Prelude to the School to Come ” Introduction to the Special Issue”.Helen E. Lees & Nick Peim – – Studies in Philosophy and Education 32 (2) You may know Jean Baudrillard even if you don’t know him. He sort-of co-wrote The Matrix movie. His book by matrjoschka. The Agony of Power is another posthumous text by Jean Baudrillard, to be published by Semiotexte in October. If you’ve never read Baudrillard.

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You may know Jean Baudrillard even if you don’t know him. He sort-of co-wrote Baudrillzrd Matrix movie. His book Simulacra and Simulation was inspiration for the dystopian blockbuster.

And you can see Neo is hiding things in a copy of the book in the opening scene of the film:. Baudrillard is a pretty big deal in the relatively niche category of French Philosophers. In the book I’m reviewing here, The Agony of PowerBaudrillard explains why power and intelligence are opposites. He argues that they cannot exist together. This book helped me understand why our world, sociopolitically, is fantastically fucked. I’ll attempt to give a flavour of what this book contains.

Here is a photograph of my copy:. In The Agony of PowerBaudrillard deconstructs our current global situation to demonstrate that we, as societies, have internalised our own enslavement to the extent that we gate-keep our own prison cells. This might sound excessive at first.

But, as always with Baudrillard, he has a pesky way of unveiling uncomfortable truths. First, there is the distinction between domination and hegemony. DominationBaudrillard says, is the old method of social control. But Hegemony is something new. Hegemony is when the system of control escapes the control of any single human or group and becomes systematised and internalised.

For me, a good example of this might be our financial system. Presumably, once designed to serve us, we now serve it.

In other words, our symbols have been turned against us. Remember the Great Depression of the Thirties? One day there was a flourishing consumer economy, with everyone on the up-and-up; and the next, unemployment, poverty and bread lines. The physical resources of the country — the brain, brawn, and raw materials — were in no way depleted, but there was a sudden absence of money, a so-called financial slump.

Complex reasons for this kind of disaster can be elaborated at length by experts on banking and high finance who cannot see the forest for the trees. This is a process I, from a psychoanalytic perspective, would call Internalising the Perpetratoror a kind of society-level version of the Stockholm Syndrome.

But I also sense that Baudrillard means something much worse, more pervasive and harder to unravel than this. Not for the first time, I was reminded of Marshall McLuhan’s observation that a fish cannot perceive the water it swims in because it knows no other environment to contrast it with. I feel that Baudrillard is peering into our societal fish tank from a rare position outside it.

This is the platform of all true philosophers.

Baurdrillard goes on to explain how our state of hegemony means that we cannot fight against power, because it is tangled up in us, and ot, to some extent, us. We are in an awful spaghetti of mashed-up signs and mangled symbols. A situation where the powerful can exhibit the horrors of their operations in broad daylight because the signs we would use to topple it are broken and warped.


This made me think of occasions on which we did not react to abuses of power even when they were plain to see.

Unpublished Chevron Review #6 “The Agony of Power” – Maxwell Kennel

For example, Snowden’s revelations that the US is a rogue surveillance state; the discovery that the British Government and BBC were running a paedophile ring bauddrillard the s; The discovery and subsequent media-obfuscation of the paedophile ring that appears to be run by several of Clinton’s campaign managers; The outlandishness of Trump who, regardless of your political nuances, is plainly a showman. Here to run a show. Baudrillard seems to have a point: I have no idea how to resist power because it seems to be both everywhere, and immune to critique.

Because there is apparently no critique it cannot admit to, reshape, and drive over. When, for example, the British Broadcasting Corporation is known to have facilitated the rape of thousands of British children, and is not disbanded in the light of this information.

What possible critique can stop power? The acceptance of any indignity that power baudrilkard think to subject us to.

And the internalisation of this position of powerlessness.

Terrorism, he views as a self-perpetuating virus of thought. A ghost that haunts us endlessly because it is us:. This process of terror being constructed from one key event and then rippling out under its own momentum is well-known to me from reading trauma theory. A ghost feeding a ghost feeding a ghost. First as tragedy, then as farce.

Published inThe Agony of Power predated Trump’s visions of a walled-in America by a decade, so it’s interesting to read Baudrillard’s thoughts on walls:. This is good news for anyone who objects to America constructing a wall along its borders.

Because, paradoxically, the construction of a wall predicts the imminent collapse of the ideology or political system that built it. There’s so much more to say about The Agony of Powerbut I feel like it’s worth immersing yourself in it first-hand. Even if it kills you it nearly killed me. I’ll finish off this review by highlighting one more interesting passage in the book:. In the excerpt above, Baudrillard begins to touch on the theories he expands much further in the excellent and overwhelming Simulacra and Simulation.

I want to cover that book in more detail in a forthcoming review, but suffice to say that Baudrillard thinks we are living in simulation of reality.

Jean Baudrillard « SEMIOTEXT(E)

Not a computer simulation although that is an adequate metaphorbut one constructed in language. Bqudrillard constructed reality is one where signs have become corrupt.

We end up, as obvious examples, with paradoxical linguistic constructs like “Clean Coal” or “Extraordinary Rendition”. Then we reach further and further into ;ower linguistic abstractions baudrilladd nations go to war with a noun. For example, “The War on Terror” in which people become reduced to nouns: None of these terms seem to mean anything concrete. But, instead, serve psychodynamically as a means of directing floating societal anger onto an object in the object-relations sense that is as far away as possible from the true object society itself.

I wrote more about his subject here: Baudrillard is not an easy author to read but maybe nothing that truly changes our minds is an easy experience. I’m excited qgony explore the rest of his work. Your post has been chosen by the communities of SteemTrail as one of our top picks today. Also, as a selection for being a top pick today, you have been awarded a TRAIL token for your participation on our innovative platform If you wish to not receive comments from SteemTrail, please reply with “Stop” to opt out.


Hi, I just read your post about microdose of LSD. It bring me a lot of questions about the process and results. You say LSD take you to a travel to the roots of your problem. But how was the process, and how deep you went and what deep mean. Also the profound changes in your live, from your relationship to your food habits.

How the LSD allowed to recognize this needs. A very interesting personal work. Hi garvofeThanks for reading. Your questions are deep! I will write a post about this soon, maybe this evening.

The agony of power

The LSD therapy process was long, and supported initially by experts. And ‘deep’ means, I went all the way bausrillard to perinatal experiences —— in other words, a complete processing of all unresolved emotional experiences from birth powerr present day. This is typical poer psychedelic trauma therapy. You baudrillardd enjoy this book: What an epic post, you sure deserve and upvote on this one!

Thanks for sharing tje French philosopher with us all here on Steemit, the group on this platform can definitely relate to this. I really appreciated your writing style and the design of your article as well. Thanks eric-boucherfor reading; and for your compliments. I’m glad you enjoyed the piece. I plan to review another of Baudrillard’s books, Simulacra and Simulationsoon. Are you saying that budrillard dominated has to fight the dominator but the hegemonated has to fight the hegemony?

Halfway through your article I was thinking of how black celebrities are more likely to thank a super-being for their successes than white people, perhaps because during their ancestors’ slavery, a super-being was the only hope they had in an unliveable situation. Is it true that they have perhaps internalised the dominance of organised religion and it has become hegemony by way of meme? I’m ahony to find a foothold on this theory and terminology. Thanks for interesting questions, lenskonig.

Good to see you back in the Steem room. I’m trying to present Baudrillard’s view more than my own, but as to your question about who the hegemonated! I think it might be more about who they have to stop fighting: Themselves in shadow aspect. My personal feeling is that we’ve reached such a deep level of simulacra and simulation that the way back to peace, globally, requires the kind of extreme intervention presented metaphorically in The Matrix movie.

In other words, for us each to take some kind of pill, agree to wake up in the truth of our situation being plugged into a mechanistic system of hegemonyface this truth, and find our way back to something real.