The Mirror of Production
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Are the concepts of labor and of production adaptable to a developing industrial society? What is the meaning of "pre-industrial organization"? In attempting to answer these questions, Jean Baudrillard examines the lessons of Marxism, which has created a productivist model and a fetishism of labor. He argues that we must break the mirror of production, which "reflects all of Western metaphysics," and free the Marxist logic from the restrictive context of political economy whence it was born.
one . For the primitives, eating, drinking, and living are first of all acts that are exchanged : if they are not exchanged , they do not occur . But the "residual" is still too arithmetic . In fact , there is a certain type o f exchange , symbolic exchange, where the relation (not the "social") is tied, and this exchange excludes any surplus : anything that cannot be exchanged or symbolically shared would break the reciprocity and institute power. Better yet , this exchange excludes all
earlier societies of the determinations in which they live, of their magic, of their difference, of the meaning that they attribute to themselves , in order to clarify them in the infrastructural truth of the mode of production to which we alone have the key? The culmination produced by Marxist analysis, in which it illuminates the demise of all contradictions, is simply the emergence of history , that is, a process in which everything is always said to be resolved at a later date by an
are at a "zero point" of the code where their speech does not count. Thus, they are in a truly radical position because they mus t oppose not simply an inequality in the code , but the code itself. And they do so , as in the French events of May, 1968, by a spontaneous resort to la parole . In the act of speech there is· a reciprocal giving and taking of meanings that transcend the abstraction and manipulation of the sign. There is a discharge of energy and meaning, a pure loss as well as a gain.
production ; polymorphous, non-genital, "perverse" sexuality liquidated or submerged by the genital ' principle of sexual reality ; nature as a productive force subjected to total spoilation - in these cases and in others the process of capitalism crosses the entire network of natural , social , sexual and cultural forces, all languages and codes. In order to function, capitalism needs to dominate nature, to domesticate sexuality, to rationalize language as a means of communication , to relegate
long run a real alternative to capitalism . Assuming the generic schema of production and needs involves an incredible simplification of social exchange by the law of value . Viewed correctly, this fantastic proposition is both arbitrary and strange with respect to man's status in society. The analysis of all primitive or archaic organizations contradicts it , as does the feudal symbolic order and even that of our societies , since all pers pectives opened up by the contradictions of the mode of