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Baudrillard K

LINK -- The aff claims to deconstruct symbols of oppression but instead is complicit in their
entrenchment. Banning handguns doesnt eliminate their symbolic meaning. Instead, it
perpetuates the oppressive symbol by transferring asserted social relationships onto other
symbols, decentralizing meaning into a totalitarian code. Norris (no date) writes,
Norris, T. Jean Baudrillard, the encyclopaedia of informal education,www.infed.org/thinkers/baudrillard.htm.

Baudrillard outlines how consumers buy into the code of signs rather than the meaning of the object itself. His analysis of
the process by which the sign ceases pointing towards an object or signified which lies behind
it, but rather to other signs which together constitute a cohesive yet chaotic code,
[and] culminates in the murder of reality. The rupture is so complete, the absence so resounding, and the code so totalitarian that
Baudrillard speaks of the combined violence of the image and implosion of meaning. Politics, religion, education, any human
undertaking is swept up and absorbed by this process and ultimately neutralized; any
liberating activity becomes complicit in the reproduction of its opposite. The code is
totalitarian; no one escapes it: our individual flights do not negate the fact that each day
we participate in its collective elaboration.[1]
In The Consumer Society Jean

Thus, by banning handguns, their symbolic meaning becomes entrenched in the hyperreality
created by the reproduction of its opposite as the symbol continues to be consumed.
And, consumption of symbols is the heart of capitalismpostmodern capitalism is a system of
circulating symbols, not commodities. The production of desire is the root of capitalist alienation.
Robinson 12,
Andrew Robinson (Political Theorist, Activist; Writer @ Ceasefire Magazine). Jean Baudrillard: Critique of Alienation
Draft 1. Ceasefire Magazine, 14 April 2012, https://ceasefiremagazine.co.uk/in-theory-baudrillard-3 //dtac
While his theory of symbolic exchange provides an unusual account of how a non-alienated society might work, Baudrillards critique of alienation provides his account of how
capitalism today actually functions. This work has evolved significantly over time. From an activist point of view, his early work is arguably more accessible and useful. This early
work gives a glimpse of a more politically radical Baudrillard, a sense of what Baudrillard might look like when paired with Situationism or autonomism. In The Consumer

consumerism is assessed in terms of the


replacement of use-values with sign-values. In designer goods and brand-names, such as Nike trainers and Apple Ipods, the brand
does not actually add any use-value. It is a way of conveying or possessing particular signs, so as to project a particular self-image or pursue social status. In a
system of sign-values, people consume the relations between objects not only the
objects. Sign-value is also open to endless slippage: any object can in principle signify happiness, functionality, prestige and so
on. It is quite similar to Barthesian myths. Baudrillard also tends to endorse the Lacanian view that the slippage of
signification stems from an unmeetable desire for social meaning. Because the desire is
unmeetable, needs are insatiable. In this work, Baudrillard is trying to answer the classic question of the New Left: why workers and other
oppressed groups fall for capitalist ruses and remain attached to the system. His hypothesis is that consumer society operates as a kind
of social status competition, which carries a particular ideology. This prefigures his later break with Marxism.
Already Baudrillard is suggesting that consumption, rather than production, is at the heart of capitalism.
Society, a work from Baudrillards early period when he was more sympathetic to Marxism,

Baudrillard uses the word ambience for capitalisms control of society through its incorporation into consumption. It produces a kind of diffuse, mobile experience of life. The lack

we are surrounded by objects often objects


split from their place and function. We become object-like from living among objects, much as
of situatedness is partly compensated by the role of objects. In consumer society,

wolf-children become wolf-like. The code is substituted for the referential dimension of language. People are caught in a world much of which is merely an internal, technical

The system destroys direct personal ties an[d] social relations. It then
systematically creates simulated relations which can be consumed, instead of those it has destroyed. It also
product of the code.

eliminates the singular, radically different content of each person, putting in its place differential signs. And it eliminates real conflict, putting abstract competition in its place.

Everyday life is constructed through a split between the everyday and the abstract or transcendent sphere of the
social, political, historical or cultural. The closure of the everyday sphere, the exclusion from history, is tolerable only because it is accompanied by alibis or
simulations of participation. The exclusion from history is also given value, because it is identified with security in contrast to the scary historical
events shown on TV.

Therefore, by propping up hyperreality through the proliferation of meaningless symbolic


meaning and removing the object itself, the AC severs all ties with reality -- my opponent is a
simulation.
By attempting to censor symbols, the AC only further alienates the subject from reality. This is
accomplished by severing the tie between the body and its symbol -- the handgun is seen as
the source of oppression, not the body -- all the while oppression persists in the totalitarian code
of symbolism that is represented by the simulation of the aff world. There is no change to
violence, no change to oppression. The only effect of the aff world is the continuation of the
production of oppositional symbols -- handguns and their ban -- and their consumption by an
unchanged populace.
IMPACT -- Alienation divorces the self from the body, subjecting the latter to hostile discipline -this sets the stage for symbolic capitalism, breeds the micro-fascist desire for purification, and
nullifies value to life. Robinson continues,
Alienation impacts especially on how we relate to our bodies. The body in capitalism is both capital and fetish, object of
investment and consumption. Its many uses include fashion, adverts, mass culture, discourses of hygiene, diet and therapy, cults of youth and femininity, and sacrificial

is exploited in a managed narcissism, perfected externally so as to exploit it to produce


socially valued signs to appear as happy, healthy, young, spontaneous, beautiful and so on. The various uses of the body are replaced by a single
signifying function. Appearances such as fitness are deemed near-necessities in environments such as management. They express hostility to
the body, seen as a menacing object which needs to be watched over by the self. The
body is turned into a package, like clothes, and consumed like an object. Ones relationship to it thus becomes
neurotic and repressive. The body is socially encoded so as to meet normative demands to
produce and consume. This is even more alienating that the use of the body as source of labour-power. It is only after the body is reinvested in this way
that the demand for objects as signs occurs. People will only pursue objects as signs once their body is seen
as an object. Similarly, sexuality is turned into an instrumental code of signs instead of individual desires. Especially in downturn periods, sexuality becomes frenetic
practices such as slimming. It

but anxious. The profound contradictions of sexual problems and desires are covered-up. External censorship is replaced with an internalised censorship prohibiting liberation. A
private, narcissistic, personalised sexuality protects the status quo from the effects of sexual liberation. Sex is everywhere but in the sex-act itself. It is overwhelmed by signs.
There is also a new kind of imaginary subject or self generated by consumerism. Consumer society portrays all its objects for sale as carefully formulated for an impersonal
you to whom they are addressed. It is a kind of myth which presents consumption as common sense, consuming the spectacle of consumption itself. Without the myth of

consumption actually
is a set of reified social and

consumption, it would not exist as an integrative social function. It would simply be a set of differentiated needs and desires. The word
expresses a restructuring of social ideology. It is not in fact a victory of objects, or of earthly pleasures. Rather, it

productive relations and forces. In this world, revolutions are replaced by fashion cycles. Even the retraining of workers is little more than a fashion cycle.
Its a way of imposing low-intensity constraints and a threat of exclusion so as to ensure conformity.
Baudrillard is highly critical of the view that consumerism amounts to liberation. It is true that certain older regimes of authoritarianism have decayed. But the new
regime is also a system of control. Repression persists, but it moves sideways. The image of a sterile ,
hygienic body and fear of contamination establishes an inner control which removes desire from the body. The ranking
of bodies in terms of status leads to a re-racialisation. Puritanism becomes mixed-up with hedonism in this ranking process. The body as locus of
desire remains censored and silenced, even when it appears to undergo hedonistic release. Sexuality is expressed in consumption so it cant
disrupt the status quo. What is now censored is the symbolic structure and the possibility of deep meaning. Living
representations are turned into empty signs. Because of this change, the old resistances to repression no longer work.
Thus, the value to life is nullified. This is the ultimate impact, as all of ethics is fundamentally
predicated on lifes meaning. Without it, no actor can be obligated to action, as the obligation
itself becomes meaningless in a simulation ruled by a totalitarian code of transient symbols.
The alternative is to reject the affs hyperreality and perpetuation of symbolic nothingness by
engaging in a critical pedagogy oriented against consumption. Norris (2),
Baudrillards radical questioning of the character of signs, symbols and simulation in our postmodern age points towards the
necessity to reconsider the role of contemporary educational practices as a possible site
of resistance to the code. Is education invariably complicit in the murder of the real?
Jean

Educating in terms of semiotic structuralism and the reconciliation of the sign of objects and the
objects themselves will overturn the micro-fascist desire for purification led on by the totalitarian
code. By accepting the sign of the object as reality without entrenching the production of
oppositional symbols, the consumption of simulations is stymied and hyperreality begins to
erode. This sanctifies the value to life as the body is reunited with its sign, allowing ontic
authenticity.