argument here is that there is a line of objective
progress and everyone is supposed to pass through its various stages (we find the same
eyewash with regard to the evolution of species and in that evolutionism which unilaterally
sanctions the superiority of the human race). In the light of current upheavals, which put an
end to any idea of history as a linear process, there are no longer either developed or under-
developed peoples. Thus, to encourage hope of evolution - albeit by revolution - among the
poor and to doom them, in keeping with the objective illusion of progress, to technological
salvation is a criminal absurdity. In actual fact, it is their good fortune to be able to escape
from evolution just at the point when we no longer know where it is leading. In any case, a
majority of these peoples, including those of Eastern Europe, do not seem keen to enter this
evolutionist modernity, and their weight in the balance is certainly no small factor in the
West's repudiation of its own history, of its own utopias and its own modernity. It might be
said that the routes of violence, historical or otherwise, are being turned around and that the
viruses now pass from South to North, there being every chance that, five hundred years
after America was conquered, 1992 and the end of the century will mark the comeback of the
defeated and the sudden reversal of that modernity.
The sense of pride is no longer on the side of wealth but of poverty, of those who - fortunately
for them - have nothing to repent, and may indeed glory in being privileged in terms of
catastrophes. Admittedly, this is a privilege they could hardly renounce, even if they wished
to, but natural disasters merely reinforce the sense of guilt felt towards them by the wealthy
– by those whom God visibly scorns since he no longer even strikes them down. One day it
will be the Whites themselves who will give up their whiteness. It is a good bet that
repentance will reach its highest pitch with the five-hundredth anniversary of the
conquest of the Americas. We are going to have to lift the curse of the defeated - but
symbolically victorious - peoples, which is insinuating itself five hundred years later, by
way of repentance, into the heart of the white race.
No solution has been found to the dramatic situation of the under-developed, and none
will be found since their drama has now been overtaken by that of the overdeveloped, of
the rich nations. The psychodrama of congestion, saturation, super abundance, neurosis
and the breaking of blood vessels which haunts us - the drama of the excess of means
over ends – calls more urgently for attention than that of penury, lack and poverty. That
is where the most imminent danger of catastrophe resides, in the societies which have
run out of emptiness. Artificial catastrophes, like the beneficial aspects of civilization,
progress much more quickly than natural ones. The underdeveloped are still at the
primary stage of the natural, unforeseeable catastrophe. We are already at the second
stage, that of the manufactured catastrophe - imminent and foreseeable - and we shall
soon be at that of the pre-programmed catastrophe, the catastrophe of the third kind,
deliberate and experimental. And, paradoxically, it is our pursuit of the means for
averting natural catastrophe - the unpredictable form of destiny - which will take us
there. Because it is unable to escape it, humanity will pretend to be the author of its

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
destiny. Because it cannot accept being confronted with an end which is uncertain or
governed by fate, it will prefer to stage its own death as a species.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Catastrophe Fix 2NC Overview

Why is reality television so popular? People don’t like to exist in
their own lives – the vicarious experience of other’s problems is
one of the great joys of the modern age. Extend our Baudrillard 94

Baudrillard says that images of destruction, catastrophe and

disaster are exaggerated by the media and used to give pleasure
to those in the first world at the expense of everyone else. As a
society, we export death and import back its image, drawing
satisfaction from the exploitation of other people and cultures and
our efforts to solve the problems that we actually enjoy so much.
The affirmative is a perfect example of this process – their harms
detail disaster in the status quo which they provide a simulated
solution to through fiat, all in an effort to make themselves feel
powerful in this exchange of suffering.

Their supposed solution is a part of this process – they will never

actually fix all the problems they claim, because then they would
be left without a source of enjoyment. Even if their solution does
work, it will have the side effect of creating more suffering to
continue the cycle. A perfect example of this is Iraq – we get all
worked up over what a terrible person Saddam is and the damage
he could cause, so we go remove him to improve the situation, but
now there’s been an explosion of porn, drugs and violence in Iraq
after the invasion so we can continue to consume the images of
disorder and trouble and justify even more interventions, which
makes their harms are inevitable.

Also, this quest for more sources of suffering is a constantly

expanding process. Once we run fix some problems, we have to
generate more to keep the images flowing, encouraging artificial
tragedies to replace natural ones. This mindset ends in human
extinction as the ultimate spectacle.

If you buy into this system of representation by giving them the

ballot, you’re helping the cycle of catastrophe to continue.
Instead, strategic indifference is required. Don’t acknowledge
their images. When there is no more demand for suffering, the
supply will decrease as well, making the problems obsolete.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Note that we don’t ask you to ignore suffering in the real world –
Baudrillard has no problem with helping people out. It’s only in
the context of this debate round and the illusion of fiat, which has
no relevance to the real world, that you should refuse to be moved
by images of catastrophe. Also, we can advocate the plan as a
good idea minus the images they present – the affirmative can’t
sever out of the discourse they already used, but we can advocate
the rest of the plan as a good idea and get the same advantages.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Catastrophe Fix 2NR Overview

Extend the Baudrillard 94 evidence. They miss some key points
from my last overview, so extend:

First, their harms are exaggerated by the media to get a response

from the people, so their harms are either completely false or at
best not as bad as they claim.

Second, their claims of disaster going on in the status quo are part
of a process where we use the suffering of the rest of the world for
our own vicarious enjoyment. Because they require this suffering
to feel powerful by supposedly solving it, their plan is masking the
problem at best, while perpetuating the exchange of pain and
death that makes all their harms possible.

Third, if they do solve their harms, they will require new

catastrophes to keep getting their fix, so solving the case requires
the creation of a new area of disaster to be acted upon, which
makes the case harms self-replicating.

Fourth, this constant search for new sources of suffering

terminates in human extinction as an artificial catastrophe and the
ultimate spectacle. That’s an immediate reason to reject the

Fifth, the only way out is strategic indifference and refusing to be

moved by their images of disaster. Giving them the ballot
acknowledges the harms and lets the cycle continue – only by not
giving them recognition can we escape. This is particularly
applicable to debate, which is exclusively simulation, so you can
still authentically help people in the real world, just don’t buy their
images in here.

Sixth, you can still get all the advantages of their case with a
negative ballot. Removing the demand for catastrophe decreases
the supply as well, and more importantly, you can advocate the
plan without advocating the images by going negative – they’re
stuck with their discourse, but we can say plan itself is a good
idea, even if the justifications for it aren’t. That’s an easy
negative ballot right there, even if the 3 case turns above weren’t.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Disaster Porn

Death and disaster are employed by the media to shock and

titillate the viewer, which turns the event itself into a form of mass
entertainment that loses any reference to the real world but must
constantly be given credibility by new images of destruction.
Baudrillard in 94 [Jean, “The Illusion of the End” p. 55-58]
In the case of the Romanian revolution, it was the faking of the dead in Timisoara which
aroused a kind of moral indignation and raised the problem of the scandal of
'disinformation' or, rather, of information itself as scandal.
It was not the dead that were the scandal, but the corpses being pressed into appearing
before the television cameras, as in the past dead souls were pressed into appearance in
the register of deaths. It was their being taken hostage, as it were, and our being held
hostage too, as mystified TV viewers. Being blackmailed by violence and death,
especially in a noble and revolutionary cause, was felt to be worse than the violence
itself, was felt to be a parody of history.
All the media live off the presumption of catastrophe and of the succulent imminence of
death. A photo in Liberation, for example, shows us a convoy of refugees 'which, some
time after this shot was taken, was to be attacked by the Iraqi army'. Anticipation of
effects, morbid simulation, emotional blackmail. It was the same on CNN with the arrival
of the Scuds. Nothing is news if it does not pass through that horizon of the virtual, that
hysteria of the virtual - not in the psychological sense, but in the sense of a compulsion
for what is presented, in all bad faith, as real to be consumed as unreal.
In the past, to show something up as a fake, we said: 'It's just play-acting', 'It's all
romance!', 'It's put on for the cameras!'. This time, with Romania and the Gulf War, we
were able to say, 'It's just TV!'
Photographic or cinema images still pass through the negative stage (and that of
projection), whereas the TV image, the video image, digital and synthetic, are images
without a negative, and hence without negativity and without reference. They are virtual
and the virtual is what puts an end to all negativity, and thus to all reference to the real
or to events. At a stroke, the contagion of images, engendering themselves without
reference to a real or an imaginary, itself becomes virtually without limits, and this
limitless engendering produces information as catastrophe. Is an image which refers
only to itself still an image? However this may be, that image raises the problem of its
indifference to the world, and thus of our indifference to it - which is a political problem.
When television becomes the strategic space of the event, it sets itself up as a deadly
self-reference, it becomes a bachelor machine. The real object is wiped out by news – not
merely alienated, but abolished. All that remains of it are traces on a monitoring
Many Romanian eyewitness accounts speak of being dispossessed of the event in this
way, deprived of the lived experience they have of it by being submerged in the media
network, by being placed under house arrest in front of their television screens.
Spectators then become exoterics of the screen, living their revolution as an exoticism of
images, themselves exogenous, touristic spectators of a virtual history. From the
moment the studio becomes the strategic centre, and the screen the only site of
appearance, everyone wants to be on it at all costs, or else gathers in the street in the
glare of the cameras, and these, indeed, actually film one another. The street becomes
an extension of the studio,


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Disaster Porn
<<Baudrillard 94 continued>>

that is, of the non-site of the event, of the virtual site of the event. The street itself
becomes a virtual space. Site of the definitive confusion of masses and medium, of the
real-time confusion of act and sign.
There is no will to communicate in all this. The only irresistible drive is to occupy this
non-site, this empty space of representation which is the screen. Representation (political
representation too) is currently a trough of depression - meteorological depression -
which the media fill up with their turbulences, with the same consequences as occur
when any kind of space is suddenly depressurized. The highest pressure of news
corresponds to the lowest pressure of events and reality [Ie reel].
The same unrealism in the Ceausescu trial. It is not the judicial procedure itself which is
scandalous but the video tape, unacceptable as the only, bloodless trace of a bloody
event. In the eyes of the whole world, this will remain an event forever suspect, for the
sole reason of its - strangely obscene - scenic abduction. This hidden jury, its voice
striking out against the accused, these defendants we are forced to see even though
they are virtually dead, these dead prisoners shot a second time to meet the needs of
news. One might even wonder whether the actors in this staged event were not
deliberately trying to make themselves seem suspect in the eyes of world opinion, as
though playing at sabotaging their image. At the same time, the Ceausescu trial was
pulled off perfectly as a video production, betraying a sharp sense of the image function,
the blackmail-function, the deterrence- function. Deep down, the intuitive grasp of these
things has grown more sophisticated over there, in the shadow of dictatorship, than it
has with us. We have nothing to teach them. For, if the Romanians themselves got high
on this media speculation which served them as a revolutionary aphrodisiac, they also
dragged all the Western media into the same news demagogy. By manipulating
themselves, they caused us spontaneously to swallow their fiction. We bear the same
responsibility as they do. Or, rather, there is no responsibility anywhere. The question of
responsibility cannot even be raised. It is the evil genius of news which promotes such
When information gets mixed in with its source, then, as with sound waves, you get a
feedback effect - an effect of interference and uncertainty. When demand is maximal
(and everywhere today the demand for events is maximal), it short-circuits the initial
situation and produces an uncontrollable response effect. That is, ultimately, why we do
the Romanians an injustice when we accuse them of manipulation and bad faith. No one
is responsible. It is all an effect of the infernal cycle of credibility. The actors and the
media sensed obscurely that the events in Eastern Europe had to be given credibility,
that that revolution had to be lent credibility by an extra dose of dead bodies. And the
media themselves had to be lent credibility by the reference to the people. Leading to a
vicious circle of credibility, the result of which is the decredibilizing of the revolution and
the events themselves. The logical sequence of news and history turns back against
itself, bringing, in its cyclical movement, a kind of deflation of historical consciousness.
The Americans did just the same in the Gulf War. By the excessive nature of their
deployment and stagecraft, by putting their power and news control so extravagantly to
the test, they decredibilized both war and news. They were the Ubus of their wn power,
just as the Romanians were the Ubus of their own mpotence. Excess itself engenders the
parody which invalidates the facts. And, just as the principle of economics is wrecked by

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
financial speculation, so the principle of politics [Ie politique] and history is wrecked by
media speculation.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Disaster Porn Overview

Extend our Baudrillard 94 evidence. Here’s the argument.

The media transforms real events, death, destruction, etc. into the
unreal, as part of your TV screen and newspaper, images to be
consumed by masses of people. This devalues the event, because
it is reduced to a spectator sport instead of a unique occurrence.
Their plan is a perfect example of this – they outline all sorts of
terrible problems in the status quo in an effort to get you, the
judge, to believe them as the “real.” Their playing the role of the
media implicates them in the production of the real to be
consumed as unreal.

This process creates the information itself as the catastrophe, and

devalues the lives of those who are actually dying due to the
harms they outline. Also, the demand for death to lend credibility
to their political program of choice leads to an increase in its
supply – the more destruction people want to see, the more will be
provided, guaranteeing their harms will be reproduced far into the
future as a result of the destructive images they present.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Commodification of Suffering

Bereft of values, our society demands images of suffering from

others to replenish our moral sentiment. We exchange our pity for
their pain, in a process that guarantees the suffering must
Baudrillard in 94 [Jean, September 28, "No Reprieve For Sarejevo"]
The problem lies indeed in the nature of our reality. We have got only one, and it must be
preserved. Even if it is by the use of the most heinous of all paroles: "One must do
something. One cannot remain idle." Yet, to do something for the sole reason that one
cannot do nothing never has been a valid principle for action, nor for liberty. At the most
it is an excuse for one's own powerlessness and a token of self-pity. The people of
Sarajevo are not bothered by such questions. Being where they are, they are in the
absolute need to do what they do, to do the right thing. They harbour no illusion about
the outcome and do not indulge in self-pity. This is what it means to be really existing, to
exist within reality. And this reality has nothing to do with the so-called objective reality
of their plight, which should not exist, and which we do so much deplore. This reality
exits as such - it is the stark reality of action and destiny.
This is why they are alive, while we are dead. This is why we feel the need to salvage the
reality of war in our own eyes and to impose this reality (to be pitiable) upon those who
suffer from it, but do not really believe in it, despite the fact they are in the midst of war
and utter distress. Susan Sontag herself confesses in her diaries that the Bosnians do not
really believe in the suffering which surrounds them. They end up finding the whole
situation unreal, senseless, and unexplainable. It is hell, but hell of what may be termed
a hyperreal kind, made even more hyperreal by the harassment of the media and the
humanitarian agencies, because it renders the attitude of the world towards them even
less unfathomable. Thus, they live in a kind of ghost-like war - which is fortunate,
because otherwise, they would never have been able to stand up to it. These are not my
words, by the way: they say it so. But then Susan Sontag, hailing herself from New York,
must know better than them what reality is, since she has chosen them to incarnate it.
Or maybe it is simply because reality is what she, and with her all the Western world, is
lacking the most. To reconstitute reality, one needs to head to where blood flows. All
these "corridors", opened by us to funnel our foodstuffs and our "culture" are in fact our
lifelines along which we suck their moral strength and the energy of their distress. Yet
another unequal exchange. And to those who have found in a radical delusion of reality
(and this includes the belief in political rationality, which supposedly rules us, and which
very much constitutes the principle of European reality) a kind of alternative courage,
that is to survive a senseless situation, to these people Susan Sontag comes to convince
them of the "reality" of their suffering, by making something cultural and something
theatrical out of it, so that it can be useful as a referent within the theatre of western
values, including "solidarity". But Susan Sontag herself is not the issue. She is merely a
societal instance of what has become the general situation whereby toothless
intellectuals swap their distress with the misery of the poor, both of them sustaining each
other, both of them locked in a perverse agreement. This parallels the way the political
class and civil society are


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Commodification of Suffering
<<Baudrillard 98 continued>>

swapping their respective misery: one throwing up corruption and scandals, the other its
purposeless convulsions and its inertia. Thus, not so long ago, one could witness
Bourdieu and Abbe Pierre offering themselves as televisual slaughtering lambs trading
with each other pathetic language and sociological garble about poverty.
Our whole society is thus on its way towards "commiseration" in the most literal sense of
the word (under the cloak of ecumenical bathos). It looks like as if we are in the midst of
an immense feeling of guilt, shared by intellectuals and politicians alike, and which is
linked to the end of history and the downfall of values. Then, it has become necessary to
replenish the pond of values, the pond of references, and to do so by using that smallest
common denominator which is the suffering of the world, and in doing so, replenishing
our game reserves with artificial fowls. "At the moment, it has become impossible to
show anything else than suffering in the news broadcasts on television", reports David
Schneidermann. Ours is a victim-society. I gather that society is merely expressing its
own disappointment and longing for an impossible violence against itself. Everywhere, a
New Intellectual Order is following on the heels of the New World Order. Everywhere, we
see distress, misery and suffering becoming the basic stuff of the primitive scene. The
status of victimhood, paired with human rights is the sole funeral ideology. Those who do
not directly exploit it do it by proxy - there is no dearth of mediators who take some
surplus value of financial or symbolic nature along the way. Loss and suffering, just like
the global debt, are negotiable and for sale on the speculative market, that is, the
intellectual-political market - which is in no way undermining the military-industrial
complex of old & sinister days.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

We Search for Images

Members of our culture are in constant search of new global,

hyperreal images as a way to escape the body and satisfy the
bored eye.
Kroker in 2002 [Arthur, March 20, editor of “We Look for Images”]
A story of body invasion? Not really. Contemporary society is no longer the culture of the
disembodied eye. Today, we play out the drama of our private existence along and within
the iris of the image-machine that we once dismissed as somehow external to human
ambitions. Our fate, our most singular fate, is to experience the fatal destiny of the
image as both goal and precondition of human culture. As goal, the power of the image
inheres in the fact that contemporary culture is driven forward by the will to image as its
most pervasive form of nihilism. As precondition, we are possessed individuals because
we are fully possessed by the enigmatic dreams of impossible images.
That we are possessed by the power of the image with such finality has the curious
repercussion of driving the image-machine mad. The matrix of image-creation as its
evolves from analog to digital and now to the biogenetic struggles to keep pace with the
capricious tastes and fast-bored appetites of human flesh as an image-machine. It is the
age of the bored eye: the eye which flits from situation to situation, from scene to
scene, from image to image, from ad to ad, with a restlessness and high-pitched
consumptive appetite that can never really ever be fully satisfied. The bored eye is a
natural nihilist. It knows only the pleasure of the boredom of creation as well as the
boredom of abandonment. It never remains still. It is in perpetual motion. It demands
novelty. It loves junk images. It turns recombinant when fed straight narratives. It has
ocular appetites that demand satisfaction. But it can never be fully sated because the
bored eye is the empty eye. That is its secret passion, and the source of its endless
The bored eye is the real power of the image. It takes full possession of the housing of
the body. It is the nerve center of flesh made image. It is the connective tissue between
the planetary ocular strategies of the image-matrix and the solitude of the human body.
The bored eye is bored with its (bodily) self. That is why it is always dissatisfied. It needs
to blast out of the solitude of its birth-place in the human cranium in order to ride the
electronic currents of the global eye. No longer satisfied with simply observing the power
of the image, the bored eye now demands to be the power of the image. Which is why, of
course, the archival history of twentieth-century photography can now be safely interned.
At dusk, the eye of the image takes flight in the restless form of the bored eye forever
revolving and twisting and circulating in an image-matrix of which it is both the petulant
consumer and unsatisfied author.
Ironically, the bored eye has itself now become both precondition and goal for the
despotic image. Which is why images can now be so powerful precisely because they are
caught in a fatal miasma of powerlessness before the ocular deficit disorder of the bored
eye. The despotic image may demand attention as its precondition for existence, but the
bored eye is seductive because of its refusal to provide any sign of lasting interest. A love
affair turned sour. With this predictable result-the increasing ressentiment of the digital
image: "Analog is having a burial and digital is dancing on its grave."

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Nuclear Hyperreality

A. The scenario for nuclear escalation and war they imagine will
always be prevented by deterrence. However, the fear of nuclear
war is used to justify a state security apparatus that freezes the
social and maintains a system of perfect control.
Baudrillard in 81 [Jean, “Simulacra and Simulation” p. 32-35]
The apotheosis of simulation: the nuclear. However, the balance of terror is never
anything but the spectacular slope of a system of deterrence that has insinuated itself
from the inside into all the cracks of daily life. Nuclear suspension only serves to seal
the trivialized system of deterrence that is at the heart of the media, of the violence
without consequences that reigns throughout the world, of the aleatory apparatus of all
the choices that are made for us. The most insignificant of our behaviors is regulated by
neutralized, indifferent, equivalent signs, by zero-sum signs like those that regulate the
"strategy of games" (but the true equation is elsewhere, and the unknown is precisely
that variable of simulation which makes of the atomic arsenal itself a hyperreal form, a
simulacrum that dominates everything and reduces all "ground-level" events to being
nothing but ephemeral scenarios, transforming the life left us into survival, into a stake
without stakes not even into a life insurance policy: into a policy that already has no
It is not the direct threat of atomic destruction that paralyzes our lives, it is deterrence
that gives them leukemia. And this deterrence comes from that fact that even the real
atomic clash is precluded-precluded like the eventuality of the real in a system of signs.
The whole world pretends to believe in the reality of this threat (this is understandable
on the part of the military, the gravity of their exercise and the discourse of their
"strategy" are at stake), but it is precisely at this level that there are no strategic stakes.
The whole originality of the situation lies in the improbability of destruction.
Deterrence precludes war-the archaic violence of expanding systems. Deterrence itself is
the neutral, implosive violence of metastable systems or systems in involution. There is
no longer a subject of deterrence, nor an adversary nor a strategy-it is a planetary
structure of the annihilation of stakes. Atomic war, like the Trojan War, will not take place.
The risk of nuclear annihilation only serves as a pretext, through the sophistication of
weapons (a sophistication that surpasses any possible objective to such an extent that it
is itself a symptom of nullity), for installing a universal security system, a universal
lockup and control system whose deterrent effect is not at all aimed at an atomic clash
(which was never in question, except without a doubt in the very initial stages of the cold
war, when one still confused the nuclear apparatus with conventional war) but, rather, at
the much greater probability of any real event, of anything that would be an event in the
general system and upset its balance. The balance of terror is the terror of balance.
Deterrence is not a strategy, it circulates and is exchanged between nuclear protagonists
exactly as is international capital in the orbital zone of monetary speculation whose
fluctuations suffice to control all global exchanges. Thus the money of destruction
(without any reference to real destruction, any more than floating capital has a real
referent of production) that circulates in nuclear orbit suffices to control all the violence
and potential conflicts around the world.
What is hatched in the shadow of this mechanism with the pretext of a maximal,
"objective," threat, and thanks to Damocles' nuclear sword, is the perfection of the best
system of control

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____


Nuclear Hyperreality
<<Baudrillard 81 continued>>

that has ever existed. And the progressive satellization of the whole planet through this
hypermodel of security. The same goes for peaceful nuclear power stations. Pacification
does not distinguish between the civil and the military: every- where where irreversible
apparatuses of control are elaborated, everywhere the notion of security becomes
omnipotent, everywhere where the norm replaces the old arsenal of laws and violence
(including war), it is the system of deterrence that grows, and around it grows the
historical, social, and political desert. A gigantic involution that makes every conflict,
every finality, every confrontation contract in proportion to this blackmail that interrupts,
neutralizes, freezes them all. No longer can any revolt, any story be deployed according
to its own logic because it risks annihilation. No strategy is possible any longer, and
escalation is only a puerile game given over to the military. The political stake is dead,
only simulacra of conflicts and carefully circumscribed stakes remain.
The "space race" played exactly the same role as nuclear escalation. This is why the
space program was so easily able to replace it in the 1960s (Kennedy/Khrushchev), or to
develop concurrently as a form of "peaceful coexistence." Because what, ultimately, is
the function of the space program, of the conquest of the moon, of the launching of
satellites if not the institution of a model of universal gravitation, of satellization of which
the lunar module is the perfect embryo? Programmed microcosm, where nothing can be
left to chance. Trajectory, energy, calculation, physiology, psychology, environment-
nothing can be left to contingencies, this is the total universe of the norm-the Law no
longer exists, it is the operational immanence of every detail that is law. A universe
purged of all threat of meaning, in a state of asepsis and weightlessness-it is this very
perfection that is fascinating. The exaltation of the crowds was not a response to the
event of landing on the moon or of sending a man into space (this would be, rather, the
fulfillment of an earlier dream), rather, we are dumb-founded by the perfection of the
programming and the technical manipulation, by the immanent wonder of the
programmed un- folding of events. Fascination with the maximal norm and the mastery
of probability. Vertigo of the model, which unites with the model of death, but without
fear or drive. Because if the law, with its aura of transgression, if order, with its aura of
violence, still taps a perverse imaginary, the norm fixes, fascinates, stupefies, and makes
every imaginary involute. One no longer fantasizes about the minutiae of a program. Just
watching it produces vertigo. The vertigo of a world without flaws.
Now, it is the same model of programmatic infallibility, of maximum security and
deterrence that today controls the spread of the social. There lies the true nuclear fallout:
the meticulous operation of technology serves as a model for the meticulous operation of
the social. Here as well, nothing will be left to chance, moreover this is the essence of
socialization, which began centuries ago, but which has now entered its accelerated
phase, toward a limit that one believed would be explosive (revolution), but which for the
moment is translated by an inverse, implosive, irreversible process: the generalized
deterrence of chance, of accident, of transversality, of finality; of contradiction, rupture,
or complexity in a sociality illuminated by the norm, doomed to the descriptive
transparency of mechanisms of information. In fact, the spatial and nuclear models do
not have their own ends: neither the discovery of the moon, nor military and strategic
superiority. Their truth is to be the models of simulation, the model
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
vectors of a system of planetary control (where even the super- powers of this scenario
are not free-the whole world is satellized).

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Nuclear Hyperreality
B. The true damage of nuclear weapons is not the war that could
result, but in the fear and mental destruction that fear of them
demands. Instead of trying to avoid the catastrophe, we need to
embrace its simulation and break the mental chains of deterrence.
Baudrillard in 81 [Jean, “Simulacra and Simulation” p. 55-57]
Because an explosion is always a promise, it is our hope: note how much, in the film as
in Harrisburg, the whole world waits for something to blow up, for destruction to
announce itself and remove us from this unnameable panic, from this panic of deterrence
that it exercises in the invisible form of the nuclear. That the "heart" of the reactor at last
reveals its hot power of destruction, that it reassures us about the presence of energy;
albeit catastrophic, and bestows its spectacle on us. Because unhappiness is when there
is no nuclear spectacle, no spectacle of nuclear energy in itself (Hiroshima is over), and it
is for that reason that it is rejected-it would be perfectly accepted if it lent itself to
spectacle as previous forms of energy did. Parousia of catastrophe: substantial food for
our messianic libido.
But that is precisely what will never happen. What will happen will never again be the
explosion, but the implosion. No more energy in its spectacular and pathetic form-all the
romanticism of the explosion, which had so much charm, being at the same time that of
revolution-but the cold energy of the simulacrum and of its distillation in homeopathic
doses in the cold systems of information.
What else do the media dream of besides creating the event simply by their presence?
Everyone decries it, but everyone is secretly fascinated by this eventuality. Such is the
logic of simulacra, it is no longer that of divine predestination, it is that of the precession
of models, but it is just as inexorable. And it is because of this that events no longer have
meaning: it is not that they are insignificant in themselves, it is that they were preceded
by the model, with which their processes only coincided. Thus it would have been
marvelous to repeat the script for The China Syndrome at Fessenheim, during the visit
offered to the journalists by the EDF (French Electric Company), to repeat on this
occasion the accident linked to the magic eye, to the provocative presence of the media.
Alas, nothing happened. And on the other hand yes! so powerful is the logic of simulacra:
a week after, the unions discovered fissures in the reactors. Miracle of contagions,
miracle of analogic chain reactions.
Thus, the essence of the film is not in any respect the Watergate' effect in the person of
Jane Fonda, not in any respect TV as a means of exposing nuclear vices, but on the
contrary TV as the twin orbit and twin chain reaction of the nuclear one. Besides, just at
the end-and there the film is unrelenting in regard to its own argument-when Jane Fonda
makes the truth explode directly (maximum Watergate effect), her image is juxtaposed
with what will inexorably follow it and efface it on the screen: a commercial of some kind.
The Network effect goes far beyond the Watergate effect and spreads mysteriously into
the Harrisburg effect, that is to say not into the nuclear threat, but into the simulation of
nuclear catastrophe.
So, it is simulation that is effective, never the real. The simulation of nuclear catastrophe
is the strategic result of this generic and universal undertaking of deterrence:
accustoming the people to the ideology and the discipline of absolute security-to the
metaphysics of fission and fissure. To this end the fissure must be a fiction. A real
catastrophe would delay things, it would constitute a retrograde incident, of the explosive
kind (without changing the course of things: did Hiroshima perceptibly delay, deter, the
universal process of deterrence?).
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____


Nuclear Hyperreality
<<Baudrillard 81 continued>>

In the film, also, real fusion would be a bad argument: the film would regress to the level
of a disaster movie-weak by definition, because it means returning things to their pure
event. The China Syndrome, itself, finds its strength in filtering catastrophe, in the
distillation of the nuclear specter through the omnipresent hertzian relays of information.
It teaches us (once again without meaning to) that nuclear catastrophe does not occur; is
not meant to happen, in the real either, any more than the atomic clash was at the
dawning of the cold war. The equilibrium of terror rests on the eternal deferral of the
atomic clash. The atom and the nuclear are made to be disseminated for deterrent ends,
the power of catastrophe must, instead of stupidly exploding, be disseminated in
homeopathic, molecular doses, in the continuous reservoirs of information. Therein lies
the true contamination: never biological and radioactive, but, rather, a mental
destructuration through a mental strategy of catastrophe.
If one looks carefully, the film introduces us to this mental strategy, and in going further,
it even delivers a lesson diametrically opposed to that of Watergate: if every strategy
today is that of mental terror and of deterrence tied to the suspension and the eternal
simulation of catastrophe, then the only means of mitigating this scenario would be to
make the catastrophe arrive, to produce or to reproduce a real catastrophe. To which
Nature is at times given: in its inspired moments, it is God who through his cataclysms
unknots the equilibrium of terror in which humans are imprisoned. Closer to us, this is
what terrorism is occupied with as well: making real, palpable violence surface in
opposition to the invisible violence of security. Besides, therein lies terrorism's ambiguity.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Nuclear Hyperreality 2NC Overview

Extend our two cards from Baudrillard 81. Here’s the argument.

Nuclear war is and always will be an act of the imagination,

because deterrence prevents escalation from occurring in the real
world, and systems of nuclear lockdown and control will always
proceed faster than their explosive potential. The effects of
nuclear weapons are instead seen on the social plane, through the
imagination of their use. The constant nuclear threat is used to
freeze social action, because elites will be able to prevent change
by claiming it will always risk nuclear war, just like debaters always
try to link the case to a nuclear war scenario and cause it to be
rejected, which means their plan will always be rejected in the real
world. The images of nuclear war they create are part of the
problem: as long as people keep imagining nuclear scenarios and
threats and being afraid of them, this state-sponsored security
and deterrence system can continue forever.

The constant, systemic violence of the deterrence system is the

only true impact of nuclear weapons. It places people in a
constant mindset of fear and devalues human life, because
anything can be justified in order to avoid the atomic clash, so all
their harms are inevitable. An empirical example of this is North
Korea – Bush identifies them as the axis of evil and tells us we
need to be afraid of their nuclear weapons, and uses this to justify
violations of civil liberties, acts of war against other states, and
ends up causing North Korea to become a nuclear threat when
they weren’t in the first place.

The only way to break this cycle is to stop fearing the bomb –
trying to delay nuclear war allows the systems that justify it to
keep working. Instead, we must embrace the simulation of nuclear
annihilation, bring the noise, and hug the bomb. Allow their harms
to occur as a way to break the chains of mental deterrence, and
laugh at nuclear war to delegitimize the systems that make it
possible. Note that this doesn’t mean we advocate nuclear war
occurring in the real world, but in the simulated plane of fiat,
which we all know has no relation to reality, you should treat the
threat of nuclear war not as something to be afraid of, but
something with liberating potential from the mindset of nuclear
freeze and deterrence.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Nuclear Hyperreality 2NR Overview

Extend our A and B cards from Baudrillard in 81. They miss some
key points in the last overview, so extend:

First, nuclear war won’t happen, because deterrence works, and

systems of control always proceed faster than the explosive use of
the weapons. That means their harms will never be true in the
real world.

Second, images and fear of nuclear war that they present have
negative effects: states use the population’s fear of nuclear war to
freeze the social and deny change, like debaters outweighing
everything with an absurd scenario and a Schell card, which will
prevent the plan from actually being passed, turning their

Third, fear of nuclear war devalues human life and makes their
impacts inevitable, because it’s manipulated by politicians to
justify bad things, like Bush did by demonizing North Korea and
creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, which turns their impacts.

Fourth, the only way out is to allow the simulation of their harms
to occur in the debate round – even though what we do in this
round has no impact on the real world, refusing to be swayed by
fear of nuclear war into giving them the ballot helps break the
mindset of deterrence that justifies all these bad things. Embrace
the explosion and challenge the system with a ballot for our side.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Proliferation Stops War

Possession of nuclear weapons freezes societies and makes war
Baudrillard in 81 [Jean, “Simulacra and Simulation” p. 39-40]
This is why nuclear proliferation does not increase the risk of either an atomic clash or an
accident-save in the interval when the "young" powers could be tempted to make a
nondeterrent, "real" use of it (as the Americans did in Hiroshima-but precisely only they
had a right to this "use value" of the bomb, all of those who have acquired it since will be
deterred from using it by the very fact of possessing it). Entry into the atomic club, so
prettily named, very quickly effaces (as unionization does in the working world) any
inclination toward violent intervention. Responsibility; control, censure, self-deterrence
always grow more rapidly than the forces or the weapons at our disposal: this is the
secret of the social order. Thus the very possibility of paralyzing a whole country by
flicking a switch makes it so that the electrical engineers will never use this weapon: the
whole myth of the total and revolutionary strike crumbles at the very moment when the
means are available-but alas precisely because those means are available. Therein lies
the whole process of deterrence. It is thus perfectly probable that one day we will see
nuclear powers export atomic reactors, weapons, and bombs to every latitude. Control by
threat will be replaced by the more effective strategy of pacification through the bomb
and through the possession of the bomb. The "little" powers, believing that they are
buying their independent striking force, will buy the virus of deterrence, of their own
deterrence. The same goes for the atomic reactors that we have already sent them: so
many neutron bombs knocking out all historical virulence, all risk of explosion. In this
sense, the nuclear everywhere inaugurates an accelerated process of implosion, it
freezes everything around it, it absorbs all living energy.
The nuclear is at once the culminating point of available energy and the maximization of
energy control systems. Lockdown and control increase in direct proportion to (and
undoubtedly even faster than) liberating potentialities. This was already the aporia of the
modem revolution. It is still the absolute paradox of the nuclear. Energies freeze in their
own fire, they deter themselves. One can no longer imagine what project, what power,
what strategy, what subject could exist behind this enclosure, this vast saturation of a
system by its own forces, now neutralized, unusable, unintelligible, nonexplosive-except
for the possibility of an explosion toward the cente1; of an implosion where all these
energies would be abolished in a catastrophic process (in the literal sense, that is to say
in the sense of a reversion of the whole cycle toward a minimal point, of a reversion of
energies toward a minimal threshold).

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Proliferation Stops War Overview

Extend Baudrillard 81, proliferation stops war. Here’s how.

As soon as countries acquire nuclear weapons, they are given a

sense of power and responsibility which leads to a reciprocal
increase in restraint when using those weapons, due to
international norms and deterrence theory. No state is exempt
from this, in fact, if we were to give nuclear weapons to every
country in the world, it could prevent war forever. The more
nuclear armaments a country has, the more power it has over its
people and its weapons, which guarantees a war will never occur.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Illusion of War

War in the modern era exists more in the image of it being fought
than in reality; wars are conducted via public opinion polls, the
media, and so on, with military action just as an afterthought. To
avoid war, we must oppose its simulation – to give it authority
through images is to make it real.
Baudrillard in 94 [Jean, “The Illusion of the End” p. 62-65]
America conducted the Gulf War as though it were a nuclear conflict, and thus,
ultimately, as a substitute for a Third World War which did not take place. An atomic war
without the atom, but analogous in its impact, instantaneousness, non-confrontation and
convulsive effect. The first strike is the last. That, at least, is how the nuclear shoot-out
was supposed to be, but neither of the two adversaries ever risked it, perhaps because,
deep down, they neither of them believed in it. The nuclear shoot-out, the game of
deterrence, was a scenario, just made credible by the calculated threat of the balance of
terror. When the prospect of an atomic clash disappeared once and for all, when it got
lost in space with Star Wars, it had to be tested in simulated form, in a miniature war-
game where the possibility of annihilating the enemy could be checked out. But,
symptomatically, care was taken not to go that far: Saddam, who will, in the end, have
been nothing but that fairground dummy you shoot at from point-blank range, had to be
saved. It was just a second-hand scenario.
So this military 'orgy' wasn't an orgy at all. It was an orgy of simulation, the simulation of
an orgy. A German word sums all this up very well: Schwindel, which means both
giddiness and swindle, loss of consciousness and mystification.
The Americans fought the same war in respect of world opinion -via the media,
censorship, CNN, etc. - as they fought on the battlefield. They used the same 'fuel air'
explosives in the media, where they draw all the oxygen out of public opinion. The
amnesia about it is, in itself, a confirmation of the unreality of this war. Overexposed to
the media, underexposed to memory. Built-in obsolescence, as with any consumer
article. . . Forgetting is built into the event itself in the profusion of information and
details, just as obsolescence is built into the object in the profusion of useless
If you take one-thousandth of what you see on the TV news to heart, you're done for. But
television protects us from this. Its immunizing, prophylactic use protects us from an
unbearable responsibility. Its effect and its images self-destruct in the mind.
So is this the zero degree of communication? Certainly, it is: people fear communication
like the plague. There was no exulting after the Gulf War either (and yet, it was a victory,
wasn't it?). There was, rather, a flight into amnesia and hypocrisy. A botched operation,
even in surgical terms: its labours produced nothing, even the two hundred thousand
dead produced nothing, apart from that marvellous miscarriage, the New World Order. It
was a war without results, but not without an aftermath. Once past the dilemma of the
reality/unreality of the war, we are back in the pure and simple reality of political
ignominy, in the most odious Realpolitik: the Shi'ites, the Kurds, the calculated survival of
Saddam ... Here, the most fervent defenders of the war's reality end up conceding that
perhaps nothing has in fact happened. But they prejudge this from the absence of an
outcome; they do not judge the event itself. Which shows them to be just as much
engaged in Realpolitik as anyone else.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Illusion of War
<<Baudrillard 94 continued>>

The question is not whether one is for or against war, but whether one is for or against
the reality of war. Analysis must not be sacrificed to the expression of anger. It has to be
directed in its entirety against reality, against manifestness - here against the manifest
reality of this war. The Stoics contest the very self-evidence of pain, when the body's
confusion is at its height. Here, we must contest the very self-evidence of war, when the
confusion of the real is at its height. We must hit out at the weak point of reality. It's too
late afterwards: you're stuck with the 'acts of violence', stuck in realist abjection.
In a little time, as we get some distance from it, or even now, with a little imagination, it
will be possible to read La guerre du Golfe n'a pas eu lieu * as a science-fiction novel, as
the anticipation, right in the thick of things, of the event as a fictional scenario -
something into which it will surely be turned later. Like Borges' chronicling of cultures
which never existed. By making transparent the non-event of the war, you give it force in
the imagination - somewhere other than in the 'real time' of news where it simply peters
out. You give force to the illusion of war, rather than become an accesssory to its false
reality. Anyhow, the book has fallen - quite logically - into the same black hole as the war.
It has faded as quickly as the event whose absence it denounced. It was a successful
non-event, like the Agency, like appearing on television. All this is as it should have been
since it dealt with something which did not take place.
It was the simulacrum of Helen that was at the heart of the Trojan War. The Egyptian
priests had held on to the original (we do not know what became of it) when she set out
again with Paris for Troy. But, even without the magic of the priests, Helen was in any
case merely a simulacrum, since the universal form of beauty is as unreal as gold, the
universal form of all commodities. Every universal form is a simulacrum, since it is the
simultaneous equivalent of all the others - something it is impossible for any real being to
There are many analogies between the Trojan and Gulf wars. Before the expedition,
Menelaus called all the warriors of the Greek world to arms, just as Bush did with all the
nations of the 'free world'. The incubation period of the war was very long (seven years in
the case of Troy, seven months for the Gulf War) and the final phase was very rapid in
both cases. The Greek victory was won at great cost to the victors, whom the gods
punished relentlessly (the murder of Agamemnon, Clytaemnestra, Orestes, etc.). What
will be the fate of the 'victors' of the Gulf War? Admittedly, this time the war did not take
place. This difference leaves the Americans some hope, the gods having no real cause to
avenge themselves.
If the Helen of the Trojan War was a simulacrum, what was the Gulf War's Helen? Where
was there simulacrum here, except in the simulacrum of war itself?

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Illusion of War Overview

Extend Baudrillard 94. Here’s the argument.

The scenario they present is a description of real world events, a

simulation of reality. They accept war as real through the
authority of its image. War in the modern era is fought in the
arena of representation before it becomes reality – for war to
occur, governments depend on public recognition of its existence,
so enough public opinion can be generated for war’s reality to
proceed. Their scenario, which gives the illusion of war, aids the
recreation of war in the real world, which turns all their impacts.
Refusing to buy their image of war helps prevent it from actually
happening outside the round, so don’t aid their representations of
war with the support of your ballot.

2ND Overview

Extend the Baudrillard 94 card, and these points from the last
overview –

First, their disadvantage is a simulation of reality based on images

of war, which may or may not be true, so all their scenario claims
are inherently unreliable and there’s only a slight chance they’ll

Second, images of war are what allows actual war to occur,

because political actors looking to justify a policy of war need the
public to recognize the images in order to justify them. Their
scenario makes it more likely an actual war could be carried out.

Third, refusing to buy into their illusion of war helps escape the
system. Challenging the representations of war make it less likely
an actual war will be carried out, so vote for us to help solve all
their impacts in the real world.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Biosphere 2

A. They treat the natural world as an experiment to be managed,

a sphere in which human life must be preserved eternally, which
paradoxically removes the value of life itself. We need the
accident and randomness of the natural world to smash their
simplified construction in order to escape.
Baudrillard in 94 [Jean, “The Illusion of the End” p. 85-88]
The finest example of what the human species is capable of inflicting upon itself is
Biosphere 2 - the first zoological gardens of the species, to which human beings come to
watch themselves survive, as once they went to watch apes copulate. Outside Tucson, in
Arizona, right in the middle of the desert, a geodesic glass and metal structure
accommodating all the planet's climates in miniature, where eight human beings (four
men and four women, of course) are to live self-sufficiently, in a closed circuit, for two
years, in order - since we are not able to change our lives - to explore the conditions for
our survival. A minimal representation of the species in an experimental situation, in a
kind of spaceship allegory. As a museum mock-up of the future, but of an unpredictable
future - a century hence, a thousand years, millions. . . who knows? - it forms a pendant
to the Desert Museum some sixty miles away, which retraces the geological and animal
history of two hundred million years. The point of convergence between the two being
the idea of the conservation and optimal management of residues - of the relics of the
past for the Desert Museum, the anticipated relics of the future for Biosphere 2 - not to
mention the magical desert site which allows the problem of survival to be examined,
both that of nature and that of the species with equal rigour.
Such a very American hallucination this ocean, this savannah, this desert, this virgin
forest reconstituted in miniature, vitrified beneath their experimental bubble. In the true
spirit of Disneyland's attractions, Biosphere 2 is not an experiment, but an experimental
attraction. The most amazing thing is that they have reconstituted a fragment of artificial
desert right in the middle of the natural desert (a bit like reconstituting Hollywood in
Disneyworld). Only in this artificial desert there are neither scorpions nor Indians to be
exterminated; there are only extraterrestrials trained to survive in the very place where
they destroyed another, far better adapted race, leaving it no chance. The whole
humanist ideology - ecological, climatic, micro-cosmic and biogenetic - is summed up
here, but this is of no importance. Only the sidereal, transparent form of the edifice
means anything - but what? Difficult to say. As ever, absolute space inspires engineers,
gives meaning to a project which has none, except the mad desire for a miniaturization
of the human species, with a view perhaps to a future race and its emergence, of which
we still dream. . .
The artificial promiscuity of climates has its counterpart in the artificial immunity of the
space: the elimination of all spontaneous generation (of germs, viruses, microbes), the
automatic purification of the water, the air, the physical atmosphere (and the mental
atmosphere too, purified by science). The elimination of all sexual reproduction: it is
forbidden to reproduce in Biosphere 2; even contamination from life [Ie vivant] is
dangerous; sexuality may spoil the experiment. Sexual difference functions only as a
formal, statistical variable (the same number of women as men; if anyone drops out, a
person of the same sex is substituted). Everything here is designed with a brain-like
abstraction. Biosphere 2 is to Biosphere 1 (the whole of our planet and the cosmos) what
the brain is to the human being in general: the synthesis in miniature of all its possible

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
functions and operations: the desert lobe, the virgin forest lobe, the nourishing


Biosphere 2
<<Baudrillard 94 continued>>

lobe, the residential lobe, all carefully distinct and placed side by side, according to the
analytical imperative. All of this in reality entirely outdated with respect to what we now
know about the brain - its plasticity, its elasticity, the reversible sequencing of all its
operations. There is, then, behind this archaic model, beneath its futuristic exterior, a
gigantic hypothetical error, a fierce idealization doomed to failure.
In fact, the 'truth' of the operation lies elsewhere, and you sense this when you return from
Biosphere 2 to 'real' America, as you do when you emerge from Disneyland into real life: the
fact is that the imaginary, or experimental, model is in no way different from the real
functioning of this society. Just as the whole of America is built in the image of Disneyland, so
the whole of American society is carrying on - in real time and out in the open - the same
experiment as Biosphere 2 which is therefore only falsely experimental, just as
Disneyland is only falsely imaginary. The recycling of all substances, the integration of
flows and circuits, non-pollution, artificial immunity, ecological balancing, controlled
abstinence, restrained jouissance but, also, the right of all species to survival and
conservation - and not just plant and animal species, but also social ones. All categories
formally brought under the one umbrella of the law - this latter setting its seal on the
ending of natural selection.
It is generally thought that the obsession with survival is a logical consequence of life
and the right to life. But, most of the time, the two things are contradictory. Life is not a
question of rights, and what follows on from life is not survival, which is artificial, but
death. It is only by paying the price of a failure to live, a failure to take pleasure, a failure
to die that man is assured of survival. At least in present conditions, which the Biosphere
principle perpetuates.
This micro-universe seeks to exorcize catastrophe by making an artificial synthesis of all the
elements of catastrophe. From the perspective of survival, of recycling and feedback, of
stabilization and metastabilization, the elements of life are sacrificed to those of survival
(elimination of germs, of evil, of sex). Real life, which surely, after all, has the right to
disappear (or might there be a paradoxical limit to human rights?), is sacrificed to artificial
survival. The real planet, presumed condemned, is sacrificed in advance to its
miniaturized, air-conditioned clone (have no fear, all the earth's climates are air-
conditioned here) which is designed to vanquish death by total simulation. In days gone
by it was the dead who were embalmed for eternity; today, it is the living we embalm alive in
a state of survival. Must this be our hope? Having lost our metaphysical utopias, do we have
to build this prophylactic one?
What, then, is this species endowed with the insane pretension to survive - not to transcend
itself by virtue of its natural intelligence, but to survive physically, biologically, by virtue of its
artificial intelligence? Is there a species destined to escape natural selection, natural
disappearance - in a word, death? What cosmic cussedness might give rise to such a
turnabout? What vital reaction might produce the idea of survival at any cost? What
metaphysical anomaly might grant the right not to disappear - logical counterpart of the
remarkable good fortune of having appeared? There is a kind of aberration in the
attempt to eternalize the species - not to immortalize it in its actions, but to eternalize it
in this face-lifted coma, in the glass coffin of Biosphere 2.
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
We may, nonetheless, take the view that this experiment, like any attempt to achieve
artificial survival or artificial paradise, is illusory, not from any technical shortcomings,
but in its very principle. In spite of itself, it is threatened by the same accidents as real
life. Fortunately. Let us hope that the random universe outside smashes this glass
coffin. Any accident will do if it rescues us from a scientific euphoria sustained by drip-

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Biosphere 2(NC) Overview

Extend the Baudrillard 94 evidence. This is the argument –

Biosphere 2 is the second version of the world, described and

controlled by scientific processes. Everything there is logical and
coherent, as opposed to Biosphere 1, which is the natural world as
we know it wild. The affirmative is an example of human action
based on Biosphere. Their harms and solvency evidence display
nature as a machine to be fixed, not as a unique process of its

This scientific mindset will inevitably fail – Biosphere 1, which is

the reality, does not relate at all to the experimental world of the
plan. Natural chaos and chance occurrences will cause their
simplified view of the world to fail when it is applied, which turns

Additionally, their focus on human survival within this perfectly

managed experiment displays a mindset that in order to survive,
people must be constantly monitored by science, so that to live
one must not live naturally. This makes human life meaningless
and dehumanized to scientific processes, which is the greatest

The alternative is to allow their harms to occur within the

simulated fiat world of the debate round. What we do here does
not correspond with what happens in the real world, so they can’t
claim any impact from their imagined case. The discourse we use
in the debate round is more important and should be considered
first. Vote negative and let nature to smash the glass coffin of
their experimental project.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Biosphere 2(NR) Overview

Extend our Baudrillard 94 evidence. They miss some key analysis

from the last overview, so extend these points:

First, their plan depends on a scientific and artificial vision of the

natural world that can be acted upon like an experiment with their
plan. That’s one link.

Second, their effort to preserve the existence of human life

displays a mindset of scientific examination of human life in order
to preserve it, like living in the Truman Show, where every action is
controlled by the operation of the experiment. That mindset
destroys the value of human life and must be on-face rejected.

Third, scientific abstractions of nature fail, because the

randomness of the natural world is never fully accounted for by
the theories of their plan. That means their solvency will
inevitably fail, turning case.

Fourth, the way out is to allow the simulation of their harms to

occur within the context of the debate round, which has no
relation to reality but is the perfect forum to oppose this
destructive mindset. Allowing their harms to occur breaks nature
out of the scientific prison.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Maleficent Ecology

Granting subjectivity and rights to nature is handing it a poisoned

chalice, entering it into a competition it can never effectively play,
which inevitably results in disaster, and the more we are
reconciled with nature, the less we can be reconciled with
ourselves, resulting in mass extermination through nuclear or
biological means.
Baudrillard in 94 [Jean, “The Illusion of the End” p. 80-84]
Hence the recent proposal, following this same logic, from the moment it achieved the
status of virtual waste-product, to accord nature international recognition of its rights, to
elevate it to the status of a subject in law. Thus the 'contrat nature/"" amounts to a
definitive recognition of nature as waste. Just as, in bygone days, the recognition of the
rights of the unfortunate meant not their emancipation as citizens, but their liberation as
the unfortunate. It is always the same with rights: the right to water, the right to air, the
right to existence, etc. It is when all these fine things have disappeared that the law
arrives to grant their disappearance official recognition. The law is like religious faith. If
God exists, there is no need to believe in Him. If people do believe in Him, this is because
the self-evidence of his existence has passed away.
Thus, when people obtain the right to life, the fact is that they are no longer able to live.
When nature is recognized as a subject in law, as it is by Michel Serres, we have
objectified it to death, and this ecological cover merely asserts our right to go on doing
All this has been brought about by the highly dubious way in which the concept of nature
has evolved. What was initially matter became energy. The modern discovery of nature
consists in its liberation as energy and in a mechanical transformation of the world. After
having first been matter, and then energy, nature is today becoming an interactive
subject. It is ceasing to be an object, but this is bringing it all the more surely into the
circuit of subjection. A dramatic paradox, and one which also affects human beings: we
are much more compromised when we cease to be objects and become subjects. This is
a trick that was pulled on us long ago, in the name of absolute liberation. Let's not pull
the same one on nature. For the ultimate danger is that, in an interactivity built up into a
total system of communication, there is no other; there are only subjects - and, very
soon, only subjects without objects. All our problems today as civilized beings originate
here: not in an excess of alienation, but a disappearance of alienation in favour of a
maximum transparency between subjects. An unbearable situation, all the more so for
the fact that, in foisting on nature the status of a subject in law, we are also foisting on it
all the vices of subjectivity, decking it out, in our own image, with a bad conscience, with
nostalgia (for a lost object which, in this case, can only be us), with a range of drives - in
particular, an impulse for revenge. The 'balance' we hear so much of in ecology ('out of
balance') is not so much that of planetary resources and their exploitation as the
metaphysical one between subject and object. Now, that metaphysical subject object
balance is being upset and the subject, armed as he is with all the technologies of
advanced communication (technologies on whose horizon the object has disappeared), is
the beneficiary.


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Maleficent Ecology
<<Baudrillard 94 continued 2/3>>

Once that balance is disrupted, it inevitably sparks violent reactions on the part of the
object. Just as individuals counter the transparency and virtual responsibility inflicted on
them as subjects with unexplainable acts, acts of resistance, failure, delinquency and
collective disorder, so nature counters this enforced promotion, this consensual,
communicational blackmail, with various forms of behaviour that are radically other, such
as catastrophes, upheavals, earthquakes and chaos. It would seem that nature does not
really feel a sense of responsibility for itself, nor does it react to our efforts to give it one.
We are, admittedly, indulging in" a (bad) ecological conscience and attempting, by this
moral violence, to stave off possible violence on nature's part. But if, by offering it the
status of subject, we are handing it the same poisoned chalice as we gave to the
decolonized nations, we ought not to be surprised if it behaves irrationally merely so as
to assert itself as such. Contrary to the underlying Rousseauist ideology, which argues
that the profound nature of the liberated subject can only be good and that nature itself,
once emancipated, cannot but be endowed with natural equilibrium and all the ecological
virtues, there is nothing more ambiguous or perverse than a subject. Now, nature is also
germs, viruses, chaos, bacteria and scorpions, significantly eliminated from Biosphere 2
as though they were not meant to exist. Where are the deadly little scorpions, so
beautiful and so translucent, which one sees in the Desert Museum not far away,
scorpions whose magical sting certainly performs a higher, invisible – but necessary -
function within our Biosphere 1: the incarnation of evil, of the venomous evil of chance,
the mortal innocence of desire (the desire for death) in the equilibrium of living beings?
What they have forgotten is that what binds living beings together is something other
than an ecological, biospherical solidarity, something other than the homeostatic
equilibrium of a system: it is the cycle of metamorphoses. Man is also a scorpion, just as
the Bororo are araras and, left to himself in an expurgated universe, he becomes,
himself, a scorpion.
In short, it is not by expurgating evil that we liberate good. Worse, by liberating good, we
also liberate evil. And this is only right: it is the rule of the symbolic game. It is the
inseparability of good and evil which constitutes our true equilibrium, our true balance.
We ought not to entertain the illusion that we might separate the two, that we might
cultivate good and happiness in a pure state and expel evil and sorrow as wastes. That is
the terroristic dream of the transparency of good, which very quickly ends in its opposite,
the transparency of evil. We must not reconcile ourselves with nature.
It seems that the more the human race reconciles itself with nature, the less it is
reconciled with itself. Above and beyond the violence it inflicts on others, there is a
violence specific to the human race in general, a violence of the species against itself in
which it treats itself as a residue, as a survivor - even in the present - of a coming
catastrophe. As if it too were ready to repent of an evolution which has brought it such
privileges and carried it to such extremes. This is the same conjuncture as the one to
which Canetti refers, in which we stepped out of history, except that here we have not
stepped out of history, but have passed a point beyond which nothing is either human or
inhuman any longer and what is at stake, which is even more immense, is the tottering of
the species into the void.
It is quite possible that, in this process, the species itself is commencing its own
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____


Maleficent Ecology
<<Baudrillard 94 continued 3/3>>

disappearance, either by disenchantment with - or ressentiment towards - itself, or out of

a deliberate inclination which leads it here and now to manage that disappearance as its
destiny. Surreptitiously, in spite of our superiority (or perhaps because of it), we are
carrying over on to our own species the treatment we mete out to the others, all of which
are virtually dying out. In an animal milieu which has reached saturation point, species
are spontaneously dissuaded from living. The effects produced by the finite nature of the
earth, for the first time contrasting violently with the infinity of our development, are
such that our species is automatically switching over to collective suicide. Whether by
external (nuclear) violence or internal (biological) virulence.
We are subjecting ourselves as a human species to the same experimental pressure as
the animal species in our laboratories. Man is without prejudice: he is using himself as a
guinea-pig, just as he is using the rest of the world, animate or inanimate. He is
cheerfully gambling with the destiny of his own species as he is with that of all the
others. In his blind desire to know more, he is programming his own destruction with the
same ease and ferocity as the destruction of the others. He cannot be accused of a
superior egoism. He is sacrificing himself, as a species, to an unknown experimental fate,
unknown at least as yet to other species, who have experienced only natural fates. And,
whereas it seemed that, linked to that natural fate, there was something like
an instinct of self-preservation - long the mainstay of a natural philosophy of individuals
and groups - this experimental fate to which the human species is condemning itself by
unprecedented, artificial means, this scientific prefiguring of its own disappearance,
sweeps away all ideas of a self-preservation instinct. The idea is, indeed, no longer
discussed in the human sciences (where the focus of attention would seem, rather, to be
on the death drive) and this disappearance from the field of thought signals that,
beneath a frenzy for ecological conservation which is really more to do with nostalgia and
remose, a wholly different tendency has already won out, the sacrificing of the species to
boundless experimentation.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Maleficent Ecology 2NC Overview

Extend the Baudrillard 94 card. Here’s the argument.

Granting rights to nature is an excuse to further exploit it, because

the rights are only necessary once destruction is already complete.
Claiming to respect nature is just a mask to guarantee its further
exploitation. Covering up the small problems allows the larger
problems to keep occurring.

This also turns nature into a subject, treating it like an individual

we can respect and awe. However, nature is worse off as a subject
than an object, because when the subject’s power is increased, it
forces violent reactions by the object to maintain the balance – in
English, the more we pretend to respect nature, the more it will be
necessary to destroy it to preserve our dominance, which turns
their arguments.

Additionally, once nature becomes a subject random acts become

reasons to take revenge upon it. If there is a natural disaster, for
example, nature can be blamed and retribution can be taken
because subjects are assumed to be responsible for all their
actions. This puts nature into a rigged game, where it is asked to
play by rules it cannot follow, and we destroy it for non-

Also, more understanding of nature trades of with understanding

for ourselves, because the concern trades off. Just like the Nazis
were all for protecting the environment at the expense of humans,
their project to deify nature results in the production of humanity
as waste and its complete extermination and mass death through
nuclear or biological means, which is a reason to on-face reject
their discourse.

Instead of awe, we need to treat nature with disregard and

indifference, because granting it awe and respect only makes it
that much easier to destroy it.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Maleficent Ecology 2NR Overview

Extend our Baudrillard 94 evidence, and this analysis from the last

First, respecting nature is a mask for its continued exploitation,

because rights are always granted after its too late for them to be
useful, which turns their arguments.

Second, treating nature as a subject that can be respected upsets

the balance and creates violent reaction by the object to restore it,
further entrenching nature’s destruction.

Third, subject’s are assumed to be responsible for their actions, so

vengeance can be sought from nature for harm done to humans – if
there’s a hurricane, we can go cut down a rain forest to get even
(which is just an example, but displays the harm of the mindset).

Fourth, the more we understand nature the less we understand

humans. Respecting nature requires the production of humanity
as a waste product to be exterminated, culminating in genocide
and mass death, which is a reason to reject their mindset.

Fifth, instead of treating nature with awe and respect, we should

display indifference, which solves all the harms created by calling
nature a subject.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Maleficent v. Deep Ecology 1AR

Extend Baudrillard 94. His argument is that when they grant

rights and respect to nature, it provides a mask for more
domination, and only happens when it’s too late to prevent human
influence, so the critique can never solve. Also, treating nature as
a subject increases our domination of it because it is seen as a
subject to be controlled. This causes more violence against
nature, and also demands human retribution for natural
occurrences, putting nature into a rigged game and turning their
alternative. Finally, more understanding of nature trades off with
respect for our own species, which results in treating humanity as
a waste that must be disposed of, which justifies any atrocity and
is an on-face reason to reject the critique. Our advocacy, which
treats nature with indifference instead of awe, solves the impacts
of their critique and allows the case solvency as well.

And, kicking it now won’t get them out of it – our argument is not
just against their advocacy, it’s against the discourse and images
they use to support it. Even if they drop the advocacy, they can’t
take back what they say. That’s best for debate because it
requires them to defend all the justifications to their arguments so
we can have deeper and more informed clash. That means that if
they don’t answer this turn, they lose the round.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Sentimentality to Animals
Sentimentality towards animals degrades their status and places
them even farther below humans, as not even deserving our
respect, justifying experimentation and destruction.
Baudrillard in 81 [Jean, “Simulacra and Simulation” p. 134-136]
In particular, our sentimentality toward animals is a sure sign of the disdain in which we
hold them. It is proportional to this disdain. It is in proportion to being relegated to
irresponsibility, to the inhuman, that the animal becomes worthy of the human ritual of
affection and protection, just as the child does in direct proportion to being relegated to a
status of innocence and childishness. Sentimentality is nothing but the infinitely
degraded form of bestiality, the racist commiseration, in which we ridiculously cloak
animals to the point of rendering them sentimental themselves.
Those who used to sacrifice animals did not take them for beasts. And even the Middle Ages,
which condemned and punished them in due form, was in this way much closer to them than we
are, we who are filled with horror at this practice. They held them to be guilty: which was a way of
honoring them. We take them for nothing, and it is on this basis that we are "human" with them.
We no longer sacrifice them, we no longer punish them, and we are proud of it, but it is simply
that we have domesticated them, worse: that we have made of them a racially inferior world, no
longer even worthy of our justice, but only of our affection and social charity, no longer worthy
of punishment and of death, but only of experimentation and extermination like meat
from the butchery.
It is the reabsorption of all violence in regard to them that today forms the monstrosity of beasts.
The violence of sacrifice, which is one of "intimacy" (Bataille), has been succeeded by the
sentimental or experimental violence that is one of distance. Monstrosity has changed in meaning.
The original monstrosity of the beast, object of terror and fascination, but never negative, always
ambivalent, object of exchange also and of metaphor, in sacrifice, in mythology, in the heraldic
bestiary, and even in our dreams and our phantasms-this monstrosity, rich in every threat and
every metamorphosis, one that is secretly resolved in the living culture of men, and that is a form
of alliance, has been exchanged for a spectacular monstrosity: that of King Kong wrenched from
his jungle and transformed into a music-hall star. Formerly, the cultural hero annihilated the beast,
the dragon, the monster-and from the spilt blood plants, men, culture were born; today, it is the
beast King Kong who comes to sack our industrial metropolises, who comes to liberate us from our
culture, a culture dead from having purged itself of all real monstrosity and from having broken its
pact with it (which was expressed in the film by the primitive gift of the woman). The profound
seduction of the film comes from this inversion of meaning: all inhumanity has gone over to the
side of men, all humanity has gone over to the side of captive bestiality, and to the respective
seduction of man and of beast, monstrous seduction of one order by the other, the human and the
bestial. Kong dies for having renewed, through seduction, this possibility of the metamorphosis of
one reign into another, this incestuous promiscuity between beasts and men (though one that is
never realized, except in a symbolic and ritual mode).
In the end, the progression that the beast followed is not different form that of madness and
childhood, of sex or negritude. A logic of exclusion, of reclusion, of discrimination and necessarily;
in return, a logic of reversion, reversible violence that makes it so that all of society finally aligns
itself on the axioms of madness, of childhood, of sexuality; and of inferior races (purged, it must
be said, of the radical interrogation to which, from the
very heart of their exclusion, they lent importance). The convergence of processes of civilization
is astounding. Animals, like the dead, and so many others, have followed this
uninterrupted process of annexation through extermination, which consists of liquidation,
then of making the extinct species speak, of making them present the confession of their
disappearance. Making animals speak, as one has made the insane, children, sex (Foucault)
speak. This is even deluded in regard to animals, whose principle of uncertainty; which they have
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
caused to weigh on men since the rupture in their alliance with men, resides in the fact that they
do not speak.

Sentimentality to Animals Overview

Extend our Baudrillard 81 card. Here’s the argument.

Treating animals with care and being sentimental about their

feelings is a degradation of their status. Their discourse treats
animals as children that have to be protected by the wise humans,
and imparts sentimental feelings on them that are just an illusion.
Instead of being worthy of respect, this reduces animals to merely
the subjects of domestication and experimentation, where they
can be destroyed in our endless quest for knowledge, which turns
their arguments.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Global v. Universal

Globalization, which claims to bring all together actually fragments

and destroys universal values like freedom and democracy in order
to better assimilate the world. The result of this process is a
gigantic clash between the globalized world order and the
fragments that emerge, a world war over global values.
Baudrillard in 96 [Jean, March 16, “The Global and the Universal”]

Globalisation and universality are not equivalent terms; in fact they could be considered
to mutually exclude one another. Globalisation pertains to techniques, the market, tour-
ism, information. Universality pertains to values, human rights, freedoms, culture, demo-
cracy. Globalisation seems to be irreversible, the universal on the other hand appears to be
almost an endangered species. At least in so far as it constitutes a system of values for West-
ern modernity with no counterpart in any other culture. No word for a value system which
claims to speak with a single voice for all cultures and their difference, but which, paradoxic-
ally, does not think of itself as relative and sees itself quite ingenuously as the ultimate tran-
scendent goal of all the others. We do not imagine for one moment that the universal might
refer only to localised Western thought, a product that is specific to the West, which, original
though it may be, is in the final analysis, every bit as difficult to export as any other local
product. Yet that is exactly how the Japanese see the universal, as something specifically
Western, and far from adopting this abstract concept, they take what for us is universal and,
in a curious reversal, make it relative and incorporate it into their own singularity.

Any culture worthy of the name loses itself in the universal. Any culture that makes itself
universal loses its singularity and, gradually dies. This is the case for the cultures we
have destroyed by assimilating them by force, but it is also the case for our own, in its
claim to be universal. The difference is that the others have died of their singularity and
that is a noble death whereas we are dying from the loss of all singularity, from the ex-
termination of our values, and that is not a noble death.

We think that the destiny of any single value is its elevation to the universal without tak-
ing heed of the mortal danger that this promotion represents. Rather than an elevation, it
is a reduction or shall we say an elevation to a degree zero of value. At the time of the
Enlightenment, universalisation was a top down affair, in a process of continuous ad-
vancement. Today, it is bottom up and involves a neutralisation of values as a result of
their proliferation and their endless dispersal. And so it is for human rights, for demo-
cracy, etc., they expand according to the law of the lowest common denominator, to a
point of maximum entropy. The Xerox degree of value. In fact, the universal perishes
with globalisation. When the dynamic of the universal as transcendence, as ideal, and as utopia
becomes a reality, it ceases to exist as transcendence, as ideal, as utopia. The gobalisation of ex-
change puts an end to the universality of values. It is the triumph of monothought over universal

What is globalised is first of all the market, the promiscuity of exchange of anything and
everything, the perpetual movement of money. Culturally speaking, this is the anything goes
promiscuity of the signifier and of values; in other words, pornography. The endless stream flood-
ing the net with anything and everything, this is pornography. No need for

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Global v. Universal
<<Baudrillard 96 continued 2/3>>

sexual indecency, the simple existence of this interactive copulation is all it takes. At
theend of this process, there is no longer any difference between the global and the uni-
versal. The universal is itself globalised, democracy, human rights circulate in exactly the
same way, through exactly the same channels as any global product: like oil or capital.

What happens with the passage from the universal to the global is at once a homogenisation
and an infinite fragmenting of the system. The global interconnection of networks is doubled
by a dislocation of the fragments moving further and further apart from each other - like a
sky rocket that explodes and shatters at its highest point then scatters in a thousand frag-
ments. What takes the place the central is not the local, it's the dis-located. What takes the
place of the cencentric is not the de-centered but the offcenter. Disintegration of the univer-
sal. Virtual totalitarianism: "www:// ization of the world" and fragmentation.

Globalisation is both homogenisation and increasing discrimination. Marginalisation and

exclusion, are no accident: they are in the very logic of globalisation which, unlike the
universal, breaks apart the existing structures, all the better to assimilate them. On
every level the gaps grow wider, become irreversible. A little like the universe where the
galaxies are moving away from one another at such prodigious speeds. If this is the case, one
might well ask whether the universal hasn't already succumbed under the weight of its own
critical mass, whether it ever had any real existence other than in official discourse and moral
codes. In any event, for us, the mirror of the universal is shattered (one could even see it as a
kind of mirror stage of humanity). But this is perhaps a good thing because, in the fragments
of this shattered mirror of the universal, all singularities reemerge. Those that we be-
lieved threatened are surviving; those we believed had disappeared are coming back to
life. Japan, once again, is a remarkable case in point. Japan, better than any other country, has
made a success of globalisation (technical, economic, financial) without going through the phase
of the universal (the succession of middle-class ideologies and forms of political organisation) and
without losing anything of its singularity, despite what is said to the contrary. One could even say
that it is precisely because Japan was never lumbered with the concept of the universal that it suc-
ceeded so well technically and globally, by bringing together the singular (the power of tradition)
and the global (the power of the virtual, that is, the internet revolution ).

Behind the increasingly fierce resistance to globalisation, social and political resistance which can
seem like an archaic refusal of modernity at all costs, one cannot but read a reaction against the
domination of the universal, a kind of painful revisionism in respect to the achievements of mod-
ernity, and in respect to the idea of progress and of History, a rejection not only of the (in)famous
global techno-structure, but of the underlying monoculturalism, the mental structure that places
all cultures, from every continent under the one sign of the universal. This resurgence, or, one
might even say, this "insurrection" of singularity can take on violent, anomalous, irrational forms
from the perspective of (so-called) "enlightened" thought; ethnic, religious, linguistic, but also on
an individual level, forms of neurosis and personality disorder. But it would be a monumental error
(the same error which can be seen in the moralistic orchestration of political correctness common
to all power structures and the majority of "intellectuals") to write off these movements of revolt
as populist, archaic, or even terrorist. Every event that makes its mark in the world today, does so

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Global v. Universal
<<Baudrillard 96 continued 3/3>>

reaction to this abstract universality (including the antagonism of Islam towards Western values -
it is because Islam is the most violent critic of this Western globalisation that Islam is public en-
emy number one today). If we refuse to understand this, we will exhaust ourselves in an endless
contest between a universal thought sure of its power and sure of its rightness, and an ever in-
creasing number of irreducible singularities. Even in our societies, which are thoroughly accultur-
ated to the universal, it is clear that nothing that has been sacrificed to this concept has truly dis-
appeared. It has simply gone underground. And what is being played out in reverse today is an en-
tire history supposedly progressivist, an entire evolutionism cristallised around its ultimate end,
which, moreover, has been completely lost sight of in the meantime. Today this utopia is dislo-
cated, and its dislocation at the deepest levels is proceeding even faster than its imposition by

What we are dealing with here is a complex three level process: the globalisation of exchange, the
universality of values and the singularity of forms (languages, cultures, individuals, character
types, but also chance, accident etc.- everything the universal is bound to reject as exception or
anomaly). But, the situation is changing and is becoming more and more extreme as universal val-
ues lose their authority and legitimacy. As long as they were accepted as mediating values, they
succeeded (more or less) in integrating singularities as differences within a universal culture of
difference. But today they are no longer able to do so because globalisation triumphant is
razing to the ground every difference and every value, generating a perfectly indifferent
(non)culture. And all that is left, once the universal is gone, is the all-mighty global
techno-structure on the one hand and singularities abandoned to their own wild devices
on the other.

The universal has had its day in history. But today, caught between a monolithic global
order, an unconditional globalisation, and the stubborn insurrection of singularities errat-
ic, concepts of freedom, democracy and human rights pale into insignificance, mere
ghosts of a lost universal. And it is difficult to imagine that they could be reborn from
their ashes by the mere play of the political - which is caught up in the same process of
deregulation and whose foundations are almost as flimsy as those of moral and intellec-
tual authority.

But the die has not yet been cast, even if for universal values, all bets are definitely off The
stakes have risen and globalisation is by no means a sure winner. Everywhere its dissolving
and homogenising force is being challenged by emerging forces heterogeneous in nature,
which are not only different but antagonistic and irreducible.

What may emerge, out of the shattering of the global system, are singularities. Now, these
singularities are neither negative nor positive. They are not an alternative to global order,
they are on a different scale. They are not subject to value judgements; so they can be either
the best or the worst. Their one absolute saving grace is to allow us to break out of the strait-
jacket of totality. They cannot be federated in a single historical move. They are the despair
of every would-be dominant monothought. But they are not a monocounterthought. They in-
vent their own rules of the game, and their most likely fate is the fate of heresies: to be erad-
icated by global orthodoxy.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
This is what the Fourth World War will be about, and it will be the only truly world war,
since its stakes are globalisation itself. Culture itself started off as a singularity. That is, an
incomparable, irreducible, inexchangeable form. Then came the concept of universal culture.
Then the current globalisation of a culture which had become a global product. I would like to
talk a little more about this "fate of culture" which poses for each of us, within the context of
the global, the problem of cultural identity.

Global v. Universal 2NC Overview

Extend Baudrillard 96. Here’s the argument.

The affirmative attempts to expand values like democracy, human

rights, etc. to a global level. However, any culture whose values
are expanded loses its uniqueness and the values become useless
– democracy and human rights are reduced to the lowest common
denominator so they can be more easily expanded through the
global market.

In practical terms, this means the values they promote become

tools of exploitation and never accomplish the goals they set for
them. A perfect example: Iraq. Intended to be a watershed event
in the democratic revolution, democracy and freedom in Iraq are
no longer the great values they once were, but led to social
fragmentation, instability and an explosion of porn and drugs. The
commercialization of democracy has destroyed its human value;
the expansion the plan supports will result in the same unintended
consequences that ultimately make the values meaningless. At
this point, no political action is sufficient to redeem democracy’s
value, because it will have been infinite degraded by its spread.

Additionally, in order to better expand values, existing cultures

must be destroyed and assimilated so that our idea of democracy
can be superimposed on them, and groups that disagree are
excluded from the global order. The destruction of culture causes
their most violent elements to re-form and oppose the global
spread of values – we see this in the form of so-called terrorism,
which will be a never-ending cycle of violence as long as the
project continues.

Finally, the elements cast out of the global democratic order will
band together to oppose it, resulting in the next world war as a
result of globalization of values.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Global v. Universal 2NR Overview

They miss key analysis in the last speech, so extend the

Baudrillard 96 card and these points from the overview:

First, the expansion of democracy over the globe requires that it

be reduced to a lowest common denominator level so that it can be
transmitted easily; democratic principles that disagree with the
rules of the global market will be cast aside, which means the
spread of democracy they create will become a tool for further
exploitation of cultures that accept it.

Second, the devaluation of democracy makes it bad for societies

that accept it, like happened in Iraq, where freedom has turned
society over to porn, drugs and instability. Democracy as it is
spread is never as good as the original version and the more it is
spread the less valuable it is, which turns their impacts.

Third, note that all their evidence about democracy being good is
wrong, because it doesn’t assume the devalued form, and political
efforts to revive these universal values after they have expanded
are useless, because they are permanently disfigured by the
global spread. Once this has happened, it’s irreversible.

Fourth, in order to expand our values other cultures have to be

destroyed and assimilated, and the parts that won’t be assimilated
are excluded. This results in internal violence through what is
labeled as terrorism, and eventually a clash between the global
democratic society and the fragments that have been cast out in
the next world war, which is far worse than the small scale
violence that occurs occasionally between isolated cultures.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Globalization of Violence

Globalization and the spread of Western values is like a virus – it

requires constant expansion as part of its existence. Any
disagreement with democratic values is classified as a crime
against the global order, and justifies the forcible assimilation of
all cultures into the global norm. This universalization of values
creates terrorism as its own inescapable symptom.
Baudrillard in 2003 [Jean, May 20, “The Violence of the Global”]
Today's terrorism is not the product of a traditional history of anarchism, nihilism, or
fanaticism. It is instead the contemporary partner of globalization. To identify its main
features, it is necessary to perform a brief genealogy of globalization, particularly of its
relationship to the singular and the universal.
The analogy between the terms "global" [2]and "universal" is misleading.
Universalization has to do with human rights, liberty, culture, and democracy. By
contrast, globalization is about technology, the market, tourism, and information.
Globalization appears to be irreversible whereas universalization is likely to be on its way
out. At least, it appears to be retreating as a value system which developed in the
context of Western modernity and was unmatched by any other culture. Any culture that
becomes universal loses its singularity and dies. That's what happened to all those
cultures we destroyed by forcefully assimilating them. But it is also true of our own
culture, despite its claim of being universally valid. The only difference is that other
cultures died because of their singularity, which is a beautiful death. We are dying
because we are losing our own singularity and exterminating all our values. And this is a
much more ugly death.
We believe that the ideal purpose of any value is to become universal. But we do not
really assess the deadly danger that such a quest presents. Far from being an uplifting
move, it is instead a downward trend toward a zero degree in all values. In the
Enlightenment, universalization was viewed as unlimited growth and forward progress.
Today, by contrast, universalization exists by default and is expressed as a forward
escape, which aims to reach the most minimally common value. This is precisely the fate
of human rights, democracy, and liberty today. Their expansion is in reality their weakest
Universalization is vanishing because of globalization. The globalization of exchanges
puts an end to the universalization of values. This marks the triumph of a uniform
thought over a universal one. What is globalized is first and foremost the market, the
profusion of exchanges and of all sorts of products, the perpetual flow of money.
Culturally, globalization gives way to a promiscuity of signs and values, to a form of
pornography in fact. Indeed, the global spread of everything and nothing through
networks is pornographic. No need for sexual obscenity anymore. All you have is a global
interactive copulation. And, as a result of all this, there is no longer any difference
between the global and the universal. The universal has become globalized, and human
rights circulate exactly like any other global product (oil or capital for example).
The passage from the universal to the global has given rise to a constant
homogenization, but also to an endless fragmentation. Dislocation, not localization, has
replaced centralization. Excentricism, not decentralization, has taken over where
concentration once stood. Similarly, discrimination and exclusion are not just accidental

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
consequences of globalization, but rather globalization's own logical outcomes. In fact,
the presence of


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Globalization of Violence
<<Baudrillard 2003 continued 2/4>>

globalization makes us wonder whether universalization has not already been destroyed
by its own critical mass. It also makes us wonder whether universality and modernity
ever existed outside of some official discourses or some popular moral sentiments. For us
today, the mirror of our modern universalization has been broken. But this may actually
be an opportunity. In the fragments of this broken mirror, all sorts of singularities
reappear. Those singularities we thought were endangered are surviving, and those we
thought were lost are revived.
As universal values lose their authority and legitimacy, things become more radical.
When universal beliefs were introduced as the only possible culturally mediating values,
it was fairly easy for such beliefs to incorporate singularities as modes of differentiation
in a universal culture that claimed to champion difference. But they cannot do it anymore
because the triumphant spread of globalization has eradicated all forms of differentiation
and all the universal values that used to advocate difference. In so doing, globalization
has given rise to a perfectly indifferent culture. From the moment when the universal
disappeared, an omnipotent global techno-structure has been left alone to dominate. But
this techno-structure now has to confront new singularities that, without the presence of
universalization to cradle them, are able to freely and savagely expand.
History gave universalization its chance. Today though, faced with a global order without
any alternative on the one hand and with drifting insurrectionary singularities on the
other, the concepts of liberty, democracy, and human rights look awful. They remain as
the ghosts of universalization past. Universalization used to promote a culture
characterized by the concepts of transcendence, subjectivity, conceptualization, reality,
and representation. By contrast, today's virtual global culture has replaced universal
concepts with screens, networks, immanence, numbers, and a space-time continuum
without any depth. In the universal, there was still room for a natural reference to the
world, the body, or the past. There was a sort of dialectical tension or critical movement
that found its materiality in historical and revolutionary violence. But the expulsion of this
critical negativity opened the door to another form of violence, the violence of the global.
This new violence is characterized by the supremacy of technical efficiency and
positivity, total organization, integral circulation, and the equivalence of all exchanges.
Additionally, the violence of the global puts an end to the social role of the intellectual
(an idea tied to the Enlightenment and universalization), but also to the role of the
activist whose fate used to be tied to the ideas of critical opposition and historical
Is globalization fatal? Sometimes cultures other than ours were able to escape the fatality
of the indifferent exchange. Today though, where is the critical point between the
universal and the global? Have we reached the point of no return? What vertigo pushes
the world to erase the Idea? And what is that other vertigo that, at the same time, seems
to force people to unconditionally want to realize the Idea?
The universal was an Idea. But when it became realized in the global, it disappeared as
an Idea, it committed suicide, and it vanished as an end in itself. Since humanity is now
its own immanence, after taking over the place left by a dead God, the human has
become the only mode of reference and it is sovereign. But this humanity no longer has
any finality. Free from its former enemies, humanity now has to create enemies from
within, which in fact produces a wide variety of inhuman metastases.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Globalization of Violence
<<Baudrillard 2003 continued 3/4>>

This is precisely where the violence of the global comes from. It is the product of a
system that tracks down any form of negativity and singularity, including of course death
as the ultimate form of singularity. It is the violence of a society where conflict is
forbidden, where death is not allowed. It is a violence that, in a sense, puts an end to
violence itself, and strives to establish a world where anything related to the natural
must disappear (whether it is in the body, sex, birth, or death). Better than a global
violence, we should call it a global virulence. This form of violence is indeed viral. It
moves by contagion, proceeds by chain reaction, and little by little it destroys our
immune systems and our capacities to resist.
But the game is not over yet. Globalization has not completely won. Against such a
dissolving and homogenizing power, heterogeneous forces -- not just different but clearly
antagonistic ones -- are rising everywhere. Behind the increasingly strong reactions to
globalization, and the social and political forms of resistance to the global, we find more
than simply nostalgic expressions of negation. We find instead a crushing revisionism vis-
à-vis modernity and progress, a rejection not only of the global techno-structure, but also
of the mental system of globalization, which assumes a principle of equivalence between
all cultures. This kind of reaction can take some violent, abnormal, and irrational aspects,
at least they can be perceived as violent, abnormal, and irrational from the perspective
of our traditional enlightened ways of thinking. This reaction can take collective ethnic,
religious, and linguistic forms. But it can also take the form of individual emotional
outbursts or neuroses even. In any case, it would be a mistake to berate those reactions
as simply populist, archaic, or even terrorist. Everything that has the quality of event
these days is engaged against the abstract universality of the global, and this also
includes Islam's own opposition to Western values (it is because Islam is the most forceful
contestation of those values that it is today considered to be the West's number one
Who can defeat the global system? Certainly not the anti-globalization movement whose
sole objective is to slow down global deregulation. This movement's political impact may
well be important. But its symbolic impact is worthless. This movement's opposition is
nothing more than an internal matter that the dominant system can easily keep under
control. Positive alternatives cannot defeat the dominant system, but singularities that
are neither positive nor negative can. Singularities are not alternatives. They represent a
different symbolic order. They do not abide by value judgments or political realities. They
can be the best or the worst. They cannot be "regularized" by means of a collective
historical action. They defeat any uniquely dominant thought. Yet they do not present
themselves as a unique counter-thought. Simply, they create their own game and impose
their own rules. Not all singularities are violent. Some linguistic, artistic, corporeal, or
cultural singularities are quite subtle. But others, like terrorism, can be violent. The
singularity of terrorism avenges the singularities of those cultures that paid the price of
the imposition of a unique global power with their own extinction.
We are really not talking about a "clash of civilizations" here, but instead about an almost
anthropological confrontation between an undifferentiated universal culture and
everything else that, in whatever domain, retains a quality of irreducible alterity. From
the perspective of global power (as fundamentalist in its beliefs as any religious


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Globalization of Violence
<<Baudrillard 2003 continued 4/4>>

any mode of difference and singularity is heresy. Singular forces only have the choice of
joining the global system (by will or by force) or perishing. The mission of the West (or
rather the former West, since it lost its own values a long time ago) is to use all available
means to subjugate every culture to the brutal principle of cultural equivalence. Once a
culture has lost its values, it can only seek revenge by attacking those of others. Beyond
their political or economic objectives, wars such as the one in Afghanistan aim at
normalizing savagery and aligning all the territories. The goal is to get rid of any reactive
zone, and to colonize and domesticate any wild and resisting territory both
geographically and mentally.
The establishment of a global system is the result of an intense jealousy. It is the jealousy
of an indifferent and low-definition culture against cultures with higher definition, of a
disenchanted and de-intensified system against high intensity cultural environments, and
of a de-sacralized society against sacrificial forms. According to this dominant system,
any reactionary form is virtually terrorist. (According to this logic we could even say that
natural catastrophes are forms of terrorism too. Major technological accidents, like
Chernobyl, are both a terrorist act and a natural disaster. The toxic gas leak in Bhopal,
India, another technological accident, could also have been a terrorist act. Any plane
crash could be claimed by any terrorist group too. The dominant characteristic of
irrational events is that they can be imputed to anybody or given any motivation. To
some extent, anything we can think of can be criminal, even a cold front or an
earthquake. This is not new. In the 1923 Tokyo earthquake, thousands of Koreans were
killed because they were thought to be responsible for the disaster. In an intensely
integrated system like ours, everything can have a similar effect of destabilization.
Everything drives toward the failure of a system that claims to be infallible. From our
point of view, caught as we are inside the rational and programmatic controls of this
system, we could even think that the worst catastrophe is actually the infallibility of the
system itself.) Look at Afghanistan. The fact that, inside this country alone, all recognized
forms of "democratic" freedoms and expressions -- from music and television to the
ability to see a woman's face -- were forbidden, and the possibility that such a country
could take the totally opposite path of what we call civilization (no matter what religious
principles it invoked), were not acceptable for the "free" world. The universal dimension
of modernity cannot be refused. From the perspective of the West, of its consensual
model, and of its unique way of thinking, it is a crime not to perceive modernity as the
obvious source of the Good or as the natural ideal of humankind. It is also a crime when
the universality of our values and our practices are found suspect by some individuals
who, when they reveal their doubts, are immediately pegged as fanatics.
Only an analysis that emphasizes the logic of symbolic obligation can make sense of this
confrontation between the global and the singular. To understand the hatred of the rest of
the world against the West, perspectives must be reversed. The hatred of non-Western
people is not based on the fact that the West stole everything from them and never gave
anything back. Rather, it is based on the fact that they received everything, but were
never allowed to give anything back. This hatred is not caused by dispossession or
exploitation, but rather by humiliation. And this is precisely the kind of hatred that
explains the September 11 terrorist attacks. These were acts of humiliation responding to
another humiliation.
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Globalization of Violence Overview

Extend our Baudrillard 2003 evidence. Here’s the argument.

There is an inherent contradiction between globalization and

universal values like human rights. Globalization is about the
expansion of capitalism, while universal rights are oppressed by
the capitalistic order. Their attempts to expand democracy and
human rights throughout the global system puts these universal
values on the market like any other commodity in the capitalist
order and destroys their universal value; democracy and human
rights stop being so good when they’re commercialized.

Additionally, globalization of values demands that they constantly

expand, even to cultures that do not want or need them. This
creates an area of exclusion within the supposedly all-
encompassing global order, where those inside who dissent
become the enemy instead of the one outside. They think they are
creating universal peace through the spread of democracy, when
in fact they are ensuring the war will be internalized and
permanent as a result of exclusion.

This effort to destroy violence in fact creates its own violence,

where any moral opposition to the dominant order becomes a
crime that demands a military response, and anyone who does not
agree with the global order must be destroyed. This leads to the
destruction of all other cultures in the constant search for the
ideal of globalization.

Within this system, opposition is inevitable, because destruction of

culture sparks violent responses. Additionally, the more the order
is globalized the easier it is to attack from within, and all dissent is
organized to bring down this new world order, resulting in what we
call terrorism. The impact is never-ending internal violence and

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Spirit of Terrorism
Terrorism is not located in one particular country or group – its a
consequence of the new global order, which creates constant
internal violence. Their supposed solution plays into the mindset
that justifies terrorist acts.
Baudrillard in 2003 [Jean, October, “The Mind of Terrorism”]
All the speeches and commentaries made since September 11 betray a gigantic post-traumatic
abreaction both to the event itself and to the fascination that it exerts. The moral condemnation
anti the sacred union against terrorism are directly proportional to the prodigious jubilation felt
at having seen this global superpower destroyed, because it was this insufferable superpower that
gave rise both to the violence now spreading throughout the world and to the terrorist imagination
that (without our knowing it) dwells within us all.
That the entire world without exception had dreamed of this event, that nobody could help but
dream the destruction of so powerful a hegemon-this fact is unacceptable to the moral conscience
of the West, and yet it is a fact nonetheless, a fact that resists the emotional violence of all the
rhetoric conspiring to erase it.
In the end, it was they who did it but we who wished it. If we do not take this fact into account,
the vent loses all symbolic dimension; it becomes s a purely arbitrary act, the murderous
phantasmagoria of a few fanatics that we need only repress. But we know well that such is not tie
case. Without our profound complicity the event would not have reverberated so forcefully, and in
their strategic symbolism the terrorists knew they could count on this unconfessable complicity.
It goes well beyond the hatred that the desolate and the exploited-those who ended up on the
wrong side of the new world order-feel toward the dominant global power. This malicious desire
resides n the hearts of even those who've shared in the spoils. The allergy to absolute order, to
absolute power, is universal, and the two towers of the World Trade Center were, precisely
because of their ideaticality, the perfect incarnation of this absolute order.
Countless disaster films have borne witness to these fantasies, and the universal appeal of the
images shows just how close the fantasies always are to being acted out: the closer the entire
system gets to perfection or to omnipotence, the stronger the urge to destroy it grows.
When the world has been so thoroughly monopolized, when power has been so formidably consolidated
by the technocratic machine and the dogma of globalization, what means of turning the tables remains
besides terrorism? In dealing all the cards to itself, the system forced the Other to change the rules of
the game. And the new rules are ferocious, because the game is ferocious. Terrorism is the act that
restores an irreducible singularity to the heart of a generalized system of exchange. All those
singularities (species, individuals, cultures) that have been sacrificed to the interests of a global system
of commerce avenge themselves by turning the tables with terrorism.
Terror against terror-this is no longer an ideological notion. We have gone well beyond ideology and
politics, The energy that nourishes terror, no ideology, no cause, not even an Islamic one, can explain.
The terrorists are not aiming simply to transform the world. Like the heretics of previous times, they
aim to radicalize the world through sacrifice, whereas the system aims to convert: it into money
through force.
Terrorists, like viruses, are everywhere. There is no longer a boundary that can hem terrorism in; it
is at the heart of the very culture it's fighting with, and the visible fracture (and the hatred) that
pits the exploited and underdeveloped nations of the world against the West masks the dominant
system's internal fractures. It is as if every means of domination secreted its own antidote.
Against this almost automatic from of resistance to its power, the system can do nothing.
Terrorism is the shock wave of this silent resistance.
It is a mistake, then, to characterize this as a clash of civilizations or of religions. It goes well
beyond Islam aria' America, on which one aright be tempted to concentrate in order to create the
illusion of a confrontation resolvable by force. There is a fundamental antagonism at work. but it
transcends the phantom of America (which is perhaps the epicenter though not the incarnation of
globalization) as well as the phantom of Islam (which likewise is not the incarnation of terrorism).
This is the clash of triumphant globalization at war with itself.
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Spirit of Terrorism
<<Baudrillard 2003 continued>>

In this sense, it is accurate to speak of this as a world war-no: the third but the fourth-and the only
one that is truly global, since what's at stake is globalization itself. The first put an end to
European supremacy and to the era of colonialism; the second put an end to Nazism; and the third
to Communism. Each one brought us progressively closer to the single world order of today, which
is now nearing its end, everywhere opposed, everywhere grappling with hostile forces. This is a
war of fractal complexity, waged worldwide against rebellious singularities that, in the manner of
antibodies, mount a resistance in every cell. These confrontations are so imperceptible that it is
occasionally necessary to resuscitate the idea of war by staging spectacular scenes such as those
in the Persian Gulf and now in Afghanistan. But World War IV happens elsewhere too. It haunts all
expressions of world order, all forms of hegemonic domination-if Islam were dominating the world,
terrorism would rise up against Islam. The globe itself is resistant to globalization.
Terrorism is immoral. The occurrence at the World Trade Center, this symbolic act of defiance, is
immoral, but it was in response to globalization, which is itself immoral. We are therefore immoral
ourselves, so if we hope to understand anything we will need to get beyond Good and Evil. The
crucial point lies in precisely the opposite direction from the Enlightenment philosophy of Good
and Evil. We naively believe in the progress of Good, that its ascendance in all domains (science,
technology, democracy, human rights) corresponds to the defeat of Evil. No one seems to have
understood that Good and Evil increase in power at the same time -and in the same way. The
triumph of one does not result in the obliteration of the ether; to the contrary. We tend to regard
Evil, metaphysically, as an accidental smudge, but this axiom is illusory. Good does not reduce
Evil, or vice versa; they are at once irreducible, the one and the other, and inextricably linked. In
the end, Good cannot vanquish Evil except by denying to be Good, since, in monopolizing global
power, it entails a backfire of proportional violence.
In the traditional universe, there remained a balance of Good and Evil, a dialectical relationship
that guaranteed, for better or worse, the tension and equilibrium of the moral universe. This
balance was lost as soon as there was a total extrapolation of Good-the hegemony of the positive
over every form of negativity. From that moment, the equilibrium was broken, and Evil returned to
an invisible autonomy, increasing exponentially.
Relatively speaking, this is a bit like what happened to the political order after Communism
disappeared and neoliberal forces triumphed worldwide. It was then that a phantom enemy arose,
percolating throughout the planet, rising up through all the cracks in power. Islam. But Islam. is
merely the crystallized form of this antagonism. The antagonism is everywhere, and it is in each of
us. Hence, terror against terror. But it is asymmetrical terror, and it is this asymmetry that leaves
the absolute global power disarmed. It can do nothing but strike at its own rationale for the
balance of power, without being able to compete on the playing field of symbolic defiance and of
death, having deleted that playing field from its own culture.
Until now, this integrating power had succeeded in absorbing and reabsorbing every attack, every
negativity, and in doing so created a thoroughly hopeless situation (not only for the wretched o'
the earth but also for the privileged and well-to-do in their radical comfort). But the terrorists have
started using their own deaths offensively and effectively, based on a strategic intuition, a sense
of their adversary's immense fragility, of the system's quasi-perfection, of the explosion that
would erupt at the slightest spark. They succeeded in turning their deaths into an ultimate
weapon against a system devoted to the ideal of zero losses. Any system of zero losses is a zero-
sum game. And all methods of deterrence and destruction can do nothing against an enemy who
has already turned his death into a counteroffensive weapon. (" Who cares about the American
bombing! Our men are as eager to die as the Americans are eager to live!") Thus the imbalance of
more than 3,000 deaths inflicted in one fell swoop against a system of zero losses. Here,
everything depends upon death, not only upon the brutal irruption of death live and in real time
but upon the irruption of a death much more than real: a symbolic and sacrificial death-which is to
say, the absolute, ultimate, unappealable event.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Spirit of Terrorism Overview

Extend Baudrillard 2003. Here’s the argument.

Their arguments assume terrorists are a definite group of people,

existing in some other country, who we can deter and deal with as
the world’s superpower. This vision is inaccurate – terrorism isn’t
out there, it is within the global order, as an inevitable sideeffect
of advancing globalization, so they can never solve the impacts
they claim.

Also, the overarching power of a single country and its policies is

what gives the motive to destroy it – whether or not they want to
admit it, everyone wants to see the American superpower
humbled. The plan asserts US influence to try to curb this
violence, but ironically makes it more likely it will occur, because
the more the US stretches out to control the world the more the
world will backlash against it. That’s a turn.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Infection of Democracy
As democracy spreads and repression is removed, the forces that
created the oppression do not go away, rather they infect the
whole of democracy. The more democracy spreads, the less value
it has.
Baudrillard in 94 [Jean, “The Illusion of the End” p. 39-44]
However this may be, what is going to come of this transfusion of Good and Evil, beyond the
dusting off of liberties and the realignment of democratic facades, remains a mystery. For Evil is
not simply the repressed. If it were only that, it would be sufficient merely to lift the repression
weighing upon it, to 'liberate' it, as is being done everywhere (in particular in the East where the
barrier of Evil has been broken down). But we are soon going to see that Evil is something
different, that it easily outlasts all liberation and that, in dismantling the visible Evil empire, the
deeper form of maleficence is simultaneously being liberated. Evil takes advantage of
transparency (glasnost) and becomes the transparence of things themselves. Evil was visible,
opaque, localized in the territories of the East. We have exorcized it, liberated it, liquidated it. But
has it, for all that, ceased to be Evil? Not at all: it has become fluid, liquid, interstitial, viral. That is the
transparence of Evil. It is not that it is transparent [est transparent] in the sense that you might see through
it. It is, rather, that it shows though [transparait] in all things when they lose their image, their mirror, their
reflection, their shadow, when they no longer offer any substance, distance or resistance, when they become
both immanent and elusive from an excess of fluidity and luminosity. So long as Evil was opaque,
obscene, oblique, obscure, there was still a transcendence of Evil and it could be held at a
distance. It has now become immanent and interstitial (in the West, it is assuming, in particular,
the form of terrorism as a filterable virus. Political terrorism, but also all the other forms of
virulence - biological, sexual, media-based or electronic). With the events in Eastern Europe, this
theme is given striking illustration, and Evil is entering upon a phase of definitive dissemination. Shattered,
destabilized communism will pass into the veins of the West in metabolic, surreptitious form, and destabilize
it in its turn. This will no longer be the violence of the Idea, but the virus of de-immunization. A communism
which dissolves itself is a successful communism.
One of the consequences of this East-West transfusion is the elimination of the renegades who functioned as
an umbilical cord between the two blocs, condemned on the one side, feted on the other, but complicit with
both. By way of dissidents – the political avant-garde of the Eastern bloc countries and refuge of the Western
intellectual avant-garde - East and West carried on a kind of dialogue of the deaf throughout all the years of
the armsrace. Some among the dissidents have analysed the ambiguity of this situation. Including Sakharov
himself. But Sakharov is dead. He died, significantly, when dissidence, victorious, no longer had any
meaning. Dissidents cannot bear a thaw. They have to die, or else become president (Walesa, Havel) in a sort
of bitter revenge which, at any event, marks their death as dissidents. They lived in the silent cinema of the
political; the 'talkie' era kills them off.
They whose strength was in silence (or censorship) are condemned to speak and be devoured by speech. When the
Eastern bloc societies catch up with their dissidents and absorb them, it is the end of modernity, as it is when
Western society catches up with and absorbs its avant-gardes. In the East and the West, the Idea is finished. The
organic consensus marks the dawning of post-modem societies, non-conflictual and at one with themselves. The
collapse of the Wall is the visible outward manifestation of an invisible event which has affected all these societies
for at least twenty years: the collapse of the division or split internal to each of them, of the conflictual structure
which came about with the upheavals and revolutions of the modem era. The Western intellectuals who embodied
that split, that internal division of societies and minds, are themselves fated to disappear like the silent movie
As for those who were pro-dissident in the West, the fine-spirited sympathizers, what is to become of their
solidarity? They too are condemned. They spoke for others. Will they now have the courage to shut up? They will
not, and are already running off to the scene of the crime, to the Berlin Wall, for that was indeed the site of the
crime and the sacrifice. The point when the Wall comes down marks the end of their careers. There is no longer any
abominable Other (the communists), no longer any adorable Other (the dissidents).
What of Zinoviev? What of his cynical, merrily nihilistic and paradoxical line (Cioran: history is dying for want of
paradoxes)? The paradox of communism, in Zinoviev's view, is that of being at one and the same time an outdated
solution, an end of history, the Evil empire and the definitive solution because it has experienced the worst, as the
West has not done, and has drawn the consequences from it. It is therefore a solution from after the catastrophe
(whatever it may be, whether Third World War or something else), a final solution to the survival of the species and

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
thus an inevitable and definitive model, while nonetheless one that is outdated at the level of the economy and
history. This paradox is going to become highly charged when

Infection of Democracy
<<Baudrillard 94 continued>>

put to the test by the reunification of the two worlds. For the human and ideological failure of
communism by no means compromises its potency and virulence as an anthropological model. It is a
kind of gigantic snare of the social and the political spheres, which might be said to have succeeded,
even if it destroys itself - particularly if it destroys itself - in a kind of strategie du pire which would be
imposed on everyone as the last immune defence, man being taken in hand, on a universal scale, to
protect him from himself. On the opposite side, there is only the transparency of democracy, incapable
of containing the radiation of Evil.
There is, moreover, a paradox of Western societies opposite and equivalent to that of communism:
though they present all the signs of more developed and open societies, at the same time they have
one eye on the past as though it were a void they have created behind them, while absorbing the
future. It is like the story of the lorry and the hole: some workers dig a hole and load it on to a lorry, but
when they hit a bump in the road the hole falls off and, reversing, the lorry falls into the hole. We are
the lorry and the hole: we are weighed down by a hole in our memories, weighed down by the
retrospective emptiness of our history, to the point that our societies do not even know whether they
are heading towards the future. They are riding the surf of their present, problematic wealth. Beneath
their apparent mobility and acceleration, they have come to a stop in their hearts and their aims. That
is, indeed, why they are accelerating, but they are doing so out of inertia.
The encounter between this type of society with maximum mobility but immobility in its heart and the
Eastern bloc societies which are petrified on the outside but in no way inert in their inward core should
be highly dramatic or. totally ambiguous. Like blood transfusions today, the transfusion of Good and
Evil presents many dangers. There is a risk we shall pass all our germs on to them, and they might
give us all of theirs (this is how contacts between dissimilar cultures or races go). First of all, there will
be seventy years of 'backwardness' to make up, but are we so sure things are going to happen that
way? Instead of the Eastern bloc countries accelerating towards modern democracy, perhaps we are
going to drift in the other direction, moving back beyond democracy and falling into the hole of the
past. It would be the opposite of Orwell's prediction (strangely, he has not been mentioned of late,
though the collapse of Big Brother ought to have been celebrated for the record, if only for the irony of
the date Orwell set for the onset of totalitarianism which turned out to be roughly that of its collapse).
Even more ironic is the fact that we are not at all threatened by the totalitarian (Stalinist) rewriting of
the past, but the democratic rewriting of history: the very images of Stalin and Lenin swept away,
streets and cities renamed, statues scattered, soon none of all that will have existed. Yet another ruse
of history - not the last but, as ever, the best.
Democratic rewriting. The scenario is off to a good start. Everyone is having a clear-out. All the
dictatorships are being wound up and sold off cheap, before the end of the century if possible
(before Christmas for Eastern Europe so that everything can shine bright in a new Nativity).
Splendid emulation, as stupendous as the tolerance which has reigned over it all so far. Everyone
equally committed to the liquidation! Eliminating the planet's black spots as one might eliminate
traffic accident blackspots, as we might eliminate spots from a face: cosmetic surgery elevated to
the level of the political, and to Olympic performance levels.
Of course, this great democratic rally is not believable for an instant. Not that there is any
Machiavellian strategy going on, but it's too good to be true. There is something suspect about
the sudden consensus. The disappearance, as if by magic, of all contradiction is more than
suspect (China has temporarily relapsed, and what remains of world communism is merely a
theme park. With a little imagination, Cuba could be joined up with Disneyworld, which is not far
away, as part of a world heritage centre). Something tells us that what we have here is not a
historical evolution, but an epidemic of consensus, an epidemic of democratic values - in other
words, this is a viral effect, a
triumphant effect of fashion. If democratic values spread so easily, by a capillary or
communicating-vessels effect, then they must have liquefied, they must now be worthless.
Throughout the modern age they were held dear and dearly bought. Today, they are being sold off
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
at a discount and we are watching a Dutch auction of democratic values which looks very much
like uncontrolled speculation. Which makes it highly probable that, as might be the case with
financial speculation, these same values may crash.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Culture Crash
Culture is like the economic system. Overproduction of culture
goes beyond people’s ability to consume it, leading a complete
crash in all cultural signs and a destruction of what they try to
Baudrillard in 96 [Jean, March 16, “The Global and the Universal”]

Culture is a form of glory - it implies notion of sovereignty. Identity is a poor value: there
is always something vain and useless about demanding identity. It is an aftereffect of the
colonisation of mental space and the failure of its decolonisation. Culture is a symbolic
pact. Once it solidifies as a heritage, as power, as appropriation, as identity, once it be-
comes signature, that is, a material image of this power, it is all over. Finished. We could
repeat what Hannah Arendt said of power: "What saps and ends up killing political com-
munities", she said, "is the loss of power and ultimate powerlessness. But power (and
culture) cannot be stockpiled and kept for emergencies, like instruments of violence: it
exists only as act. Power which does not become action disappears and history demon-
strates with a host of examples that the greatest material riches cannot not make up for
such a loss."

That is what culture is, in its highly singular and original form. Let us now look at what it
has become at the global level.

Culture (understood as cultural production and consumption) is a mirror of material pro-

duction. And material production, since the 1929 Crash, has been in a state of overpro-
duction, or in a state of threatening overproduction. Already in 1929, growth was giving
way to excessive or "over-growth". And ever since, this "overgrowth" (and not growth)
has kept our societies in a state of increasingly acute economic crisis - interrupted, on by
wars and the economic recovery that destruction carries within it, all of this being only
cure for excess growth. We can say then that the fundamental catastrophe remains the
excessive growth that globalisation continues to intensify. The other antidote to exponen-
tial growth, besides wars, is the Stock Market Crash (but the latter would appear to be
less and less effective, since it is now only virtual and involves only speculative capital.

The same diagnosis could be made of culture, and the other Crash threatening us is that
of cultural overproduction. The powers that be would have us believe that in the cultur-
al market place, unlike in the commodity marketplace, demand still exceeds supply and
will continue to do so for a good while yet. The people supposedly have an insatiable
hunger for cultural goods. And so we get a guaranteed boom in all cultural "values or se-
curities". In fact, this is not at all the case. In the cultural economy of the average citizen
(if such a thing exists), there is a noticeable surplus of supply over demand. It is like/just
the same as at the supermarket. The illimited promotion of cultural products already far
exceeds human capacity to absorb them. The average person no longer even has the
time to consume his own cultural products, let alone those of others. The public does its
best: people run round from one exhibition to another, from one film festival to another
but their capacity or cultural labour is stretched to the limit. What results from this is an
original form of cultural alienation, not due to lack or deprivation, but to surplus and sat-
uration. In this

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Culture Crash
<<Baudrillard 96 continued>>

new context, the degree of cultural alienation, that is of being held hostage by culture
(by its ads., its media, its institutions) comes close to the degree of voluntary submission
in politics. The public supposedly wants even more of this culture; one can never have
too much of it. Well that is a colossal illusion and error of perspective. The same is said
about information too: one can never have too much of it. Always more information. Al-
ways more transparency And we can see the effects that are as murderous as they are
contradictory. But in the case of culture, the situation is even more serious. For, either
culture is a singular language, the idiom of a particular group or society and in that case
it has its own finality, and is not at all infinitely expandable (its promotion and its prolifer-
ation on the contrary signify its death); it is like natural languages, both open to an infin-
ite internal complexity and strictly limited in their structure and constitutive elements - if
this were not so, they would not be languages.

Well, either culture is a singularity of this kind, or else it is what it has become: a market
with all the effects of artificial shortage, spiraling values and speculation. And, as soon as
one tends to confuse these exponential market factors with irresistible cultural progress,
what looms on the horizon is the same reversal as occurred in the 1929 crisis in material
production: overproduction, priority of supply over demand, the end of `natural' assump-
tions about an economy that had become speculative, virtual and completely cut off from
real wealth and real economic requirements. This is exactly what lies in wait for culture
and a cultural market turned speculative. And there could very easily be like Black
Thursday on Wall Street in 1929, a Black Sunday of culture.

The expansion of cultural production far surpasses the expansion of material production,
and the result is cultural bottlenecks that are even more monstrous than blockages in the
economy or our constantly paralysed traffic systems. For, in the open field of communic-
ation, anyone can produce gestures, texts, colours, signs and meanings, spontaneously
and indefinitely in a kind of uninterrupted interchange. Anyone can stage his or her own
performance, unfortunately in total indifference to the other, or with only a token superfi-
cial consent and in a certain sense this is unavoidable for how can these countless pro-
ductions be adequately provided for? And if, to a certain extent, we have managed to,
ward off economic crisis by opening cultural markets (particularly in France, where it is
actually obvious that culture is a political instrument) who will save us from cultural over-
production when this market, in its turn, is saturated? Perhaps we will have to undertake
a massive destruction of cultural values to save the stock market value of the sign, the
stock market value of the cultural artifact, just as they once burned coffee in the furnaces
of steam engine locomotives so as to to save the world price of coffee.

Already most non-material goods are meeting the same fate as material goods: forced
production, forced advertising, accelerated recycling, built-in obsolescence. Art becomes
ephemeral, not so as to express the ephemeral nature of life, but to adapt to the transi-
ence of the market. Rather than decadent, art is now degradable in line with the biode-
gradability of the physical world. Such is the fate of our cultural signs, be the disinvested
or of transvestite nature, they are part of the pure and simple discount of degradable

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Culture Crash Overview

Extend Baudrillard 96. Here’s the argument.

The collection of world cultures is like a giant economy, and it

operates on the same principles. People can only deal with so
much culture; limited amounts of it can be consumed. Culture is
already being overproduced, and everyone is already being
overwhelmed with cultural artifacts and practices. Their effort to
preserve a particular culture aids in this market saturation of

Like any other market, when something is in too great of supply,

its value drops, so the more culture there is, the less people value
it, and it stops having any real-life application – in practical terms,
people stop having time to deal with all the different practices of
culture out there, so they stop caring about any of them, which
turns their impacts.

Also, this overproduction will result in a complete crash of all

culture, like the Great Depression of the 30s. This means the
destruction of everything they try to protect, because it lacks any
value and people abandon culture entirely, so not only the culture
they protect is lost but all other ones too, as cultures become
another minimum value commodity to be used and cast away.

2ND Overview

They drop some key analysis on this argument, so extend the

Baudrillard 96 evidence and these points from the overview:

First, culture is like an economic product, and its already

overproduced. They protect culture, so there’s more of it and the
value of it drops, so all the good stuff they claim to save by
protecting culture is no longer there, because culture is no longer
valued by people.

Second, this leads to the destruction of all culture, a worldwide

rejection of all cultural products as useless. That’s bigger than
anything they can claim to solve for, and is a terminal impact that
outweighs anything they can claim.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Third, its crucial to allow some culture to be destroyed in order to
save the whole – only by letting the supply drop so the value of it
can increase will culture retain any meaning. Allow their impacts
to happen to avoid the crash of culture.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Shadow-Boxing the System

Radical opposition to the system affirms its existence. Opposing
discourses allow the system to simulate its own death and delay
its collapse.
Baudrillard in 81 [Jean, “Simulacra and Simulation” p. 18-19]
Conjunction of the system and of its extreme alternative like the two sides of a curved
mirror, a "vicious" curvature of a political space that is henceforth magnetized,
circularized, reversibilized from the right to the left, a torsion that is like that of the evil
spirit of commutation, the whole system, the infinity of capital folded back on its own
surface: transfinite? And is it not the same for desire and the libidinal space? Conjunction
of desire and value, of desire and capital. Conjunction of desire and the law, the final
pleasure as the metamorphosis of the law (which is why it is so widely the order of the
day): only capital takes pleasure, said Lyotard, before thinking that we now take pleasure
in capital. Overwhelming versatility of desire in Deleuze, an enigmatic reversal that
brings desire "revolutionary in itself, and as if involuntarily, wanting what it wants," to
desire its own repression and to invest in paranoid and fascist systems? A malign torsion
that returns this revolution of desire to the same fundamental ambiguity as the other, the
historical revolution. All the referentials combine their discourses in a circular, Mobian
compulsion. Not so long ago, sex and work were fiercely opposed terms; today both are
dissolved in the same type of demand. Formerly the discourse on history derived its
power from violently opposing itself to that of nature, the discourse of desire to that of
power-today they exchange their signifiers and their scenarios.
It would take too long to traverse the entire range of the operational negativity of all
those scenarios of deterrence, which, like Watergate, try to regenerate a moribund
principle through simulated scandal, phantasm, and murder-a sort of hormonal treatment
through negativity and crisis. It is always a question of moving the real through the
imaginary, proving truth through scandal, proving the law through transgression, proving
work through striking, proving the system through crisis, and capital through revolution,
as it is elsewhere (the Tasaday) of proving ethnology through the dispossession of its
object-without taking into account:
the proof of theater through antitheater;
the proof of art through antiart;
the proof of pedagogy through antipedagogy;
the proof of psychiatry through antipsychiatry, etc.
Everything is metamorphosed into its opposite to perpetuate itself in its expurgated
form. All the powers, all the institutions speak of themselves through denial, in order to
attempt, by simulating death, to escape their real death throes. Power can stage its
own murder to rediscover a glimmer of existence and legitimacy Such was the case with
some American presidents: the Kennedys were murdered because they still had a
political dimension. The others, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, only had the right to phantom
attempts, to simulated murders. But this aura of an artificial menace was still necessary
to conceal that they were no longer anything but the mannequins of power. Formerly, the
king (also the god) had to die, therein lay his power. Today, he is miserably forced to
feign death, in order to preserve the blessing of power. But it is lost.
To seek new blood in its own death, to renew the cycle through the mirror of crisis,
negativity; and antipower: this is the only solution-alibi of every power, of every
institution attempting to break the vicious circle of its irresponsibility and of its
fundamental nonexistence, of its already seen and of its already dead.
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Shadow-Boxing Overview
Extend Baudrillard 81. Here’s the argument.

No system can exist without it’s opposite, because it’s impossible

to know who we are without a reference to who we aren’t. We
couldn’t be Americans if there wasn’t a rest of the world that
wasn’t American. Mindsets and social systems are the same way –
they require opposition and resistance to their world-views in
order to give identity and meaning to their own existence. The
other team thinks they are participating in radical opposition to
the system by opposing it through their discourse, but their
opposition to it only proves and reinforces the system. Their
transgression is an exception to the rule that proves the rule itself
true, a small violation from the norm that makes really escaping
the system impossible. The crisis of opposition is what the system
requires to sustain itself, so rather than opposing, we have to be
passive within the system and allow its processes to implode and
bring it down through our inaction, because if the system is no
longer refreshed through new opposition, it cannot continue to

2ND Overview

Extend the Baudrillard 81 evidence. They concede some crucial

arguments in our last overview, so extend these points:

First, identity and ideology are defined by an other mindset that

opposes it, because without a contrast, it’s impossible to know
what it would be. This is the most crucial point – once they’ve
conceded this, is gives us the warrant to all our impacts that turn
their discourse.

Second, their opposition to the system is like the exception that

proves the rule – the little resistances only show that the structure
is that much more dominant. The more the system is opposed, the
more dominant its identity becomes, because there is more of an
“other” discourse to demonstrate what the dominant one isn’t.
Opposition to the system merely proves the system.

Third, the only way out is to remain passive within the system, and
deny it the enemy it needs to reconstruct itself. When there is no
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
other, there is no centered identity either, and the system
disintegrates on its own. Only by not acting against it is this

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Strategic Passivity
Speaking out and raising awareness is playing into the hands of
the system they criticize, because it is intended to maximize
speech without creating change. Instead, we need to engage the
system through passive resistance, not active opposition.
Baudrillard in 81 [Jean, “Simulacra and Simulation” p. 84-86]
With one caution. We are face to face with this system in a double situation and
insoluble double bind – exactly like children faced with the demands of the adult world.
Children are simultaneously required to constitute themselves as autonomous subjects,
responsible, free and conscious, and to constitute them selves as submissive, inert,
obedient, conforming objects. The child resists on all levels, and to a contradictory
demand he responds with a double strategy; To the demand of being an object he
opposes all the practices of disobedience, of revolt, of emancipation; in short, a total
claim to subjecthood. To the demand of being a subject he opposes, just as obstinately,
and efficaciously, an object's resistance, that is to say, exactly the opposite: childishness,
hyperconformism, total dependence, passivity, idiocy: Neither strategy has more
objective value than the other. The subject-resistance is today unilaterally valorized and
viewed as positive-just as in the political sphere only the practices of freedom,
emancipation, expression, and the constitution of a political subject are seen as valuable
and subversive. But this is to ignore the equal, and without a doubt superior, impact of all
the object practices, of the renunciation of the subject position and of meaning-precisely
the practices of the masses-that we bury under the derisory terms of alienation and
passivity. The liberating practices respond to one of the aspects of the system, to the
constant ultimatum we are given to constitute ourselves as pure objects, but they do not
respond at all to the other demand, that of constituting ourselves as subjects, of
liberating ourselves, expressing ourselves at whatever cost, of voting, producing,
deciding, speaking, participating, playing the game-a form of blackmail and ultimatum
just as serious as the other, even more serious today. To a system whose argument is
oppression and repression, the strategic resistance is the liberating claim of subjecthood.
But this strategy is more reflective of the earlier phase of the system, and even if we are
still confronted with it, it is no longer the strategic terrain: the current argument of the
system is to maximize speech, the maximum production of meaning. Thus the strategic
resistance is that of the refusal of meaning and of the spoken word-or of the
hyperconformist simulation of the very mechanisms of the system, which is a form of
refusal and of non- reception. It is the strategy of the masses: it is equivalent to re-
turning to the system its own logic by doubling it, to reflecting meaning, like a mirror,
without absorbing it. This strategy (if one can still speak of strategy) prevails today,
because it was ushered in by that phase of the system which prevails.
To choose the wrong strategy is a serious matter. All the movements that only play on
liberation, emancipation, on the resurrection of a subject of history, of the group, of the
word based on "consciousness raising," indeed a "raising of the unconscious" of subjects
and of the masses, do not see that they are going in the direction of the system,
whose imperative today is precisely the overproduction and regeneration of meaning and
of speech.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Strategic Passivity Overview

They think they’re resisting the system by speaking out against it,
but extend Baudrillard 81 who says it just ain’t so. Their efforts to
make their voices heard, raise consciousness and so on, are not
responsive, because the system is already configured to absorb
this type of protest – if speaking out could change the system it’d
be illegal. Also, speaking out and engaging the system is
supporting its call for participation and involvement. They think
they’re revolutionary, but in fact, they’re further granting the
hegemony of the system that they criticize.

Instead of speaking out, we need to embrace the opposite

strategy, which is passivity and indifference to the system. When
it is no longer recognized, it can no longer resist – ironically, our
political project, which ignores what they critique, is more
effectively political than theirs.

2Nd Overview
They miss some key points to our argument, so extend the
Baudrillard 81 evidence and this analysis from the overview:

First, their speech act is useless because the system absorbs

protest without changing. If speaking out worked, the system
wouldn’t exist, because lots have spoken out before. Theirs won’t
make any difference, so they do nothing.

Second, their speech act goes in the direction of the system,

because it demands this form of engagement with it. Even if they
disagree, this disagreement keeps the dominant discourse on
center stage and unconsciously recognizes its dominance, which is
a turn because they make what they criticize more powerful.

Third, instead of speaking out, the correct strategy is strategic

passivity, refusing to engage in criticism outside the system and
instead using its own object practices against it by not
participating in it at all. Don’t enter the rigged game – instead,
refuse to play at all.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Infinite Remainder
Society is defined by its outsiders – it’s impossible to have an
identity without an other. Their attempt to bring the excluded into
the center of society destroys the other and makes all of society
the outsider, collapsing the entire social realm.
Baudrillard in 81 [Jean, “Simulacra and Simulation” p. 143-147]
Thus the remainder refers to much more than a clear division in two localized terms, to a turning
and reversible structure, an always imminent structure of reversion, in which one never knows
which is the remainder of the other: In no other structure can one create this reversion, or this
mise-en-abyme: the masculine is not the feminine of the feminine, the normal is not the crazy of
the crazy; the right is not the left of the left, etc. Perhaps only in the mirror can the question be
posed: which, the real or the image, is the reflection of the other? In this sense one can speak of
the remainder as a mirror, or of the mirror of the remainder. It is that in both cases the line of
structural demarcation, the line of the sharing of meaning, has become a wavering one, it is that
meaning (most literally: the possibility of going from one point to an- other according to a vector
determined by the respective position of the terms) no longer exists. There is no longer a
respective position-the real disappearing to make room for an image, more real than the real, and
conversely-the remainder disappearing from the assigned location to resurface inside out, in what
it was the remainder of, etc.
The same is true of the social. Who can say if the remainder of the social is the residue of the
nonsocialized, or if it is not the social itself that is the remainder, the gigantic waste product. . . of
what else? Of a process, which even if it were to completely disappear and had no name except
the social would nevertheless only be its remainder. The residue can be completely at the level of
the real. When a system has absorbed everything, when one has added everything up, when
nothing remains, the entire sum turns to the remainder and becomes the remainder.
Witness the "Society" column of Le Monde, in which paradoxically; only immigrants, delinquents,
women, etc. appear- everything that has not been socialized, "social" cases analogous to
pathological cases. Pockets to be reabsorbed, segments that the "social" isolates as it grows.
Designated as "residual" at the horizon of the social, they enter its jurisdiction in this way and are
destined to find their place in an enlarged sociality. It is for this remainder that the social machine
is recharged and finds new energy; But what happens when everything is sponged up, when
everything is socialized? Then the machine stops, the dynamic is reversed, and it is the whole
social system that becomes residue. As the social in its progression eliminates all the residue, it itself
becomes residual. In designating residual categories as "Society," the social designates itself as a
remainder: The impossibility of determining what is the remainder of the other characterizes the phase
of simulation and the death throes of distinctive systems, a phase when everything becomes a
remainder and a residual. Inversely; the disappearance of the fatidic and structural slash that isolated
the rest of ? ? ? and that now permits each term to be the remainder of the other term characterizes a
phase of reversibility during which there is "virtually" no more remainder: The two propositions are
simultaneously "true" and are not mutually exclusive. They are themselves reversible. Another aspect
as surprising as the absence of an opposing term: the remainder makes you laugh. Any discussion on
this theme unleashes the same language games, the same ambiguity, and the same obscenity as do
discussions of sex or death. Sex and death are the great themes recognized for unleashing
ambivalence and laughter. But the remainder is the third, and perhaps the only one, the two others
amounting to this as to the very figure of reversibility. For why does one laugh? One only laughs at the
reversibility of things, and sex and death are eminently reversible figures. It is because the stake is
always reversible between masculine and feminine, between life and death, that one laughs at sex and
death. How much more, then, at the remainder, which does not even have an opposing term, which by
itself traverses the whole cycle, and runs infinitely after its own slash, after its own double, like Peter
Schlemihl after his shadow? The remainder is obscene, because it is reversible and is exchanged for
itself. It is obscene and makes one laugh, as only the lack of distinction between masculine and
feminine, the lack of distinction between life and death makes one laugh, deeply laugh.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Infinite Remainder
<<Baudrillard 81 continued>>

Today, the remainder has become the weighty term. It is on the remainder that a new intelligibility
is founded. End of a certain logic of distinctive oppositions, in which the weak term played the role
of the residual term. Today, everything is inverted. Psychoanalysis itself is the first great
theorization of
residues (lapses, dreams, etc.). It is no longer a political economy of production that directs us,
but an economic politics of reproduction, of recycling-ecology and pollution-a political economy of
the remainder. All normality sees itself today in the light of madness, which was nothing but its
insignificant remainder. Privilege of all the remainders, in all domains, of the not-said, the
feminine, the crazy; the marginal, of excrement and waste in art, etc. But this is still nothing but a
sort of inversion of the structure, of the return of the repressed as a powerful moment, of the
return of the remainder as surplus of meaning, as excess (but excess is not formally different from
the remainder, and the problem of the squandering of excess in Bataille is not different from that
of the reabsorption of remainders in a political economy of calculation and penury: only the
philosophies are different), of a higher order of meaning starting with the remainder. The secret of
all the "liberations" that play on the hidden energies on the other side of the slash.
Now we are faced with a much more original situation: not that of the pure and simple inversion
and promotion of remainders, but that of an instability in every structure and every opposition
that makes it so that there is no longer even a remainder; due to the
fact that the remainder is everywhere, and by playing with the slash, it annuls itself as such. It is
not when one has taken everything away that nothing is left, rather, nothing is left when things
are unceasingly shifted and addition itself no longer has any meaning. Birth is residual if it is not
symbolically revisited through initiation.
Death is residual if it is not resolved in mourning, in the collective celebration of mourning.
Value is residual if it is not reibsorbed and volitalized in the cycle of exchanges.
Sexuality is residual once it becomes the production of sexual relations.
The social itself is residual once it becomes a production of social relations."
All of the real is residual, and everything that is residual is destined to repeat itself indefinitely in
All accumulation is nothing but a remainder, and the accumulation of remainders, in the sense
that it is a rupture of alliance, and in the linear infinity of accumulation and calculation, in the
linear infinity of production, compensates for the energy and value that used to be accomplished
in the cycle of alliance. Now, what traverses a cycle is completely realized, whereas in the
dimension of the infinite, everything that is below the line of the infinite, below the line of eternity
(this stockpile of time that itself is also, as with any stockpile, a rupture of alliances), all of that is
nothing but the remainder. Accumulation is nothing but the remainder, and repression is nothing
but its inverse and asymmetrical form. It is on the stockpile of repressed affects and
representations that our new alliance is based.
But when everything is repressed, nothing is anymore. We are not far from this absolute point of
repression where the stockpiles are themselves undone, where the stockpiles of phantasms
collapse. The whole imaginary of the stockpile, of energy, and of what remains of it, comes to us
from repression. When repression reaches a point of critical saturation where its presence is put in
question, then energy will no longer be available to be liberated, spent, economized, produced: it
is the concept of energy itself that will be volatilized of its own accord. Today the remainder, the
energies left us, the restitution and the conservation of remainders, is the crucial problem of
humanity. It is insoluble in and of itself. All new freed or spent energy will leave a new remainder.
All desire, all libidinal energy, will produce a new repression. What is surprising in this, given that
energy itself is not conceived except in the movement that stockpiles and liberates it, that
represses it and "produces" it, that is to say in the figure of the remainder and its double?

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Feminist Plastic Surgery

The move to reconcile the sexes seeks to destroy difference, but in

the absence of difference, the other is reconstructed in the form of
the self – women become reflections of men, which further
entrenches patriarchal power structures and maintains a form of
solipsist alienation far worse than simple gender oppression.
Baudrillard in 95 [Jean, November 22, “Plastic Surgery for the Other”]
Starting with modernity, we have entered an era of production of the Other. It is no
longer a question of killing, of devouring or seducing the Other, of facing him, of
competing with him, of loving or hating the Other. It is first of all a matter of producing
the Other. The Other is no longer an object of passion but an object of production. Maybe
it is because the Other, in his radical otherness [alterite], or in his irreducible singularity,
has become dangerous or unbearable. And so, we have to conjure up his seduction. Or
perhaps, more simply, otherness and dual relationships gradually disappear with the rise
of individual values and with the destruction of the symbolic ones. In any case, otherness
[alterite] is lacking and, since we cannot experience otherness as destiny, one must
produce the other as difference. And this is a concern just as much for the body as it is
for sex, or for social relationships. In order to escape the world as destiny, the body as
destiny, sex (and the other sex) as destiny, the production of the other as difference is
invented. This is what happens with sexual difference. Each sex has its own anatomical
and psychological characteristics, its own desire with all the insoluble events that emerge
from that, including an ideology of sex and desire, and a utopia of sexual difference
based on law and nature. None of this has any meaning [sens] whatsoever in seduction
where it is not a question of desire but of a play [jeu] with desire, and where it is not a
question of equality between different sexes or of an alienation of one by the other since
this play [jeu] implies a perfect reciprocity of each partner (not difference or alienation,
but alterity/otherness [alterite] or complicity). Seduction is nothing less than hysterical,
since no sex projects its sexuality onto the other. Distances are set. And otherness
[alterite] is left untouched. This is the very condition of this greater illusion, of this play
with desire.
What is produced with the romantic turn, at the turn of the 19th century, is on the
contrary the putting into play of a masculine hysteria and, with it, of a change in sexual
paradigms that once again must be reinserted in the more general and universal context
of a change in the paradigms of otherness.
During this hysterical phase, it is to a certain extent the femininity of men that is
projected onto women and that shape them as ideal figures of likeness [ressemblance].
Romantic love is no longer about winning over a woman's heart, or about seducing her. It
is rather a matter of creating her from inside [de l'interieur], of inventing her, either as a
realized utopia (an idealized woman), or as a "femme fatale", a star, which is yet another
hysterical and supernatural metaphor. This is the entire work of the romantic Eros: he is
the one who has invented such an ideal harmony, such a love fusion, almost an
incestuous form, between twin beings (woman as a projected resurrection of the same,
and woman who takes her supernatural shape only as an ideal of the same), an artifact
from now on destined to love, that is to say destined to a pathos of ideal likeness
[ressemblance] of


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Feminist Plastic Surgery
<<Baudrillard 95 continued 2/3>>

beings and sexes, a pathetic confusion that replaces the dual otherness [alterite] of
seduction. The entire erotic machinery changes meaning/direction [sens] because the
erotic attraction that once came from otherness [alterite], from the strangeness of the
Other, now shifts to the side of the Same, to the side of similarity and likeness
[ressemblance]. Auto-eroticism? Incest? No, but rather a hypostasis of the Same. Of the
same that eyes the other, that invests and alienates himself in the other. But the other is
never more than the ephemeral form of a difference that draws me closer to the I [me
rapproche de moi]. It is also the reason why, with romantic love and all its current by-products,
sexuality draws nearer to death: it is because sexuality is getting closer to incest and to its own
destiny, even if it is banalized (for it is no longer a question of a mythical or tragic incest; with
modern erotism we are only dealing with a diverted form of incest, that of the projection of the
same into the image of the other, which is the same thing as a confusion and a corruption of all
the images).
Finally, it is the invention of a femininity which renders women superfluous, the invention
of a difference which is nothing more than a diverted copulation with one's double. In the
final analysis [au fond], any encounter with otherness [alterite] is made impossible (by
the way, it would be interesting to know whether there has ever been a hysterical
counterpart to this phenomenon from the feminine side in the construction of virile and
phallic mythologies. Feminism is in fact an example of hystericization of the masculine by
women, a hysterical projection of their masculinity which follows exactly the hysterical
projection by men of their femininity in the mythical image of a woman).
But there still remains a dissymmetry in this forced allocation to difference.
And this is why I was saying, in a paradoxical way, that men are more different from women than
actually women are from men. This means that, in the context of sexual difference, men are
above all different whereas there is some remnant of radical otherness within women, a radical
otherness of women which precedes the degraded status of [masculine] difference.
In short, in this extrapolation process of the Same in the production of the Other, in this hysterical
invention of the sexual other as a twin brother or sister (if the issue of twinning is so up-to-date, it
is because it reflects this very mode of libidinal cloning), there is a progressive assimilation of the
sexes which goes from difference to a lesser difference, and from there to a visual inversion and
non-differentiation of the sexes which, in the last analysis, turns the sexual function into
something totally useless. In the cloning process, useless sexual beings will be reproduced. They
are useless since sexuality is no longer necessary to their reproduction.
The real woman seems to disappear in that hysterical invention of femininity (but she has
many more ways to resist that), in that invention of sexual difference whereby the
masculine side is from the beginning the privileged pole and through which all the
ideological and feminist struggles will be doomed to reconstruct either that very privilege
or that unreconciled difference. But, at the same, the so-called masculine desire also
becomes, through the same invention, completely problematic since it is no longer able
to project in an other its own image, and thus to become purely speculative. All this
nonsense about the phallus and the sexual privilege of masculinity must also be re-
examined. There is a sort of transcending justice in this process of sexual non-differentiation, a
justice which drives both sexes to inexorably culminate in total non-differentiation where they lose
their singularity and their otherness [alterite]. This is the era of Transsexualism where all the
struggles linked to sexual Difference are perpetuated well after any real sexuality or any
type of real otherness has disappeared.


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Feminist Plastic Surgery
<<Baudrillard 95 continued 3/3>>

This (successful?) merger of a masculinely projected hysteria onto femininity is renewed by every
individual (man or woman) on their own bodies. An identification and an appropriation of the body
as if it was a projection of the self, of a self no longer seen as otherness or destiny. In the facial
traits, in sex, in illnesses, in death, identity is constantly "altered." There is nothing you can do
about it: that's destiny. But it is precisely that which must be exorcized at any cost through an
identification with the body, through an individual appropriation of the body, of your desire, of
your look, of your image: plastic surgery all over the place. If the body is no longer a place of
otherness [alterite], a dual relationship, but is rather a locus of identification, we then must
reconcile to it, we must repair it, perfect it, make it an ideal object. Everyone uses their body like
man uses woman in the projective mode of identification described before. The body is invested
as a fetish, and is used as a fetish in a desperate attempt at identifying oneself. The body
becomes the object of an autistic cult and of a quasi-incestuous manipulation. And it is the
likeness [ressemblance] of the body with its model which then becomes a source of eroticism and
of "white" [fake, virgin, neutral,...] self-seduction to the extent that this likeness virtually excludes
the Other and is the best way to exclude a seduction which would emerge from somewhere else.
Many more things partake of that production of the Other, of that hysterical and speculative
production: like racism, for instance, with its development throughout modernity and with its
current outbursts. Logically, racism should have diminished thanks to Enlightenment's progress.
But, the more we know that a genetic theory of race is unfounded, the more racism is reinforced.
It is because racism is an artificial construction of the Other based on an erosion of cultural
singularities (of their otherness between one another) and on an acceptance of a fetishistic
system of difference. As long as there is otherness [alterite], strangeness, and dual relationships
(event violent ones), there is properly speaking no such thing as racism. This was more or less the
case until the 18th century, as anthropological reports indicate. Once such a "natural" relationship
is lost, one enters an exponential relationship with an artificial Other. And nothing in our culture
allows racism to be curbed since our entire cultural movement goes in the same direction [sens]
which is that of a frenzied differential construction of the Other and of a perpetual extrapolation of
the Same through the Other. An autistic culture which takes the shape of a fake altruism.
Everyone talks about alienation. But the worst alienation is not to be dispossessed by the
other but to be dispossessed of the other, that is to say to have to produce the other in
his absence, and thus to be continuously referred back to oneself and to one's image. If
we are today condemned to our own image (condemned to cultivate our body, our look, our
identity, and our desire), this is not because of an alienation, but because of the end of alienation
and because of the virtual disappearance of the other, which is a much worse fatality. In fact, the
paradoxical limit of alienation is to take oneself as a focal point [comme point de mire], as an
object of care, of desire, of suffering, and of communication. This final short-circuiting of the
other opens up an era of transparency. Plastic surgery [la chirurgie esthetique] becomes
universal. That surgery of the faces and bodies is only the symptom of a more radical
one: that of otherness and destiny.
What is the solution? Well, there is none to this erotic movement of an entire culture,
none to such a fascination, to such an abyss of denial of the other, of denial of
strangeness and negativity. There is none to that foreclosing of evil and to that
reconciliation around the Same and his proliferated expressions: incest, autism, twinning,
cloning. We can only remember that seduction lies in not reconciling with the Other and
in salvaging the strangeness of the Other. We must not be reconciled with our own
bodies or with our selves. We must not be reconciled with the Other. We must not be
reconciled with nature. We must not be reconciled with femininity (and that goes for
women too). The secret to a strange attraction lies here.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Feminist Plastic Surgery Overview

Extend Baudrillard 95. Here’s the argument.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Implosion of the State

The idea of the state vanishing through revolution and people
refusing to accept it is just a pipe-dream – it doesn’t fit the modern
era. Rather, the state will implode through overrregulation, like a
system with too much feedback – the plan’s action is a step in this
Baudrillard in 81 [Jean, “Simulacra and Simulation” p. 70-72]
Beaubourg cannot even burn, everything is foreseen. Fire, explosion, destruction are no
longer the imaginary alternative to this type of building. It is implosion that is the form of
abolishing the "quaternary" world, both cybernetic and combinatory. Subversion, violent
destruction is what corresponds to a mode of production. To a universe of networks, of
combinatory theory, and of flow correspond reversal and implosion.
The same for institutions, the state, power, etc. The dream of seeing all that explode by
dint of contradictions is precisely nothing but a dream. What is produced in reality is that
the institutions implode of themselves, by dint of ramifications, feedback, overdeveloped
control circuits. Power implodes, this is its current mode of disappearance.
Such is the case for the city. Fires, war, plague, revolutions, criminal marginality,
catastrophes: the whole problematic of the anticity, of the negativity internal or external
to the city, has some archaic relation to its true mode of annihilation. Even the scenario
of the underground city-the Chinese version of the burial of structures-is naive. The city
does not repeat itself any longer according to a schema of reproduction still dependent
on the general schema of production, or according to a schema of resemblance still
dependent on a schema of representation. (That is how one still restored after the
Second World War.) The city no longer revives, even deep down-it is remade starting from
a sort of genetic code that makes it possible to repeat it indefinitely starting with an
accumulated cybernetic memory. Gone even the Borgesian utopia, of the map
coextensive with the territory and doubling it in its entirety: today the simulacrum no
longer goes by way of the double and of duplication, but by way of genetic
miniaturization. End of representation and implosion, there also, of the whole space in an
infinitesimal memory; which forgets nothing, and which belongs to no one. Simulation of
an immanent, increasingly dense, irreversible order, one that is potentially saturated and
that will never again witness the liberating explosion.
We were a culture of liberating violence (rationality). Whether it be that of capital, of
the liberation of productive forces, of the irreversible extension of the field of reason and
of the field of value, of the conquered and colonized space including the universal-
whether it be that of the revolution, which anticipates the future forms of the social and
of the energy of the social-the schema is the same: that of an expanding sphere, whether
through slow or violent phases, that of a liberated energy-the imaginary of radiation.
The violence that accompanies it is that of a wider world: it is that of production. This
violence is dialectical, energetic, cathartic. It is the one we have learned to analyze and
that is familiar to us: that which traces the paths of the social and which leads to the
saturation of the whole field of the social. It is a violence that is determined, analytical,
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 densification
of the social,
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____


Implosion of the State

<<Baudrillard 81 continued>>

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
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.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Imperialism as Anti-Imperialism
The West thinks it is assimilating and dominating other cultures,
when in fact the inclusion of those cultures is what makes their
destruction impossible, and ultimately leads to the death of the
West’s dominance through internal collapse.
Baudrillard in 94 [Jean, “The Illusion of the End” p. 47-49]
It might seem that the flow of wealth and abundance moving from West to East wins out
over the opposite flow. But what flows from West to East is chiefly the illusion of victory.
What is moving in the other direction is more subtle and more deadly: the virus of
weakness, the multiple forms of disaffection, the end of all democratic illusions. In short,
nothing is decided and no one can say who will win, who will be first to destabilize the
other, the rich, business-like countries or those trained by Marxism in abulia and
corruption? Slackness or efficiency? Fatal apathy or high performance levels? The captive
hell of paradise or the captive paradise of hell? The two worlds now stand opposed not
with weapons or ideas, but mentally in the artificial promiscuity of the New World Order.
This is where the transparence of Evil begins. This is where we shall see, once all the
conditions for order are fulfilled, how irresistible is disorder; once all the conditions for
Good are fulfilled, how irresistible is Evil, how it circulates in the same arterial system as
Good and feeds off it, in all innocence, in all perversity. It is Dracula against Snow White
(the Dracula myth is gathering strength all around as the Faustian and Promethean
myths fade). We have a good idea who is going to suck the other's blood once their glass
coffins are broken open. It is in Germany that these two worlds are telescoped together,
with Berlin as the epicentre, since there, paradoxically, it is from reunification that the
antagonism arises. It is not the confrontation but the rapprochement of two worlds which
produces violence and the clash of mentalities. The historical failure of the one, when
faced with the dazzling success of the other, may turn to defiance, and those very people
who eyed the wealth enviously when it was still forbidden may very well turn their backs
entirely on the Western model merely to remain consistent with themselves. In the
course of their misfortunes, the people of Eastern Europe have certainly acquired an
opinion on history and its perverse effects. Against all theoretical predictions, out of the
two opposed worlds of Capital and Labour, it is that of Labour they have seen collapse.
Logically, they must have drawn from this a lesson of non-labour and collective
irresponsibility. However this may be, it will certainly not be easy to convert them to the
liberal cult of performance.
This is how the reversal of Western values begins. Not merely by the infiltration into the
metropolitan heartland of a Fourth World which, unlike the Third, has no other territory
than the one it destabilizes from within, but also by the osmosis of an Eastern European
world which is decomposing, and making of that decomposition if not a strategy then at
least a trap, a decoy, a politique du pire. Now, we know that one of the characteristics of
the West, represented to perfection by the Americans in the recent Gulf War, is a
tendency to shoot at decoys.
The drip-feeding of Western values behind the Iron Curtain gives way today to the
percolation, the surreptitious infiltration of the impotence, slackness, technological,
economic and demo- graphic ill-will of another world", that was long considered
residual, backward, under-developed and which is rising up today as a fully fledged
protagonist, an equal protagonist and perhaps even a superior one to the extent that its

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Imperialism as Anti-Imperialism
<<Baudrillard 94 continued>>

potential of impotence is superior to our potential of potency. Now, contrary to the

apparent facts which suggest that all cultures are penetrable by the West - that is,
corruptible by the universal - it is the West which is eminently penetrable. The other
cultures (including those of Eastern Europe), even when they give the impression of
selling themselves, of prostituting themselves to material goods or Western ideologies, in
fact remain impenetrable behind the mask of prostitution. They can be wiped out
physically and morally, but not penetrated. This alienness is linked to their complicity
with themselves. The West, for its part, is alien to itself, and anyone can just walk right
The logic of this challenge is alien to that of the economic and liberal New World Order. In
the order of power and wealth, one desires the death of the other so as to take his place.
By contrast, what these refractory, incompatible cultures want, what they demand, is not
to take the place but to see the death of the West, even at the risk of dying themselves.
The West, naive as ever, believes it is resented for its power and wealth and, even more
naively, believes in the compatibility of all cultures. But even when the 'others' seem to
be demanding their share of the cake, this is still an allegorical way of desiring its death.
The West is discovering the Eastern bloc countries, weak and drained, as once it
discovered the survivors of the concentration camps. The danger is to feed them too
quickly, since this kills them. But, in any case, whether or not they are saved, they live in
another space - shattered by catastrophe. They will never come back into ours. Certainly,
we shall do all we can to wipe this past from their memories. But in vain. It is they, by
contrast, who will suck us into their empty space, just as the dead and the survivors of
the camps have sucked our last vague desires for culture, law and morality into the
empty space and impotent memory of extermination. The attraction of the void is
irresistible. The 'victory' of the West is not unlike a depressurizing of the West in the void
of communism, in the void of history.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Viral Communism

Communism’s collapse has caused it to integrate into the West and

infect it with its own values. The combination of communism and
capital gains the benefits of both and ultimately achieves the goal
of the communist revolution.
Baudrillard in 94 [Jean, “The Illusion of the End” p. 44-47]
It is clear that the ultimate deterrence has come from the East -no longer that of the
balance of terror, which, for forty years, prevented the event of atomic war from coming
about, but of the imbalance of terror, which prevents the confrontation itself from coming
about. Deterrence by self-dissolution, demolition, de-escalation, unilateral disarmament,
auto-destabilization which completely destabilizes the opponent - a strategy of
weakness, an unexpected, unpredictable strategy even for the protagonists themselves,
but all the more effective for that. A strategy of disappearance, dispersion,
dissemination, contamination, virulence by fragmentation. For not only are the weapons,
hardware and brains of the former USSR going to turn up allover the world, but the model
of disintegration is going to radiate out also, more effective than a thousand atom
bombs. Integral, totalitarian communism could be sealed up and neutralized.
Disintegrated communism becomes viral; it becomes capable of passing through its own
wall and infecting the whole world, not by ideology or by its model of functioning, but by
its model of dysfunctioning and of sudden, violent destructuring. Certainly, we might
ask whether this is still communism? Whatever the answer, it is exerting an influence
over the world which it could never muster by arms or by thought, an influence over the
whole world by the event of its disappearance. In that sense, it might be said that it is
triumphant, since perfect communism, the fully realized communism, like the fully
realized utopia, is the one which has disappeared. In that sense, too, the consequences
of communism's sudden self-dissolution are perhaps even more incalculable than those
of its appearance at the dawn of this century. Not through ideology, but through the auto-
da-fe of its own principles, the unconditional acting out of capitulation. In terms of ideas,
it had opened up a monolithic, totalitarian path; with its inverted acting out, it opens up
the path of dislocation for all structures and empires. The East will have victoriously
countered capital with capitulation.
It is Chernobyl that will turn out to have been the real starting point in this involuntary,
but brilliant strategic inversion which has destabilized the very concept of relations of
force, creating out of this a strategy of relations of weakness and completely changing
the rules of the game. Up to that point, things were frozen: no military, offensive acting-
out was possible. Everything culminated in Star Wars, an impossible scenario: orbital
bombs are virtual; they do not explode. The only true bomb explodes - or implodes - on
the spot, by superfusion: Chernobyl, an accidental acting-out. It was the Eastern bloc that
exploded that bomb in its own heart and it was that bomb which, in the form of the first
atomic cloud, crossed the Wall and frontiers without encountering any opposition,
inaugurating the fusion between the two worlds by radioactive infiltration. So the initial
explosion of the New World Order will indeed have come from the East, and the
contamination has passed from East to West. After Chernobyl, the Berlin Wall no longer
exists. Symbolically, it is therefore nuclear fusion, after all, which presides over the
political, transpolitical confusion of the blocs. By the suicidal accident of Chernobyl, the
former USSR both admits its impotence, its weakness, and at the same time passes the

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
whole lot over to the West, obliging it to manage the collapse, to manage a whole world
gone bankrupt. That of communism to begin with, but soon, subtly,


Viral Communism
<<Baudrillard 94 continued>>

the world of capital itself. Up to now, communism had sought out the weakest link in the
capitalist chain. Suddenly, it discovered that it was the weakest link and, by destroying
itself, by cracking up almost accidentally, it sent the other world hurtling to its doom,
forced it to deny itself as enemy, contaminated its defences, exported its own economic
and political suicide. The captive hell of communism found itself liberated. From this
point on, the barrier separating hell from heaven is liquidated. And in this case, of course,
the liquefaction is general, and hell always submerges heaven.
Solzhenitsyn writes (against Sakharov and his idea of having the two hostile blocs
converge so as to unite their mutual qualities): 'What can come of two societies afflicted
with such redhibitory vices when they come closer together and are transformed by the
contact between them? A society twice as immoral.' The dream of plurality is indeed
precisely this: differences are to be exchanged as positive qualities. Whereas what
always wins out in the exchange of differences, in dialogue, is the exchange and addition
of negative qualities. Fusion always turns into confusion - contact into contamination.
We have an example of this today with AIDS and the fatal potentiality threatening every
sexual encounter. But the same goes for computers: maximum interconnectedness
brings maximum vulnerability of all networks (the trend now is towards stand-alone
computers; it seems in fact that networks transmit viruses even faster than information).
Genetic confusion runs in this same direction. It is one of the aspects of the principle of
Evil that it always proceeds more quickly than Good.
So Solzhenitsyn, for his part objecting to this immoral confusion, is right and Sakharov
wrong. But we have nothing against vice and immorality. If they have to be increased in
the confusion of the two worlds, then perhaps that is better, all in all, than the austere,
puritanical order of deterrence and the balance of terror. Why not a world society which is
entirely corrupt, a single empire which is the empire of confusion, a New World Disorder
which combines the filterable viruses of communism with the discreet charm of the rights
of man and nature?

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Power Lashing Out

As power is criticized and disappears, it seeks even harder to

reaffirm its existence and delay its death – this overfascination
with power in societies that are losing it results in fascism.
Baudrillard in 81 [Jean, “Simulacra and Simulation” p. 22-23]
As long as the historical threat came at it from the real, power played at deterrence and
simulation, disintegrating all the contradictions by dint of producing equivalent signs.
Today when the danger comes at it from simulation (that of being dissolved in the play of
signs), power plays at the real, plays at crisis, plays at remanufacturing artificial, social,
economic, and political stakes. For power, it is a question of life and death. But it is too
Whence the characteristic hysteria of our times: that of the production and reproduction
of the real. The other production, that of values and commodities, that of the belle
epoque of political economy, has for a long time had no specific meaning. What every
society looks for in continuing to produce, and to overproduce, is to restore the real that
escapes it. That is why today this "material" production is that of the hyperreal itself. It
retains all the features, the whole discourse of traditional production, but it is no longer
anything but its scaled-down refraction (thus hyperrealists fix a real from which all
meaning and charm, all depth and energy of representation have vanished in a
hallucinatory resemblance). Thus everywhere the hyperrealism of simulation is translated
by the hallucinatory resemblance of the real to itself.
Power itself has for a long time produced nothing but the signs of its resemblance. And at
the same time, another figure of power comes into play: that of a collective demand for
signs of power-a holy union that is reconstructed around its disappearance. The whole
world adheres to it more or less in terror of the collapse of the political. And in the end
the game of power becomes nothing but the critical obsession with power-obsession with
its death, obsession with its survival, which increases as it disappears. When it has
totally disappeared, we will logically be under the total hallucination of power-a haunting
memory that is already in evidence everywhere, expressing at once the compulsion to
get rid of it (no one wants it anymore, everyone unloads it on everyone else) and the
panicked nostalgia over its loss. The melancholy of societies without power: this has
already stirred up fascism, that overdose of a strong referential in a society that cannot
terminate its mourning.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Power Lash Out Overview

Extend Baudrillard 81. He argues that their criticism causes more
problems than it solves – they try to resist power influencing our
lives, but this is the exact cycle power requires in order to exist,
by granting the fear of its collapse that requires its continued
existence. Their resistance is coproductive with the structures
they try to criticize, and their actions are already coopted by the
system, so it will never solve anything. Also, as the grip of power
is weakened, it responds by tightening its grip, leading to fascism,
which turns all their impacts.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

The Debt
The U.S. debt has entered the realm of the virtual, absent any real
signifier. The debt will never be paid, and the only danger is from
allowing it to reenter the real, which would bring the world of
signs crashing down around us.
Baudrillard in 96 [Jean, November 16, "Global Debt and Parallel Universe"]
In fact, the debt will never be paid. No debt will ever be paid. The final counts will never take
place. If time is counted [si le temps nous est compte], the missing money is beyond counting [au-
dela de toute comptabilite]. The United States is already virtually unable to pay, but this will have
no consequence whatsoever. There will be no judgment day for this virtual bankruptcy. It is simple
enough to enter an exponential or virtual mode to become free of any responsibility, since there is
no reference anymore, no referential world to serve as a measuring norm.
The disappearance of the referential universe is a brand new phenomenon. When one looks at the
billboard on Broadway, with its flying figures, one has the impression that the debt takes off to
reach the stratosphere. This is simply the figure in light years of a galaxy that vanishes in the
cosmos. The speed of liberation of the debt is just like one of earth's satellites. That's exactly what
it is: the debt circulates on its own orbit, with its own trajectory made up of capital, which, from
now on, is free of any economic contingency and moves about in a parallel universe (the
acceleration of capital has exonerated money of its involvements with the everyday universe of
production, value and utility). It is not even an orbital universe: it is rather ex-orbital, ex-centered,
ex-centric, with only a very faint probability that, one day, it might rejoin ours. That's why no debt
will ever be paid. At most, it can be bought over at a bargain price to later be placed back on a
debt market (public debt, national debt, global debt) where it will have become a currency of
exchange. Since there is no likely settlement date, the debt has an incalculable [inestimable]
value. As long as it hangs like that over our heads with no reference whatsoever, it also serves as
our only guarantee against time. Unlike the countdown which signifies the end of time, an
indefinitely deferred debt is the guarantee that even time is inexhaustible... And we really need a
virtual time insurance since our future is about to dissipate in real time.
Clearing the debt, settling the accounts, cancelling the payments by the Third World... Don't even
think about it! We only live because of this unbalance, of the proliferation and the promise of
infinity created by the debt. The global or planetary debt has, of course, no meaning in the
classical terms of stock or credit. But it acts as our true collective credit line, a symbolic credit
system whereby people, corporations, nations are attached to one another by default. People are
tied to each other (this goes for the banks too) by means of their virtual bankruptcy, just as
accomplices are tied by their crime. Everyone is certain to exist for the other in the shadow of an
unamendable and insolvable debt for, as of today, the total amount of the global debt is much
larger than the total amount of available capital. Thus, the debt no longer has any meaning but to
unite all civilized beings to a same destiny served on credit. A similar thing takes place with
nuclear weapons whose global capacity is much bigger than what is needed to destroy the entire
planet. Yet, it remains as a way of uniting all of humankind to a same destiny marked by threat
and deterrence.
At least, it is easier now to understand why the Americans are so eager to advertise their
domestic debt in such a spectacular manner. The Times Square initiative is designed to make the
state feel guilty about the way it runs the country, and intended to warn the citizens about the
imminent collapse of the financial and public spheres. But, of course, the exorbitant figure
deprives the billboard of any meaning (even figures have lost their credit line). In fact, this is
nothing more than a gigantic advertising campaign and, by the way, this is why the neon
"billboard" is made to look like a triumphant stock exchange quotation that has gone over the


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
The Debt
<<Baudrillard 96 continued>>

top. And people stare at it, fascinated by the spectacle of a world performance (in the meantime,
people rarely look at the numerical time clock at Beaubourg to witness the gradual
ending of this century). People are collectively in the same situation as that Russian test pilot who,
until the very last second, was able to see his airplane drop and crash on the video system of his
Tupolev jet. Did he have the ultimate reflex to look at the image before dying? He could have
imagined his last living moments in virtual reality. Did the image survive the pilot, even for a tenth
of a second, or vice versa? Does virtual reality live on after the catastrophe of the real world?
Our true artificial satellites are the global debt, the flows of capital, and the nuclear loads that
circle around the earth in an orbital dance. As pure artifacts, with a sidereal velocity and an
instantaneous capacity of reversal, they have found their true place. This place is even more
extraordinary than the Stock Exchange, banks, or nuclear stockpiles: it is that of the orbit, where
they rise and set like artificial suns.
Some of the most recent of these exponentially developing parallel worlds are the Internet and the
many worldwide webs of information. Each day, in real time, the irresistible growth (or outgrowth
perhaps) of information could be measured there, with numbers representing the millions of
people and the billions of operations that they cover. Information now expands to such an extent
that it no longer has anything to do with gaining knowledge. Information's immense potential will
never be redeemed and it will never be able to achieve its finality. It's just like the debt.
Information is just as insolvable as the debt and we'll never be able to get rid of it. Collecting data,
accumulating and transporting information all over the world are the same thing as compiling an
unpayable debt. And here too, since proliferating information is larger than the needs and
capacities of any individual, and of the human species in general, it has no other meaning but that
of binding humankind to a destiny of cerebral automation and mental underdevelopment. It is
clear that if a small dose of information reduces ignorance, a massive dose of artificial intelligence
can only reinforce the belief that our natural intelligence is deficient. The worst thing that can
happen to an individual is to know too much and, thus, to fall beyond knowledge. It is exactly the
same thing with responsibility and emotional capacity. The perpetual intimation of the media in
terms of violence, suffering, and catastrophe, far from exalting some sort of collective solidarity,
only demonstrates our real impotence and drives us to panic and resentment.
Caught in their autonomous and exponential logic, all these parallel worlds are like time bombs. It
is more obvious with nuclear weapons, but it is also true of the debt and capital flows. The
smallest intrusion of these worlds into ours, the least noticeable encounter between their orbits
and ours, would immediately disrupt the fragile equilibrium of our exchanges and economies. This
would (or will) be the same with the total liberation of information, which could transform us into
free radicals desperately searching for our molecules in a scanty cyberspace.
Reason would probably insist that we include these worlds into our homogeneous universe:
nuclear weapons would have a peaceful use, all the debts would be erased, all the flows of capital
would be reinvested in terms of social well-being, and information would contribute to knowledge.
This is, no doubt, a dangerous utopia. Let these worlds remain parallel to ours, let their threats
hang up in the air: their ex-centricity is what protects us. For, no matter how parallel and ex-
centric they may be, they are in fact ours. We are the ones who created them and placed them
beyond our reach, as an ersatz of transcendence. We are the ones who placed them on their orbits
as some sort of catastrophic imaginaries. And it is perhaps better this way. Our society was once
solidified by a utopia of progress. It now exists because of a catastrophic imaginary.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Debt Overview
Extend the Baudrillard 96 card. He says that the US deficit doesn’t
matter anymore – it has no relation to reality, it’s just a really big
hypothetical number that is already impossible to repay. The debt
exists in a parallel universe, separate and above the world we
actually live in, and it ties all the people and countries in the world
together through their mutual debt. In this formulation is

Their disad scenario is what makes the debt dangerous. When

they treat the debt as something real that we need to worry about,
it unbalances all the forms of exchange based on it. As long as the
threat hangs in the air, it draws us to together – once it’s drawn
back down, it pushes everyone apart as repayment is demanded.
That’s what causes their impact evidence to come true, not an
excessive amount of money owed by the government, turning their
whole scenario.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Simulation of Politics

The media creates the political world and actors in an abstract

world of hyperreality with no relation to actual reality. Rather
than the events creating the images of them, the images create
the events.
Baudrillard in 98 [Jean, September 23, "In the Shadow of the Millennium"]
We know the analysis that Marx gave of Napoleon III, the "smaller" Napoleon, as a
grotesque duplicate of the first Napoleon. He is like a parody, a degraded incident
compared with the original. History uses this technique of the duplicate to go forward
whereas in fact it is going backward. History reproducing itself becomes farce. And we
could add: Farce reproducing itself becomes history. The current period offers multiple
examples of this degraded and exhausted duplication of the first events of modernity. As
such, the current era could indeed be called "postmodern." It is "postmodern" in the
sense that its condition is that of a simulation or spectrality of events whose only stage is
the news media. The postmodern events are like secondary products. They are the
events of a history which can no longer renew itself, an unreal history, in which actors are
nothing more than extras. The war in Bosnia gave us a dramatic example of such a
condition. It was no longer an event. It was rather the symbol of history's own impotence.
It was a stasis, a "strike of events," as Macedonio Fernandez put it. What does the
metaphor of the "strike of events" mean? It means that history's workforce has been
forced out of work. But it also means that a work of mourning begins, and often that the
work of the news media takes over. The media have to take over and make the event,
just as capital takes over to produce labor. This is a paradoxical reversal of all our
classical perspectives. According to this new configuration, when labor is the product of
capital, the very act of working loses its meaning (and the chance it may have had to
upset capital's order). Similarly, the event produced by the media no longer has any
historical significance. It no longer conveys any form of political resolution. The only
resolution that is left is the visual resolution of the media. The event becomes virtual.
Everywhere, virtuality (the mediatic hyper-space with its multiple interfaces) eradicates
what we could call, if it still meant anything at all, the real movement of history.
At this point, we enter the domain of the transpolitical or the transhistorical. It is a
domain where events no longer take place in reality because of their own production and
deployment in 'real time.' They can simply be captured transpolitically. As transpolitical
events, they are lost in a vacuum of information. The informational domain is a space
where, after all the events have been emptied of their substance, an artificial gravity is
restored, and the events are sent back into orbit where they can be seen in real time. Or,
to put it differently, after losing their historical vitality, the events can now be
rebroadcast on the transpolitical stage of the news media. It is the same thing as what
happens in making a movie. If history is a movie (which indeed it has become through its
immediate retro-projection), the 'truth' in the news media is nothing more than the post-
synchronizing, the dubbing, and the sub-titling of the film.
We could also talk about the transeconomic domain. It would be the domain which
emerges after classical economics is lost in the empty vortex of stock exchange
vacillations (just as history is lost in the vortex of information). Virtual and speculative
economic transactions mark the end of any form of political economy. Traders and


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Simulation of Politics
<<Baudrillard 98 continued>>

Golden Boys no longer have anything to do with the logic of production, the market,
capitalist profit. Something else is at stake: 'real-time' economics, the instantaneous
fluidity of capital, the orbital dance of money. Circulating around itself at an increasingly
fast speed, money becomes a strangely magnetic agent. As an uncontrollable chain
reaction, it transcends real economics and goes through reality from one end to the other
similar to the nuclear reactor in over-drive of China Syndrome which was able to go
through the globe from end to end.
In A Critique of Political Economy, Marx states that "mankind only poses problems that it
can solve... We notice that a problem arises when the material conditions of its solution
already exist or, at least, when they are about to exist." But it is not like this anymore.
Our jump into the virtual world unsettles all the material conditions that Marx was talking
about, and deprives historical conditions of any dialectical solution. In a sense, the virtual
is history's final solution and the end result of real conflicts. Today, this means that
humankind (or those who think on its behalf) only comes up with problems when they
have already been solved. They have been virtually surpassed, or the system has
displaced them by absorbing their occurrence. But wasn't it already like this in Marx's
time? The emergence of the notions of class and struggle, the birth of a historical
conscience: aren't these indicative of the moment when humankind ceased to be violent
and irreducible? This is reminiscent of Foucault and his analysis of power. When he starts
to analyze power, isn't it already the sign that power no longer has any political meaning,
that it has lost its object? When ethnology looks at primitive societies, it means that they
have already disappeared. Analysis itself is part of the process of disappearance.
Critical consciousness, and perhaps thought in general, are like Kafka's messiah: they
always arrive too late, after the fact, at dusk, like the Owl of Minerva. Critical
consciousness is nothing more than a retrospective prophecy, reminiscent of Plato's
figurines and their shadows on the back wall ( a wall of events) in the cave (here,
history's own cave). As Apollinaire used to say, when people talk about time, it means
that it has already vanished. History does not serve second courses. Only analysis does.
Is there room, then, for another thought, a paradoxical thought, which, unlike what Marx
said, would only pose insolvable questions, definitely insolvable problems? Is there a
thought whose material conditions of resolution are not already present, and will never
be? Who would re-problematize all the already discovered solutions and, in so doing,
would keep the world in an enigmatic suspense? Nobody knows. Isn't the risky destiny of
thought to finally become the victim of its own prophecy, just as history's fate is to fall for
its own trap?

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Media Information Sucks

Increasing information through the media is a destructive process
– the images devour the real content and create ambivalence and
alienation from actual events.
Baudrillard in 81 [Jean, “Simulacra and Simulation” p. 80-81]
The third hypothesis is the most interesting but flies in the face of every commonly held
opinion. Everywhere socialization is measured by the exposure to media messages.
Whoever is underexposed to the media is desocialized or virtually asocial. Everywhere
information is thought to produce an accelerated circulation of meaning, a plus value of
meaning homologous to the economic one that results from the accelerated rotation of
capital. 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.
I. 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. The nondirective
interview, speech, listeners who call in, participation at every level, black- mail through
speech: "You are concerned, you are the event, etc." More and more information is
invaded by this kind of phantom content, this homeopathic grafting, this awakening
dream of communication. A circular arrangement through which one stages the desire of
the audience, the anti theater of communication, which, as one knows, is never anything
but the recycling in the negative of the traditional institution, the integrated circuit of the
negative. Immense energies are deployed to hold this simulacrum at bay, to avoid the
brutal desimulation that-would confront us in the face of the obvious reality of a radical
loss of meaning.
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.
Thus not only communication but the social functions in a closed circuit, as a lure-to
which the force of myth is attached. Belief, faith in information attach themselves to this
tautological proof that the system gives of itself by doubling the signs of an unlocatable
reality. But one can believe that this belief is as ambiguous as that which was attached to
myths in ancient societies. One both believes and doesn't. One does not ask oneself, "I
know very well, but still." A sort of inverse simulation in the masses, in each one of us,
corresponds to this simulation of meaning and of communication in which this system
encloses us. To this tautology of the system the masses respond with ambivalence, to
deterrence they respond with disaffection, or with an always enigmatic belief. Myth
exists, but one must guard against thinking that people believe in it: this is the trap of
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
critical thinking that can only be exercised if it presupposes the naivete and stupidity of
the masses.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Banishing the Right

Fear and demonization of the “new right” is what gives it its

power – the more the right is opposed and scapegoated, the more
legitimacy and political authority it gains. Instead of fighting for
ideology, we need to realize that the line between right and left is
meaningless and unhelpful.
Baudrillard in 97 [Jean, May 7, “A Conjuration of Imbeciles”]
There has been a shattering reformulation. The right used to embody moral values and
the left, by contrast, used to represent an antagonistic mode of historical and political
exigency. But today the left is deprived of its political energy. It has become a purely
moralistic law-making structure, a representative of universal values, a sacred holder of
the reign of Virtue, and an incarnation of antiquated values such as Good or Truth. It now
acts as a jurisdiction which asks everyone to act responsibly while still granting itself the
right to remain irresponsible. The political illusion of the left (which had remained
frozen during twenty years of opposition) turned into a platform of historical morality
(and not of historical direction) once it came to power. It then became the holder of a
morality of truthfulness, basic rights, and good conscience, having thus reached a zero
degree on the political scale and, undoubtedly, the lowest point of the genealogy of
morals. Its moralization of all values marked its historical failure (and the failure of
thinking in general). Since then, even reality, the principle of reality, has become an act
of faith. Try to question the reality of war, for example, and you immediately become a
betrayer of moral law.
With the left and the traditional right both deprived of political substance, where has the
political gone to? Well, simply, it has moved to the far right. As Bruno Latour so
accurately noted the other day in Le Monde, the only political discourse today in France is
that of Le Pen's Front National. All the rest is moral and pedagogic discourse, teachers'
lessons and lecturers' tirades, managers' rhetoric and programmers' jargon. By contrast,
having given himself to evil and immorality, Le Pen has been able to take over all of the
political, the remnant of what has been abandoned or voluntarily rejected by a political
ideology of Good deeds and Enlightenment values. The more he is antagonized by a
moral coalition (a sign of political impotence), the more he enjoys the benefits of political
immorality, the benefits which come with being the only one on the side of evil. In the
past, whenever the traditional right decided to implement an ideology of morality and
order, you could always count on the left, always attempting to antagonize those so-
called moral values in the name of political claims. But today, the left is experiencing the
same condition that once characterized the traditional right. Suddenly responsible for the
defense of moral order, the left has no choice but to witness the slippage of abandoned
political energies toward political forces which do not hesitate to antagonize its newly
created order. Conversely, the left keeps on reactivating the source of evil by continuing
to embody the rule of virtue, which of course is nothing more than the rule of supreme
If Le Pen did not exist, we would have to invent him! Indeed, it is thanks to him that we
can get rid of our evil share, of what is the worst part of us. It is as such that we can
curse Le Pen. If he were to disappear, however, we would be left begging for pity! We
would be left struggling with our own racist, sexist, and nationalist (everyone's fate)
viruses. Simply, we would be abandoned to the murderous negativity of society. As such,

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Le Pen is the perfect mirror of the political class which uses him to conjure up its own
evils, just as every


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Banishing the Right
<<Baudrillard 97 continued 2/3>>

individual uses the political class to cast away any form of corruption inherent to society
(both are similar types of corrupt and cathartic functions). Trying to put an end to this,
trying to purify society and moralize public life, trying to eradicate what claims to
embody evil is a complete misunderstanding of the way evil operates, of the way politics
itself operates.
Opting for a mode of unilateral denunciation, and ignoring the very principle of
reversibility of evil, anti-Le Pen supporters have left him with a monopolistic control over
the evil share. Having thus been cast away, Le Pen can no longer be dislodged. By
demonizing him in the name of virtue, the political class simply offers him a most
comfortable situation. Le Pen simply has to pick up and recycle the discourse of
ambivalence, of denial of evil, and of hypocrisy that his opponents constantly throw at
him in the course of their battle for the defense of law or the defense of a good cause. Le
Pen's enemies provide him with the energy he needs. Too eager to discredit him, they
simply transform his mistakes into (his own) victories. They do not see that good never
comes from a purification of evil (evil always retaliates in a forceful way), but rather from
a subtle treatment which turns evil against itself.
All this shows us that Le Pen may be the embodiment of worthlessness and idiocy. No
doubt! But he is above all the symptom of his opponents' stupidity. The imbeciles are
those who, by denouncing him, blatantly reveal their own impotence and idiocy and
glaringly demonstrate how absurd it is to antagonize him face to face. They simply have
not understood the rules of evil that his game of musical chairs follow. By continuing to
antagonize him, the imbeciles give life to their own ghosts, their negative doubles. This
shows, indeed, a terrifying lack of lucidity on their part. But what drives such a perverse
effect, the fact that the left remains trapped in a discourse of denunciation whereas Le
Pen maintains a privilege of enunciation? What pushes one to gain all the profits from the
crime while the other suffers the negative effects of recrimination? What causes one to
"get off" [s'eclatant] with evil when the other gets lost with the victim?
Well, it's quite simple. By incarcerating Le Pen in a ghetto, it is in fact the democratic left
which becomes incarcerated and which affirms itself as a discriminatory power. It
becomes exiled within its own obsession and automatically grants a privilege of justice to
what it demonizes. And, of course, Le Pen never misses an opportunity to claim
republican legality and fairness on his behalf. But it is above all on the imaginary but very
pregnant figure of the rebel and persecuted soul that he establishes his prestige. Thus,
he can enjoy the consequences of both legality and illegality. A victim of ostracism, Le
Pen has an incredible freedom of language and can deploy an unmatched arrogance of
judgement, something that the left has deprived itself of.
Let's give an example of such a magical thought that today stands in for political
thought. Le Pen is blamed for the sentiment of rejection and exclusion of immigrants in
France. But this is just a drop in an ocean of social exclusion that has overwhelmed all of
society (recently, exclusion itself, as well as the "social breakdown" that politicians like to
mention, were all excluded by the decree signed by the President of the Republic to
dissolve the National Assembly). We are all both responsible and victim at the same time
of this inextricable and complex process of exclusion. There is something typically
magical in the


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Banishing the Right
<<Baudrillard 97 continued 3/3>>

need to conjure up this virus, which is everywhere to be found (it is a direct function of
our social and technical "progress"), and in the desire to exorcise the curse of exclusion
(and our impotence by the same token) through the figure of a hated man, institution, or
organization, no matter who or what they are. It is as if we were faced with a tumor in
need of extraction whereas, in fact, the metastases have already expanded everywhere.
The Front National simply follows the course of the social metastases, and is all the more
virulent since people think that they have eradicated the disease when, in fact, it has
already infected the entire body. Not to mention that this process of magical projection of
the Front National takes place along the same lines as this party's own process of
demonization of immigrants. One must always be suspicious of the ruse of
contamination, a ruse which, by means of the transparency of evil, mutates positivity
into negativity, and a demand for liberty into "democratic despotism." As usual, it is a
question of reversibility, of a subtle encirclement of evil whose rational intelligence is
never suspected. While modern pathology tells us a lot about the physical body, we do
not pay attention to this mode of analysis when it comes to the social body.
To remain within the political, we must step away from ideology and look at things
through the lens of social physics. Our democratic society is a stasis. Le Pen is a
metastasis. Global society is dying of inertia and immune deficiency. Le Pen is simply the
visible transcription of such a viral condition; he is the spectacular projection of the virus.
This happens in dreams too. Le Pen is a burlesque, hallucinatory figuration of a latent
state, of a silent inertia caused by forced integration and systematic exclusion. Since the
hope of finally curing social inequalities has truly disappeared (by and large), it is no
surprise if resentment has moved to the level of racial inequality. The failure of the social
explains the success of the racial (and of all the other fatal strategies). As such, Le Pen is
the only savage analyst in today's society. The fact that he is placed on the far right is
merely the sad result of the fact that analysts are no longer to be found on the left or the
far left. Judges, intellectuals no longer analyze. Only the immigrants perhaps, as polar
opposites, could become analysts too. But they already have been recycled by a good
and responsible humanitarian thought. Le Pen is the only one who operates a radical
erasure of the so-called distinction between right and left. This is, no doubt, an erasure
by default. But the harsh criticism of this conventional distinction which was unleashed in
the 1960s (and culminated in 1968) has unfortunately disappeared from the political
scene today. Le Pen simply recuperates a de facto situation that the political class refuses
to confront (it even uses elections to deny it), but whose extreme consequences will be
felt some day. If, one day, political imagination, political will, and political demand hope
to rebound, they will have to take into account the radical abolition of the antiquated and
artificial distinction between right and left, which, in fact, has been largely damaged and
compromised over the past decades, and which only holds today through some sort of
complicit corruption on both sides. This distinction is dead in practice but, by means of an
incurable revisionism, is constantly reaffirmed. Thus, Le Pen is the only one who makes
up the new political scene, as if everyone else had already agreed to destroy what's left
of democracy, perhaps to produce the retrospective illusion that it actually used to mean

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Banishing the Right Overview

Extend the Baudrillard 97 evidence. Here’s the argument. The

classical left-wing of politics has become useless – it tries to
defend classical morality, and portrays the right as immoral, a
reversal of their classical roles. However, the more the left says
the right is immoral, the more power the right gains, because it
can utilize it’s outsider status to generate concern and support.
For example, if an Aryan parade is shut down, the organizers go
claim their freedom of speech has been violated, and so get people
who otherwise would disagree with their ideology to support them.
Their arguments perpetuate the same problem.

The left also demands the existence of a right, so that we can cast
all our fears and social concerns onto it to purge ourselves of them
and feel pure and moral in ourselves. Scapegoating the right gives
it more power, because it can use its immoral status to gain a sort
of demonic appeal, and if the right were ever destroyed we would
have to recreate it to avoid facing our own political demons. Their
effort to avoid the rise of the new right ends up just giving it more
power and ensuring it will continue to dominate.

The way out is to recognize that the division between left and right
has become fundamentally meaningless and impairs our
understanding politics. Reject the artificial distinction they draw
in order to solve the impacts they claim.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Disney World
The real is being replaced by the hyperreal, a giant metaphorical
Disney World, where images replace reality and become eternal
and infinitely repeating in the virtual universe, where the real has
become a spectacle, but instead of being outside looking in, we
are the spectacle, constant participants in a reality show of
Baudrillard in 96 [Jean, March 4, "Disneyworld Company"]
But the Disney enterprise goes beyond the imaginary. Disney, the precursor, the grand
initiator of the imaginary as virtual reality, is now in the process of capturing all the real
world to integrate it into its synthetic universe, in the form of a vast "reality show" where
reality itself becomes a spectacle [vient se donner en spectacle], where the real becomes
a theme park. The transfusion of the real is like a blood transfusion, except that here it is
a transfusion of real blood into the exsanguine universe of virtuality. After the prostitution
of the imaginary, here is now the hallucination of the real in its ideal and simplified
At Disney World in Orlando, they are even building an identical replica of the Los Angeles
Disneyland, as a sort of historical attraction to the second degree, a simulacrum to the
second power. It is the same thing that CNN did with the Gulf War: a prototypical event
which did not take place, because it took place in real time, in CNN's instantaneous
mode. Today, Disney could easily revisit the Gulf War as a worldwide show. The Red Army
choirs have already celebrated Christmas at Euro Disney. Everything is possible, and
everything is recyclable in the polymorphous universe of virtuality. Everything can be
bought over. There is no reason why Disney would not take over the human genome,
which, by the way, is already being resequenced, to turn it into a genetic show. In the
end [au fond], they would cryogenize the entire planet, just like Walt Disney himself
who decided to be cryogenized in a nitrogen solution, waiting for some kind of
resurrection in the real world. But there is no real world anymore, not even for Walt
Disney. If one day he wakes up, he'll no doubt have the biggest surprise of his life.
Meanwhile, from the bottom of his nitrogen solution he continues to colonize the world -
both the imaginary and the real - in the spectral universe of virtual reality, inside which
we all have become extras [figurants]. The difference is that when we put on our digital
suits, plug in our sensorial captors, or press the keys of our virtual reality arcade, we
enter live spectrality whereas Disney, the genial anticipator, has entered the virtual
reality of death.
The New World Order is in a Disney mode. But Disney is not alone in this mode of
cannibalistic attraction. We saw Benetton with his commercial campaigns, trying to
recuperate the human drama of the news (AIDS, Bosnia, poverty, apartheid) by
transfusing reality into a New Mediatic Figuration (a place where suffering and
commiseration end in a mode of interactive resonance). The virtual takes over the real as
it appears, and then replicates it without any modification [le recrache tel quel], in a pret-
a-porter (ready-to-wear) fashion.
If this operation can be so successful in creating a universal fascination with only a tint of
moral disapproval, it is because reality itself, the world itself, with its frenzy of cloning
has already been transformed into an interactive performance, some kind of Lunapark for
ideologies, technologies, works, knowledge, death, and even destruction. All this is likely

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
to be cloned and resurrected in a juvenile museum of Imagination or a virtual museum of


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Disney World
<<Baudrillard 96 continued>>

Similarly, it is useless to keep searching for computer viruses since we are all caught in a
viral chain of networks anyway. Information itself has become viral; perhaps not sexually
transmissible yet, but much more powerful through its numerical propagation.
And so it does not take much work for Disney to scoop up reality, such as it is.
"Spectacular Inc.," as Guy Debord would say. But we are no longer in a society of
spectacle, which itself has become a spectacular concept. It is no longer the contagion of
spectacle that alters reality, but rather the contagion of virtuality that erases the
spectacle. Disneyland still belonged to the order of the spectacle and of folklore, with its
effects of entertainment [distraction] and distanciation [distance]. Disney World and its
tentacular extension is a generalized metastasis, a cloning of the world and of our mental
universe, not in the imaginary but in a viral and virtual mode. We are no longer alienated
and passive spectators but interactive extras [figurants interactifs]; we are the meek
lyophilized members of this huge "reality show." It is no longer a spectacular logic of
alienation but a spectral logic of disincarnation; no longer a fantastic logic of diversion,
but a corpuscular logic of transfusion and transubstantiation of all our cells; an enterprise
of radical deterrence of the world from the inside and no longer from outside, similar to
the quasi-nostalgic universe of capitalistic reality today. Being an extra [figurant] in
virtual reality is no longer being an actor or a spectator. It is to be out of the scene [hors-
scene], to be obscene.
Disney wins at yet another level. It is not only interested in erasing the real by turning it
into a three-dimensional virtual image with no depth, but it also seeks to erase time by
synchronizing all the periods, all the cultures, in a single traveling motion, by juxtaposing
them in a single scenario. Thus, it marks the beginning of real, punctual and
unidimensional time, which is also without depth. No present, no past, no future, but an
immediate synchronism of all the places and all the periods in a single atemporal
virtuality. Lapse or collapse of time: that's properly speaking what the fourth dimension
[la quatrieme dimension] is about. It is the dimension of the virtual, of real time; a
dimension which, far from adding to the others, erases them all. And so it has been said
that, in a century or in a millennium, gladiator movies will be watched as if they were
authentic Roman movies, dating back to the era of the Roman empire, as real
documentaries on Ancient Rome; that in the John Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, a
pastiche of a Pompeian villa, will be confused, in an anachronistic manner, with a villa of
the third century B.C. (including the pieces inside from Rembrandt, Fra Angelico,
everything confused in a single crush of time); that the celebration of the French
Revolution in Los Angeles in 1989 will retrospectively be confused with the real
revolutionary event. Disney realizes de facto such an atemporal utopia by producing all
the events, past or future, on simultaneous screens, and by inexorably mixing all the
sequences as they would or will appear to a different civilization than ours. But it is
already ours. It is more and more difficult for us to imagine the real, History, the depth of
time, or three-dimensional space, just as before it was difficult, from our real world
perspective, to imagine a virtual universe or the fourth dimension [la quatrieme

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Radical Thought Alternative

The criticism is its own meaning – language will never be a

reference to the real. Instead, it should be used to further
distance from the real, and return it more disjointed and confused
than it is now.
Baudrillard in 95 [Jean, April 19, "Radical Thought"]
Our point is not to defend radical thought. Any idea that can be defended is presumed
guilty. Any idea that does not sustain its own defense deserves to perish. But we have to
fight against charges of unreality, lack of responsibility, nihilism, and despair. Radical
thought is never depressing. This would be a complete misunderstanding. A moralizing
and ideological critique, obsessed by meaning and content, obsessed by a political
finality of discourse, never takes into account writing, the act of writing, the poetic,
ironic, and allusive form of language, the play with meaning. This critique does not see
that the resolution of meaning is right here, in the form itself, in the formal materiality of
an expression. As for meaning, it is always unfortunate. Analysis is by its very definition
unfortunate since it is born out of a critical disillusion. But language on the contrary is
fortunate (happy), even when it designates a world with no illusion, with no hope. This
would in fact be here the very definition of radical thought: an intelligence without hope,
but a fortunate and happy form. Critics, always being unfortunate (unhappy) in their
nature, choose the realm of ideas as their battle field. They do not see that if discourse
always tends to produce meaning, language and writing on the contrary are always a
matter of illusion. Language and writing are the living illusion of meaning, the resolution
of the misfortune of meaning operated through the good fortune of language. This is the
only political or transpolitical act that a writer can accomplish.
Everyone has ideas, even more than they need. What matters is the poetic singularity of
analysis. Only this witz, this spirituality of language, can justify writing. Not a miserable
critical objectivity of ideas. There will never be a solution to the contradiction of ideas,
except inside language itself, in the energy and fortune (happiness) of language. So the
loneliness and sadness in Edward Hopper's paintings are transfigured by the timeless
quality of light, a light which comes from some place else and gives to the whole picture
a totally non-figurative meaning, an intensity which renders loneliness unreal. Hopper
says: "I do not paint sadness or loneliness; I only seek to paint light on this wall."
In any case, it is better to have a despairing analysis in a happy language than an
optimistic analysis in despairingly boring and demoralizingly plain language. Which is too
often the case. The formal boredom that is secreted by an idealist thought on values, or
by a goal-oriented thought on culture, is the secret sign of despair for this thought - not
despair with the world, but despair toward its own discourse. This is where the real
depressing thought emerges. It emerges with those people who only talk about a
transcendence or a transformation of the world, while they are totally unable to
transfigure their own language.
Radical thought is in no way different from radical usage of language. This thought is
therefore alien to any resolution of the world which would take the direction of an
objective reality and of its deciphering. Radical thought does not decipher. It
anathematizes and "anagramatizes" concepts and ideas, exactly what poetic language
does with words. Through its reversible chaining, it simultaneously gives an account of


Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Radical Thought Alternative
<<Baudrillard 95 continued>>

meaning and of its fundamental illusion. Language gives an account of the very illusion
of language as a definite stratagem and through that notes the illusion of the world as an
infinite trap, as a seduction of the mind, as a stealing away of all mental capacities. While
being a transporter of meaning, language is at the same time a supra-conductor of
illusion and of the absence of meaning. Language is only signification's unintentional
accomplice. By its very force, it calls for the spiritual imagination of sounds and rhythms,
for the dispersion of meaning in the event of language, similar to the role of the muscles
in dance, similar to the role of reproduction in erotic games.
Such a passion for the artificial, a passion for illusion, is the same thing as the seductive
joy (jouissance) to undo a too perfect constellation of meaning. It is also a joy
(jouissance) to render transparent the imposture of the world, that is to say the
enigmatic function of the world, and its mystification which supposedly is its secret.
Doing this while perhaps rendering its imposture transparent: deceiving rather than
validating meaning. This passion "wins" in the free and spiritual usage of language, in the
spiritual game of writing. And it only disappears when language is used for a limited
finality, its most common usage perhaps, that of communication. No matter what, if
language wants to "speak the language" of illusion, it must become a seduction. As for
"speaking the language" of the real, it would not know how to do it (properly speaking)
because language is never real. Whenever it appears to be able to designate things, it
actually does so by following unreal, elliptic, and ironic paths. Objectivity and truth are
metaphoric in language. Too bad for the apodicticians or the apodidacticians! This is how
language is, even unconsciously, the carrier of radical thought, because it always starts
from itself, as a trait d'esprit vis-a-vis the world, as an ellipse and a source of pleasure.
Even the confusion of languages in the Tower of Babel, a powerful mechanism of illusion
for the human race, a source of non-communication and an end to the possibility of a
universal language, will have appeared, finally, not as a divine punishment but as a gift
from God.
Ciphering, not deciphering. Operating illusions. Being illusion to be event. Turning into an
enigma what is clear. Making unintelligible what is far too intelligible. Rendering
unreadable the event itself. Working all the events to make them unintelligible.
Accentuating the fake transparency of the world to spread a terroristic confusion, to
spread the germs or viruses of a radical illusion, that is to say operating a radical
disillusion of the real. A viral and deleterious thought, which corrupts meaning, and is the
accomplice of an erotic perception of reality's trouble.
Erasing in oneself any remaining trace of the intellectual plot. Stealing the "reality file" to
erase its conclusions. But, in fact, it is reality itself which foments its own contradiction,
its own denial, its own loss through our lack of reality. Hence, the internal feeling that all
this affair - the world, thought, and language - has emerged from some place else and
could disappear as if by magic. The world does not seek to have more existence, nor
does it seek to persist in its existence. On the contrary, it is looking for the most spiritual
way to escape reality. Through thought, the world is looking for what could lead to its
own loss.
The absolute rule, that of symbolic exchange, is to return what you received. Never less,
but always more. The absolute rule of thought is to return the world as we received it:
unintelligible. And if it is possible, to return it a little bit more unintelligible. A little bit
more enigmatic.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Our Framework
We realize debate is a game designed to foster argument and
education. However, it’s more important to consider how we’re
playing the game than who is winning within it – the imaginary
impacts of their case don’t matter until they justify the rhetoric
used to justify it. That’s best for debate because:

First, it’s realistic. Fiat doesn’t really exist, the plan won’t be
passed at the end of the round regardless of which way you vote.
The burden of proof is on them to show that this is uniquely good
for debate.

Second, fiat-centered debate encourages ridiculous and anti-

educational strategies, like politics disadvantages and the race to
the most nuclear war impacts, which have nothing to do with the
real world and detracts from focus on the affirmative case, where
the most deep and educational clash lies.

Third, speaking in abstraction about what form the world should

take through fiat ignores and marginalizes all the people who
would be affected.
Nayar in 99 [Jayan, Fall, School of Law, University of Warwick Transnational
Law & Contemporary Problems “Orders of Inhumanity”]
Located within a site of privilege, and charged to reflect upon the grand questions of
world-order and the human condition as the third Christian Millennium dawns, we are
tempted to turn the mind to the task of abstract imaginings of "what could be" of our
"world," and "how should we organize" our "humanity." Perhaps such contemplations are
a necessary antidote to cynicism and skepticism regarding any possibility of human
betterment, a necessary revitalization of critical and creative energies to check the
complacencies of the state of things as they are. n1 However, imagining [*601]
possibilities of abstractions--"world-order," "international society," "the global village,"
"the family of humankind," etc.--does carry with it a risk. The "total" view that is the take-
off point for discourses on preferred "world-order" futures risks deflection as the
abstracted projections it provokes might entail little consequence for the faces and the
names of the humanity on whose behalf we might speak. So, what do we do?

Fourth, our criticism is an attack on the justifications for their fiat

impacts, which is like attacking the warrant behind a claim. They
can’t say the claim will be true or outweigh until they justify the
warrant for it by refuting our criticism.

Fifth, we make teams responsible for their discourse. If fiat

impacts could outweigh, there’d be no way to criticize teams for

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
using sexist, racist, or otherwise offensive language because they
could claim their nuclear war impacts are more important. As
members of the debate community, we have an obligation to be
sure our activity isn’t used to marginalize others, which is what
fiat allows.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
Our Framework
Sixth, fiat encourages a spectator mentality where real events
become tools in our game of academic debate, which is politically
and intellectually unhelpful.
Mitchell in 98 [Gordon R., Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh,
DEBATE” Argumentation & Advocacy, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p41-60]
While an isolated academic space that affords students an opportunity to learn in a
protected environment has significant pedagogical value (see e.g. Coverstone 1995, p. 8-
9), the notion of the academic debate tournament as a sterile laboratory carries with it
some disturbing implications, when the metaphor is extended to its limit. To the extent
that the academic space begins to take on characteristics of a laboratory, the barriers
demarcating such a space from other spheres of deliberation beyond the school grow
taller and less permeable. When such barriers reach insurmountable dimensions,
argumentation in the academic setting unfolds on a purely simulated plane, with
students practicing critical thinking and advocacy skills in strictly hypothetical thought-
spaces. Although they may research and track public argument as it unfolds outside the
confines of the laboratory for research purposes, in this approach, students witness
argumentation beyond the walls of the academy as spectators, with little or no apparent
recourse to directly participate or alter the course of events (see Mitchell 1995; 1998).
The sense of detachment associated with the spectator posture is highlighted during
episodes of alienation in which debaters cheer news of human suffering or misfortune.
Instead of focusing on the visceral negative responses to news accounts of human death
and misery, debaters overcome with the competitive zeal of contest round competition
show a tendency to concentrate on the meanings that such evidence might hold for the
strength of their academic debate arguments. For example, news reports of mass
starvation might tidy up the "uniqueness of a disadvantage" or bolster the "inherency of
an affirmative case" (in the technical parlance of debate-speak). Murchland categorizes
cultivation of this "spectator" mentality as one of the most politically debilitating
failures of contemporary education: "Educational institutions have failed even more
grievously to provide the kind of civic forums we need. In fact, one could easily conclude
that the principle purposes of our schools is to deprive successor generations of their
civic voice, to turn them into mute and uncomprehending spectators in the drama of
political life" (1991, p. 8).

Lastly, note that our argument is not that fiat impacts shouldn’t be
in debate. Rather, they just need to be evaluated after we discuss
the discursive level, so their arguments aren’t offense unless they
justify why fiat should be at the same level as the discourse.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Framework Overview

Here are the key points on the framework debate. Extend the #1: fiat isn’t
real. That means the burden of proof is on them to show that it’s a helpful
practice for debate. If there’s any doubt in your mind, err negative because
our interpretation is more intuitive and applicable.

Our #4 is game over – our critique is an attack on the mindset and images they
use to justify their policy impacts, which is like attacking the warrant to the
claim on an argument. Of course their case will seem like a good idea if you
grant them all the justifications they provide for it. However, once the warrant
is removed, the claim is no longer an argument, just like the case is no longer a
reason to vote aff. Their theory issues are irrelevant to this, because it doesn’t
matter how good fiat is for debate if they can’t defend the mindset that
justifies their case.

Also, our evidenced arguments are more important than any theoretical whines
they have – fairness ceases to be an issue when we show that their framework
is destructive to the activity and the real world.

Extend our #3, the Nayar 99 card. He says that creating the image of an ideal
world we can act on, like they do with fiat, ignores the people around us and
those who will be impacted by the case. Because their focus is on a distant
worldview, they don’t see the people who are being harmed now, which
marginalizes any contribution those people might have to the political world.
That’s terrible for debate because it encourages an elitist worldview where
only the opinions of people in our academic game matter, and is irresponsible
to the rest of the world.

Extend our #6, Mitchell 98, which specifically talks about debate and fiat.
Mitchell says that fiat creates a spectator mentality where we observe events
in the real world without considering our ability to change them, and where
tragic events become just another tool in a debate round instead of a reason to
go do something about them, which creates political apathy in debaters and
destroys any real value to the activity.

Also, this accesses our Baudrillard impacts, because fiat encourages debaters
to cheer bad things happening to others for our simulated disads and case
arguments. Our collective enjoyment of this suffering guarantees we’ll never
do anything to resolve it in their framework, which is a reason to reject it.

Now for the theoretical issues. Extend our #2, fiat requires stupid and
annoying strategies like politics where everything ends in nuclear war, so we
never talk or learn about the case, where the resolution is actually focused.

Extend #5: if fiat is weighed on the same level as discourse, teams can use
terrible rhetoric and claim it doesn’t matter because their case has big
impacts, which justifies horrible racist or sexist language that excludes people
from the activity.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Finally, extend the #7. You can still get all the benefits of fiat in debate
through our framework, it just comes after the discourse, so none of their
offense applies and they lose on our critique.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Aff Doesn’t Get to Pick Framework

Our interpretation is that the affirmative may present a

framework, but then they must defend it. That’s best for
debate because:

1. It’s consistent with other debate practice – the only rule

of debate is that there are no rules; teams can argue
over whether certain arguments are theoretically
legitimate and so on. Teams should be able to argue
over what framework is used as well; this constant
questioning gives the best depth of argumentation and
2. Their interpretation destroys negative ground – affs
could just specify their framework to get out of negative
arguments they know their case is vulnerable to (like
they just did), which destroys legitimate debate over
whether it’s the best policy. For example, an aff could
run a framework saying whites are the master race, and
a plan to throw all the minorities into the ocean to
prevent the fish from starving. The framework would
prevent us from making our best arguments against the
3. The inherent vagueness of frameworks makes this abuse
effectively infinite – what exactly is a framework? I don’t
know, neither do they, it’s hard to define. That means
teams could reinterpret the framework in new ways
every round to dodge arguments if we can’t challenge it.
4. They’re unpredictable for the negative – we don’t know
what framework they’ll use and which of our arguments
will apply until part way through the 1AC, which makes
pre-round prep and disclosure useless, so we can never
be prepared.
5. We increase clash – there’s argument on the framework
too, hence more possible clash and education.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

A2: Perm

The perm is literally impossible – radical thought and belief in the

illusion of the real cannot be combined with an objective
interpretation of the world. Claiming they go together is a
dangerous illusion that destroys both.
Baudrillard in 95 [Jean, April 19, "Radical Thought"]
In any case, the two orders of thought are irreconcilable. They each follow their own
path without blending into one another. At best, they slide on one another, like tectonic
plates, and from time to time their collision or their subduction creates fault lines inside
which reality is engulfed. Fatality is always at the crossing point of these two lines.
Similarly, radical thought is at the violent crossing point of sense and non-sense, of truth
and non-truth, of the continuation of the world and the continuation of nothingness.
In contrast to the discourse of reality and rationality, which bets on the fact that there is
something (some meaning) rather than nothing, and which, in the last analysis, wants to
be built on the preservative notion of an objective and decipherable world, radical
thought bets on the illusion of the world. This thought wants to be illusion, restituting
non-veracity to the facts, non- signification to the world, and formulating the reverse
hypothesis that there may be nothing rather than something, tracking down this
nothingness which runs under the apparent continuation of meaning.
The radical prediction is always that of a non-reality of the facts, of an illusion of the
factual. It merely starts with the foreboding of this illusion, but never fuses with the
objective state of things. Any fusion of this type would be similar to mistaking a
messenger for his message, which still today consists in killing the messenger who
always brings the bad news (for example, the news that all our values are null, that the
real is uncertain, that certain events do not "take place"). Any fusion of the thought (of
writing, of language) with the real - a so-called "faithfulness of the real" with a thought
that has made the real emerge in all of its configurations - is hallucinatory. It is
moreover the result of a total misinterpretation of language, of the fact that language is
an illusion in its very movement, that it carries this continuation of emptiness or
nothingness at the very core of what it says, and that it is in all its materiality a
deconstruction of what it signifies. Just as the photograph (the image) connotes an
erasure, the death of what it represents, that which gives the photograph its intensity,
what gives intensity to writing, be it the writing of a fiction or the writing of a theoretical
fiction, is emptiness, an underlying nothingness, an illusion of meaning, an ironic
dimension of language, which is corollary to an ironic dimension of the facts themselves,
which are never what they are - in all meanings: they are never more than what they are,
and they are always only what they are - a perfect amphiboly. The irony of the facts, in
their miserable reality, is precisely that they are only what they are. At least, that is what
they are supposed to mean: "the real is the real." But, by this very fact (so to speak),
they are necessarily beyond [truth] because factual existence is impossible: nothing is
totally evidentiary without becoming an enigma. Reality, in general, is too evident to be
It is this ironic transfiguration through language which constitutes the event of language.
And it is on a restitution of this fundamental illusion of the world and language that
thought must work, without however taking language in its literality, where the
messenger is mistaken for the message, and thus already sacrificed.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
A2: Perm
Any critical argument that is combined with reality is immediately
robbed of its critical potential – the events are infinitely adaptable,
and cynically morph to support any theory that might challenge
them, which destroys the effectiveness of the theory. To be
effective, the criticism must remain on the margin.
Baudrillard in 95 [Jean, April 19, "Radical Thought"]
More subtly, reality also gets its revenge from those who challenge it by, paradoxically,
proving that they are right. Whenever any risky idea, any cynical or critical hypothesis
proves to be right, it in fact turns out to be a dirty trick. You are fooled and disarmed.
Your arguments are lamentably confirmed by a reality without scruples.
So, you may posit the idea of a simulacrum, and yet, secretly, not believe in it, hoping
that the real will avenge itself. The theory is then not necessarily convinced of its own
validity. Unfortunately, only those who are reality fanatics react negatively. Reality does
not seem to be willing to deny itself, far from it: all simulacra wander freely. Reality today
is nothing more than the apocalypse of simulation. Consequently, the reality supporters
(who defend reality as if it was a moral value or a virtue) play, so to speak, the part of
those who once were called the fanatics of the Apocalypse.
The idea of simulacrum was a conceptual weapon against reality, but it has been stolen.
Not that it has been pillaged, vulgarized, or has become common-place(which is true but
has no consequence), but because simulacra have been absorbed by reality which has
swallowed them and which, from now on, is clad with all the rhetoric of simulation. And to
cap it all, simulacra have become reality! Today, simulacra guarantee the continuation of
the real. The simulacrum now hides, not the truth, but the fact that there is none, that is
to say, the continuation of Nothingness.
This is the very paradox of any thought that reveals the falsehood of the real: when
reality steals your concept and realizes (fulfills) it, and by the same token flies away
from any criticism. Events, deprived of any direction, steal any possible meaning. They
adapt to the most fantastic hypotheses like natural species and viruses adapt to the most
hostile environments. They show an extraordinary mimetic capacity. There has been a
reversal here too: it is no longer theories that have to adapt to events, but events that
adapt to theories. In any case, they mystify us because a theory that realizes itself is no
longer a theory. A realized hypothesis is no longer a hypothesis. It is terrifying to see a
hypothesis be realized like this. It is terrifying to suddenly see the idea coincide with
reality. This is the agony of the concept. The epiphany of the real is the twilight of the
We have lost the advance that ideas had on the world, that distance that makes an idea
stay an idea. Thought must anticipate, be exceptional, and in the margin - the projected
shadow of the future events. Yet, today, we are lagging behind the events. They may
sometimes give the impression that they regress, that they are not what they should be.
In fact, they have passed over us for a long time. The simulated disorder of things has
gone faster than us. The effect of reality has disappeared behind the acceleration of
things - an anamorphosis of speed. What happens to the heterogeneity of thought in a
world that has been converted to the craziest hypotheses and to an artificial delirium? In
their accelerated occurrence, the events have in a sense swallowed their own
interpretation. Things have been cleansed of their own meaning. And consequently, they
are like black holes and can no longer reflect. They are what they are, never too late for
their occurrence, but always beyond their meaning. What is late rather is the

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
interpretation of things. Interpretation is then merely a retro figure for an unpredictable

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
A2: Perm

A world in which thought and the real can be happily combined no

longer exists – in the world of hyperreality, this Enlightenment
vision is outdated.
Baudrillard in 95 [Jean, April 19, "Radical Thought"]
All this defines the insoluble relationship between thought and the real. A certain type of
thought is an accomplice of the real. It starts with the hypothesis that there is a real
reference to an idea and that there is a possible "ideation" of reality. This is no doubt a
comforting perspective, one which is based on meaning and deciphering. This is also a
polarity, similar to that used by ready-made dialectical and philosophical solutions. The
other thought, on the contrary, is ex-centric from the real. It is an "ex-centering" of the
real world and, consequently, it is alien to a dialectic which always plays on adversarial
poles. It is even alien to critical thought which always refers to an ideal of the real. To
some extent, this thought is not even a denial of the concept of reality. It is an illusion,
that is to say a "game" played with desire (which this thought puts "into play"), just like
metaphor is a "game" played with truth. This radical thought comes neither from a
philosophical doubt nor from a utopian transference (which always supposes an ideal
transformation of the real). Nor does it stem from an ideal transcendence. It is the
"putting into play" of this world, the material and immanent illusion of this so-called
"real" world - it is a non-critical, non-dialectical thought. So, this thought appears to be
coming from somewhere else. In any case, there is an incompatibility between thought
and the real. Between thought and the real, there is no necessary or natural transition.
Not an "alternation," not an alternative either: only an "alterity" keeps them under
pressure. Only fracture, distance and alienation safeguard the singularity of this thought,
the singularity of being a singular event, similar in a sense to the singularity of the world
through which it is made into an event.
Things probably did not always happen this way. One may dream of a happy conjunction
of idea and reality, in the shadow of the Enlightenment and of modernity, in the heroic
ages of critical thought. But that thought, which operated against a form of illusion -
superstitious, religious, or ideological - is substantially over. And even if that thought had
survived its catastrophic secularization in all the political systems of the 20th century,
the ideal and almost necessary relationship between concept and reality would in any
case have been destroyed today. That thought disappeared under the pressure of a
gigantic simulation, a technical and mental one, under the pressure of a precession of
models to the benefit of an autonomy of the virtual, from now on liberated from the real, and
of a simultaneous autonomy of the real that today functions for and by itself - motu propio - in a
delirious perspective, infinitely self-referential. Expelled, so to speak, from its own frame, from its
own principle, pushed toward its extraneity, the real has become an extreme phenomenon. So, we
no longer can think of it as real. But we can think of it as "ex-orbitated," as if it was seen from
another world - as an illusion then.
Let's ponder over what could be a stupefying experience: the discovery of another real world,
different from ours. Ours, one day, was discovered. The objectivity of this world was discovered,
just like America was discovered, more or less at the same period. But what was discovered can
never be created again. That's how reality was discovered, and is still created (or the alternate
version: this is how reality was created, which is still being discovered). Why wouldn't there be as
many real worlds as there are imaginary ones? Why would there be only one real world? Why such
a mode of exception? In reality, the notion of a real world existing among all other possible
worlds is unimaginable. It is unthinkable, except perhaps as a dangerous superstition. We
must stay away from that, just as critical thought once stayed away (in the name of the
real!) from religious superstition. Thinkers, give it another try!
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

A2: Postmodernism is Bad

They’re missing a link – how exactly are we postmodern? We
say to reject them, but that doesn’t increase postmodernism
in any way.

Second, that doesn’t refute any of the arguments we make.

Even if postmodernism as a principle is bad, it doesn’t make
the plan a good idea.

Third, their argument is irrelevant unless they claim our

discourse has impacts outside of the round, which is a
postmodern idea about the impact of discourse, so they’re
equally postmodern if their argument has any impact, putting
them in a double bind.

Fourth, postmodernism is a response to the current era, not

the other way around. It’s impossible to reject
postmodernism, they have to engage our critique.
Feldman in 94 [Stephen M. SPRING, Professor of Law, University of Tulsa
PRACTICE Northwestern University Law Review]
Postmodernists, in response to this attack, might insist that they neither colonize nor
depoliticize different voice scholarship; rather (as already discussed) postmodern theory
both builds upon and supports such scholarship. Indeed (possibly speaking for Schlag),
one reason we now question the ability of subjects to choose and pursue normative goals
is that different voice scholars have helped reveal that the very concept of the "choosing
subject" represents a manifestation of a dominant majority's exercise of power. Of
course, some critics of postmodernism, discounting such postmodern responses, might
reply that the postmodern emphasis on the antifoundationalist and anti-essentialist play
of signifiers inevitably leads to a "slippery slope of "totalizing critique,' " n268 which
leaves no standard for criticizing oppression and domination. To be sure, the problem of
justifying critique looms as a crucial difficulty for postmodernists, n269 but
postmodernism is not merely some grand theory that we can choose to reject because of
some serious weakness. Postmodernism, at a minimum, is a cultural era or tradition that
includes or manifests itself in certain types of theory. n270 With this recognition, the
problem of critique becomes a challenge that must be confronted, not a defect that
somehow justifies the impossible (rejecting the postmodern). n271 [*1105]

Fifth, Baudrillard doesn’t say postmodernism is good, he just

presents a way to look at life in a postmodern world.
Rejecting his views is like rejecting a path that helps guide us
because we don’t like where we are now – their argument is
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
more counter-productive than postmodernism itself could
ever be.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

A2: We Still Solve!

We have to examine the representations behind their arguments first

– the images are used to justify their political cause. Of course if we
assume their representations are correct, we’ll come to the conclusion
that their cause is a good idea; that’s why they chose the images they
did. Ignoring the images means you’re dodging the most crucial

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

A2: Need a Textual Alternative

That’s ridiculous. Our argument is a criticism of the assumptions and

images behind the affirmative’s presentation of their case, not just
the plan. They don’t give a text to their assumptions, because they’re
found in the evidence. Our alternative is effectively a set of counter-
assumptions that refute the affirmative, so there’s no way we can
give a simple textual alternative, and if they want to know about our
assumptions, they can read our evidence, just like we did to find

Debate centered on assumptions rather than wording of the plan is

better because:

a.Focuses on intent, not semantic details – we focus on what the

debaters are actually saying, rather than the 5 second sound bite
they call the plan, which preserves the value of all the other stuff
they say in their speeches.
b.Gives more ground – we can argue about all the assumptions
presented, which gives tons of ground to both teams, which is also
very predictable, because they should know what their authors are
saying and what people say in response.
c.More depth to debate, because instead of focusing on the
superficial points, we require debaters to examine all the warrants
and basis for their author’s arguments, which gives better
understanding and more education.

Second, here’s the textual alternative – don’t vote aff. We’ll defend
their advocacy is a bad idea throughout the entire round. They get all
the ground for trying to show that it’s a good idea, which is all they

Third, there’s no ground loss – any evidence they’ll have against our
criticism will be focused on our assumptions, so all their offense still
applies. Don’t buy any moving target arguments until you see one in
the round, and cross-x will always check back abuse; it’s their fault if
they didn’t ask us to clarify what we meant.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

A2: Disaster Porn

Obvious manipulation of the images demystifies news and

catastrophe reporting, fostering detachment that is crucial to life
in the modern age.
Baudrillard in 94 [Jean, “The Illusion of the End” p. 60-61]
Here, then, is the international consciousness foiled by its own ideal, hoist with its own
petard. The Gulf War merely accentuated the disastrous impression of our having been
drawn so far into simulation that the question of truth and reality cannot even be posed,
of our having been drawn so far into the 'liberation' of the medium and the image that
the question of freedom cannot even be posed. But can news and the media really be put
on trial now? Absolutely not, for the simple reason that the media themselves hold the
key to the judicial enquiry. There can be no contesting their innocence since
'disinformation' is always imputed to an accident of news-gathering [information]; the
guiding principle itself is never questioned.
And yet there will, nonetheless, have been a kind of verdict in this Romanian affair, and
the artificial heaps of corpses will have been of some use, all the same. One might ask
whether the Romanians, by the very excessiveness of this staged event and the
simulacrum of their revolution, have not served as demystifiers of news and its guiding
principle. For, if the media image has put an end to the credibility of the event, the event
will, in its turn, have put an end to the credibility of the image. Never again shall we be
able to look at a television picture in good faith, and this is the finest collective
demystification we have ever known. The finest revenge over this new arrogant power,
this power to blackmail by events. Who can say what responsibility attaches to the
televisual production of a false massacre (Timisoara), as compared with the perpetrating
of a true massacre? This is another kind of crime against humanity, a hijacking of
fantasies, affects and the credulity of hundreds of millions of people by means of
television- a crime of blackmail and simulation. What penalty is laid down for such a
There is no way to rectify this situation and we must have no illusions: there is no
perverse effect, nor even anything scandalous in the 'Timisoara syndrome'. It is simply
the (immoral) truth of news, the secret purpose [destination] of which is to deceive us
about the real, but also to undeceive us about the real. There is no worse mistake than
taking the real for the real and, in that sense, the very excess of media illusion plays a
vital disillusioning role. In this way, news could be said to undo its own spell by its effects
and the violence of information to be avenged by the repudiation and indifference it
engenders. Just as we should be unreservedly thankful for the existence of politicians,
who take on themselves the responsibility for that wearisome function, so we should be
grateful to the media for existing and taking on themselves the triumphant illusionism of
the world of communications, the whole ambiguity of mass culture, the confusion of
ideologies, the stereotypes, the spectacle, the banality - soaking up all these things in
their operation. While, at the same time, constituting a permanent test of intelligence, for
where better than on television can one learn to question every picture, every word,
every commentary? Television inculcates indifference, distance, scepticism and
unconditional apathy. Through the world's becoming-image, it anaesthetizes the
imagination, provokes a sickened abstraction, together with a surge of adrenalin which
induces total disillusionment. Television and the media would render reality [Ie reel]
dissuasive, were it not already so. And this represents an absolute advance in the
consciousness - or the cynical unconscious - of our age.
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Must Engage System

Even though the system is one of pure simulation, we still need to

engage and act within it to avoid the paralytic fascination it forces
on our lives.
Baudrillard in 81 [Jean, “Simulacra and Simulation” p. 152-154]
Attacking representation no longer has much meaning either. One senses quite clearly; for the
same reason, that all student conflicts (as is the case, more broadly; on the level of global society)
around the representation, the delegation of power are no longer anything but phantom
vicissitudes that yet still manage, out of despair, to occupy the forefront of the stage. Through I
don't know what Mobius effect, representation itself has also turned in on itself, and the whole
logical universe of the political is dissolved at the same time, ceding its place to a transfinite
universe of simulation, where from the beginning no one is represented nor representative of
anything any more, where all that is accumulated is deaccumulated at the same time, where even
the axiological, directive, and salvageable phantasm of power has disappeared. A universe that is
still incomprehensible, unrecognizable, to us, a universe with a malefic curve that our mental
coordinates, which are orthogonal and prepared for the infinite linearity of criticism and history,
violently resist. Yet it is there that one must fight, if even fighting has any meaning anymore. We
are simulators, we are simulacra (not in the classical sense of "appearance"), we are concave
mirrors radiated by the social, a radiation without a light source, power without origin, without
distance, and it is in this tactical universe of the simulacrum that one will need to fight-without
hope, hope is a weak value, but in defiance and fascination. Because one must not refuse the in
tense fascination that emanates from this liquefaction of all power, of all axes of value, of all
axiology; politics included. This spectacle, which is at once that of the death throes and the
apogee of capital, surpasses by far that of the commodity described by the situationists. This
spectacle is our essential force. We are no longer in a relation toward capital of uncertain or
victorious forces, but in a political one, that is the phantasm of revolution. We are in a relation of
defiance, of seduction, and of death toward this universe that is no longer one, precisely because
all axiality that escapes it. The challenge capital directs at us in its delirium-liquidating without
shame the law of profit, surplus value, productive finalities, structures of power, and finding at the
end of its process the profound immorality (but also the seduction) of primitive rituals of
destruction, this very challenge must be raised to an insanely higher level. Capital, like value, is
irresponsible, irreversible, ineluctable. Only to value is capital capable of offering a fantastic
spectacle of its decomposition only the phantom of value still floats over the desert of the classical
structures of capital, just as the phantom of religion floats over a world now long desacralized, just
as the phantom of knowledge floats over the university. It is up to us to again become the nomads
of this desen, but disengaged from the mechanical illusion of value. We will live in this world,
which for us has all the disquieting strangeness of the desert and of the simulacrum, with all the
veracity of living phantoms, of wandering and simulating animals that capital, that the death of
capital has made of us-because the desert of cities is equal to the desert of sand-the jungle of
signs is equal to that of the forests-the vertigo of simulacra is equal to that of nature-only the
vertiginous seduction of a dying system remains, in which work buries work, in which value buries
value-leaving a virgin, sacred space without pathways, continuous as Bataille wished it, where
only the wind lifts the sand, where only the wind watches over the sand.
What can one make of all this in the political order? Very little. But we also have to fight against
the profound fascination exerted on us by the death throes of capital, against the staging by
capital of its own death, when we are really the ones in our final hours. To leave it the initiative of
its own death, is to leave it all the privileges of revolution. Surrounded by the simulacrum of value
and by the phantom of capital and of power, we are much more disarmed and impotent than
when surrounded by the law of value and of the commodity, since the system has revealed itself
capable of integrating its own death and since we are relieved of the responsibility for this death,
and thus of the stake of our own life. This supreme ruse of the system, that of the simulacrum of
its death, through which it maintains us in life by having liquidated through absorption all possible

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____
negativity, only a superior ruse can stop. Challenge or imaginary science, only a pataphysics of
simulacra can remove us from the system’s strategy of simulation and the impasse of death in
which it imprisons us.

Baudrillard Page ____ of ____

Alternative Fails
Radical destruction of meaning is already useless – the system is
already configured to where the resistance they advocate does
Baudrillard in 81 [Jean, “Simulacra and Simulation” p. 162-164]
Melancholia is the brutal disaffection that characterizes our saturated systems. Once the
hope of balancing good and evil, true and false, indeed of confronting some values of the
same order, once the more general hope of a relation of forces and a stake has vanished.
Everywhere, always, the system is too strong: hegemonic.
Against this hegemony of the system, one can exalt the ruses of desire, practice
revolutionary micrology of the quotidian, exalt the molecular drift or even defend
cooking. This does not resolve the imperious necessity of checking the system in broad
daylight. This, only terrorism can do.
It is the trait of reversion that effaces the remainder, just as a single ironic smile effaces
a whole discourse, just as a single flash of denial in a slave effaces all the power and
pleasure of the master.
The more hegemonic the system, the more the imagination is struck by the smallest of
its reversals. The challenge, even infinitesimal, is the image of a chain failure. Only this
reversibility without a counterpart is an event today, on the nihilistic and disaffected
stage of the political. Only it mobilizes the imaginary. If being a nihilist, is carrying, to the
unbearable limit of hegemonic systems, this radical trait of derision and of violence, this
challenge that the system is summoned to answer through its own death, then I am
terrorist and nihilist in theory as the others are with their weapons. Theoretical violence,
not truth, is the only resource left us.
But such a sentiment is utopian. Because it would be beautiful to be a nihilist, if there
were still a radicality-as it would be nice to be a terrorist, if death, including that of the
terrorist, still had meaning.
But it is at this point that things become insoluble. Because to this active nihilism of
radicality, the system opposes its own, the nihilism of neutralization. The system is itself
also nihilistic, in the sense that it has the power to pour everything, including what
denies it, into indifference.
In this system, death itself shines by virtue of its absence. (The Bologna train station, the
Oktoberfest in Munich: the dead are annulled by indifference, that is where terrorism is
the involuntary accomplice of the whole system, not politically, but in the accelerated
form of indifference that it contributes to imposing.) Death no longer has a stage, neither
phantasmatic nor political, on which to represent itself, to play itself out, either a
ceremonial or a violent one. And this is the victory of the other nihilism, of
the other terrorism, that of the system.
There is no longer a stage, not even the minimal illusion that makes events capable of
adopting the force of reality-no more stage either of mental or political solidarity: what do
Chile, Biafra, the boat people, Bologna, or Poland matter? All of that comes to be
annihilated on the television screen. We are in the era of events without consequences
(and of theories without consequences).
There is no more hope for meaning. And without a doubt this is a good thing: meaning is
mortal. But that on which it has imposed its ephemeral reign, what it hoped to liquidate
in order to impose the reign of the Enlightenment, that is, appearances, they, are
immortal, invulnerable to the nihilism of meaning or of non-meaning itself.
This is where seduction begins.
Baudrillard Page ____ of ____


You might also like