File spoon-archives/baudrillard.archive/baudrillard_1995/baudrillard.07-95, message 18

Date: Sun, 23 Jul 1995 22:33:33 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: the wager of seduction

Reading back through the archive, things become a bit clearer, but i still
find myself stranded somewhere between Ryan and Ross. On one hand, there
is the call to "politics" - driven by the acknowledgment of real
injustice, real suffering by folks whose object-ive status is the price of
first world "I"s. And on that side, we can understand a certain impatience
with "piety" - although i'm not sure that is precisely what we are dealing
with. On the other hand is a sensitivity to Baudrillard's project of
disappearance. This is the "side of the object" which he identifies as his
position. And while there may be a power on this side, it is, as i have
suggested before, an alien one to those of us who still claim an "I" - and
i think that has to be most of us. (Real Baudrillardians probably don't

It seems that perhaps there are two mutually exclusive positions - and
Baudrillard-and-postcolonialism, for example, is a situation of "never the
twain shall meet." A couple of things pull me up short here though. I
question the possibility of the project of self-objectivization/
disappearance - at least as a project that one could complete. Surely
Baudrillard doesn't manage to escape the "political" hand, no matter how
radical his gestures may be. Then again, if we take Baudrillard at all
seriously, it is hard to see how we escape some participation in this
object-ive "existence" of the mass(es). 

Doesn't the act of reading Baudrillard, of engaging his thought, involve a
certain amount of necessary seduction? We are drawn into the world of the
object only to the extent that we coax Baudrillard out of the shadows.
There is no question of a pure or pious reading. Baudrillard will admit no
followers in that sense. Neither will he be allow himself to be brought
inot the open without drawing his reader into a space of compromise, a
compromising situation. 

The question of putting Baudrillard into play with the thought of other
political thinkers seems to me to answer to a similar logic. We will have
to put postcolonialism, or those spinozist political bodies that i have
been gesturing toward, into the pot in a sense, put them at risk - of
contamination or loss. It doesn't finally mean we can't attempt the
articulations. In fact, to the extent that we are incapable of object-ive
readings perhaps we can't help doing it. 

Or so it seems to me right now...




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