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nature of Baudrillard s writings. The problem is not one of complexity: Baudrillard s central themes can be summarised relatively easily. It is instead that Baudrillard s writings directly attack the very idea of the concepts of truth , the ideas of information and its dissemination. For the sake of this presentation, I ll go against Baudrillard to explain Baudrillard the best I can. The death song of the media denotes that The Death of Marxist Ideology in Media Theory A quicky with Enzenberger Enzensberger is a Marxist, meaning he applies class antagonism to the media. What are the implications of this? The bourgeois control the media as a part of the superstructure. In order to speed up socialism, Enzensberger advocates the seizure of the media by the working class to invert the power relations. He argues that there is no theory of the media this can mean that the current theories are simply empirical and mystical . However, Baudrillard will provide a theory based on a the notion of symbolic exchange But before I get to that part, I ll have to explain to you why he finds other media theories inadequate. Let s start of with those who try to offer theories of communication/media through a Marxist lens. He breaks this down into two perspectives: The first argument that he makes is that let s appropriate Marxism and apply it to see if we can theorize about media studies. He says that one retains the general form of Marxist analysis (the dialectical contradiction between forces and relations of production), but admits that the classical definition of productive forces too restricted, so one expands the analysis in terms of productive forces to the whole murky field of signification and communication He argues that Marx is inapplicable, you cannot apply Marx to media theoryHe argues that Marx, in his materialist analysis of production, had virtually circumscribed/ restricted productive forces as a privileged domain from which language, signs and communication in general found themselves excluded. Where the dialectic lies in ashes because it offered itself as a system of interpreting the separated order of material production. In this 2 nd argument, what Baudrillard is saying is that it is inappropriate to adopt Marx and apply it to media, as the Marxian dialectic or more simply the idea of a social structure based upon a tension between classes with opposing interests, was developed in relation to understanding of industrial capitalism
Instead of Enzenberger s leftist dream of a media takeover. The media possesses its own complexities where it is the primary player in the distribution of information. he posits that the true socialist destiny of the media is to return them to their social vocation of the open communication and unlimited democratic exchange.rather than post-industrial capitalism. but perverted by the capitalist order Furthermore.a form that is subjective and arbitrary. makes sense on the factory floor where capital wants more profit and lower wages and labour wants higher wages. The producer of the media encodes a certain message but once it is transmitted via the media and decoded by people. the structure of the media remains fundamentally egalitarian and it is up to the revolutionary praxis to disengage this potentiality inscribed in the media. Baudrillard however emphasises that medium s effect of the message rather than assuming there is no message. To him. The Death of the Communication Model /Speech without Response The mass-media are anti-mediatory and intransitive. or tension between labour and capital. 280 Such claims imply that the media is merely a passive tool open to be manipulated by people. the message changes form. argues that the media itself is partial. In other words to apply a Marxist frame on media theory means that it ultimately obfuscates/ ignores to the medium itself and its possible affects on perception and social relations. The death of any revolutionary potentials of the media Enzenberger has a socialist dream of a leftist take over of the media. They fabricate noncommunication. accessible and definable structure. Pp. So while the notion of a dialectical struggle. Baudrillard argues that the media itself is nebulous. it does not make sense in the context of contemporary media. which you could argue characterizes the modern media. you cannot possess it and control it in the way that you want to. we must keep in the front of our minds that he is a post-structuralist. This is because the meaning or media doesn t contain any logical. What does this mean? That there is no way in which we can penetrate. THEREFORE. This taps into the McLuhan adage of The medium is the message. This is because we access meaning through the relationship of encoding and decoding. Baudrillard however. we have to understand communication as something other than the simple-transmission-reception of a message. and objectively understand .it s ontologically inaccessible. access. y Why would Baudrillard say this? To understand/ interpret comprehensibly anything Baudrillard says. it is impenetrable.
. Or in his lexicon irresponsibility. Baudrillard says the media is non-communicative because the ambiguity of language blocks any impartial objective transmission of what one person means to another. to Baudrillard class power is actuate through the system of signs through the social logic of distinction that signs mark and reproduce -to Baudrillard if we are to understand power it needs to be understood in terms of a monopoly of meaning by the bourgeoisie even though this meaning is partial and contingent They are making meaning to control me well I will reciprocate. As a consequence. Meaning. IS BAUDRILLARD ANTI-POWER? He sees power as rooted in a monopoly of meaning. because you have no monopoly over meaning. resultantly. Why would this be the case? If we take that language is impenetrable this means that our interactions are characterised by one person (the signifier) encoding by throwing out words (signs) with the intention of them representing things (signified) YET. OR there is no-structure we can get at. we can define reciprocity in terms of being able to push back by saying that while that is what you re saying. What are the implications?. they are intransitive meaning not allowing the movement of meaning. Thus he live in an era of assymetrical power.understand or make rules for logically.y y y the meaning of language and media. how we fight power is by taking back meaning from the bourgeois and he suggests we take back meaning through reciprocity. they are not a go between.and make meaning to control them. this is how I interpret it. due to the impenetrability of language where the other person puts their own interpretation on these words they are interpreting (decoding) a message with a different meaning. even though meaning is partial. arguably a true socialism. How we achieve revolution is by taking back meaning through the possibility of response Baudrillard says he lives in the era of non-response. unlike something being transit whereit moves from one person to another. But if we take back meaning then we fight power and achieve a revolution that eluded Ezenberger and Marx for enzenberger was merely turning power through the control of meaning upside down. power is being able to state without exception what something means even though meaning in reality is contingent. Why meaning is power? Knowledge functions as a tool of power (Nietzche) Baudrillard understands power as a property of the system (of signs) rather than an attribute of the individual (Pawlett). But through reciprocity we abolish the asymmetry of power all together. Non-reciprocity = total power So if power belongs to those who can give and not be repaid according to Baudrillard and his analogy.this is what baudrillard considers reciprocity or responsibility. Further. So now that we know what non-reciprocity is.the mass media are anti-mediatory. Consequently.
This is because it took away the original meaning of the movement by relaying it to the public before a monopoly of meaning could be established. the public could not comp letely fathom this form of transgression. The media therefore must always kill change. THE DEATH OF THE MEDIA To Baudrillard. Consequently. But transgression and subversion never get on the air without being subtly negated as they are: transformed into models. toBaudrillardwe should kill the media and go back to the streets if we are going to achieve any kind of democratic existence. There is no model of transgression. they are eviscerated (got rid) of their meaning. proto-typypical or serial. it also destroyed it. By broadcasting the events in the abstract universality of public opinion they imposed a sudden and inordinate development on the movement of events and through this force an anticipated extension. and to achieve revolution we must do away with the media entirely and its meaning monopolizing tendencies. where the movement was pushing boundaries. If meaning is power. they deprived the original movement and its own rhythm and its meaning. neutralised into signs.The implications of responsibility claims Baudrillard is that we are then able to bring about a revolution where we can end the monopoly of speech and democratize the media. To Baudrillard the media. while initially supporting the protests in May 68. therefore. . they formulated their own ideas of the movement and straying from its intended meaning. Why is it democratic? Because there s no power and if there s no power then everyone is equal. This is why he is a radical. In a word they short circuited it. the media stands in the way of any reciprocity. Since the movement was new to the public. Hence there is no way to reduce it than to administer it a mortal dose of publicity. In the sphere of traditional politics (left or right wing) where sanctified models and a kind of canonical speech are exchanged the media are able to transmit without distorting the meanings intended. They are homogenous with this kind of speech as they are with the circulation of the commodity. its power. the media unintentionally deprived the movement of its meaning and in doing so.