File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0106, message 88

Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 15:52:46 +0100
Subject: Re: the Goths

Ciao Eric and all...

Bloomsday indeed - not heard of that one...

> Two points I want to make here.  Any adequate discussion of
> Baudrillard's theory of symbolic exchange would have to explore its
> roots in Mauss' "The Gift" and Bataille's theory of La Part Maudite, the
> Accursed Share.  The potlatch of the symbolic sign is essentially a
> theory of play and Baudrillard needs to be understood in this context
> where every exchange is a gambit.

Baudrillard has always been extremely open in aknowledging the roots of his
theoretical practice, but they are very broad, ranging from the above to
Surrealism, Situationism, Lefrebvre, Hegalo-Marxism and Saussure's Anagrams
with references to Freud, Lacan and Althussar, I am by no means certain that
it makes much sense to interpret, to attempt to understand his work through
Mauss and Bataille. However it is worth saying that I would not read the
theorisation of symbolic exchange in terms of 'play' and 'gambit' more in
terms as a countervailing symbolic structure that can be interpreted as
restricting the growth of the forces of political economy.

Unlike Baudrillard I do not (necessarily) regret this dominance of the
economic by exchange.

> The other point is simply to quote Nietzsche:  "It is only as an
> aesthetic experience that life can be justified. "  In this sense, it is
> possible to see Nietzsche as a kind of prophet of postmodern religion.
> Both the imaginary and play press against the capitalist work machine
> with its diachronic logic of terror while the machine attempts in turn
> to capture each one of its moves.  "Time is a child playing chess
> against Big Blue" to quote old Heraclitus.
> In this sense, religion is no longer the opium of the vanished people,
> the shadow of the silent majorities.  Instead, it is the placebo in the
> opium which gives rise to true hallucinations, overcoming the despotism
> of the eye. It reveals the "real frogs in imaginary gardens."

Not so post-modern religion remains a mythical frog (with apologies to frogs
and amphibians everywhere)...




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