File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0112, message 43

Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 22:32:28 -0600
Subject: Baudrillard


I just posted this piece a short time ago.  I'm repeating it again in
hopes that we can discuss this further. I would like to hear more of
your response to the essay.


> steve.devos wrote:
> > I can feel Lyotard's ghostly smile and I am sorry that the 'deep dark
> > depression' is still hanging around you...
> Steve:
> The deep dark feeling I was trying to describe wasn't depression.
> I admit Baudrillard usually leaves me cold. Most of his insights come
> across as a kind of bargain basement McLuhan. However, his recent piece
> on 911 seems haunting to me.
> The root of the feeling Baudrillard seems to express is this. As you
> point out, the state (which includes the entire apparatus of late night
> capitalism) is both violent and oppressive. At the end of the cold war,
> America paradoxically found itself in a state of crisis and needed to
> assert itself in novel ways to maintain its hegemony. As a result, its
> power began to appear almost invincible, despite the forces who
> contested the top-down piss-on-the-poor globalism that only served to
> maintain the interests of the wealthy elites.
> The secret unconscious Freudian feeling many experienced with the
> collapse of the World Trade Center, besides the obvious conscious
> horror, was the hidden sense of surprize that American capitalism,
> imperialism, militarism remained vulnerable. Despite our latent fears,
> history had not ended after all. Another world was still possible.
> Which again for the umpteenth time is not to defend the actions of what
> those terrorists did.  Their motivations are much closer to those of
> Ashcroft and Sharon than they are to mine.
> History ocurred in a way that was almost dreamlike and simultaneously a
> all-too-real catastrope - the innocents who died were certain made of
> flesh and blood, their tragedy remains inscribed in us.
> What Bauddrillard evokes in his essay is exactly this strange, uncanny
> ambivalent feeling which many of us felt, but could not really express
> in the midst of the retribalization and suspicion that occurred among
> us.
> Does this make my point any clearer? Certainly, our anxieties about the
> state and violence found a strange echo in 911.
> eric
> p.s. - Is it ironic, or merely convenient, that exactly when the
> nomadism of which you speak is on the rise, terrorism is used as an
> excuse to combat it?  Only the corporation is permitted to become
> nomadic under the law of capitalism because only the corporation and the
> fetus are considered real. The multitude remains an interloper which
> must be utilized before it is exterminated like vermin.
> Sharon aping Bush and 911 disgusts me to no end. Why can't he be tried
> by a military tribunal for his war crimes?


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