chapter  6
17 Pages

Baudrillard and politics

WithChris Rojek

Jean Baudrillard's travels through the hyperreality of America and his exuberant celebration of depthlessness, mobility and circulation have been dismissed as the mark of an essentially trivial mind. Baudrillard emphasizes the dependence of the body upon mass communications. The smooth, unfolding operations of telecommunications have transformed the relationship between body and society. 'Our bodies', writes Baudrillard 'are becoming monitoring screens.' Baudrillard is based in primitive symbolic exchange, and develops a form of sociology which is best described as transtheoretical, a form of resistance from the irrational, a form of ressentiment, and a theoretical fatwa against the modern and postmodern system. Baudrillard discusses mass reproduction, homogenization and manipulation as immoveable facts of life. Baudrillard's work makes no concessions to the powerful managerialist strain in western social science. Baudrillard's thesis of the end of the social suggests that the sociological establishment is akin to a tribe of rain-makers in a desert, importuning forces which have disappeared.