Re: Baudrillard Quotes (long)

Christopher Pound (pound@IS.RICE.EDU)
Mon, 1 Apr 1996 17:59:03 -0600

> Especially interesting interesting to me is the
> realization that Baudrillard is a Cultural Materialst.
> vance geiger

Baudrillard, _The Mirror of Production_, pp. 106-107:
"'The idea that in all societies the relations of production, and
consequently, politics, law, religion, etc., presuppose that in all societies
the same articulation of human activities exists, that technology, law,
politics, and religion are always necessarily separated and separable; it is
to extrapolate to the totality of history the structuration of our own
society, which is inevitably meaningless outside of it.' This summarizes the
critique that we have made, in the sense that it aims less at the contents
of the analysis than at the form, less at any particular conclusion than at
the 'scientific' tendency itself. The dialectical structuring of categories
which remain in a latent state, with its latent hierarchy placing the
determinant instance at the heart of the process of development, as separated
functions, as distinctive oppositions ruled by the code, whether traditional
or Marxist, carries an incurable _ethnocentrism of the code_. It is at this
price that 'materialist' analysis aspires to be a science, to be intelligible;
but this intelligibility is that of its own code. From the outset it labors
in fact to reproduce it, while at the same time compressing its object,
scotomizing it, arming itself against it with a whole system of defenses and
miscomprehensions. It works _in the imaginary_ like the man who, having lost
his key in a dark alley, looks for it in a lighted area, because, he says,
that is the only place where he could find it. Thus, historical materialism
does not know how to grasp earlier societies in their symbolic articulation.
It only finds in them what it could find under its own light, that is, its
artificial mode of production."

So, no. But you're right in pointing out that those other quotes revealed a
debt to Marxism, generally.