Jean Baudrillard, a French philosopher, authored the book 'Simulacra and Simulation
," whose concepts were heavily relied upon by the Wachowski brothers in their development of the Matrix movies. During an early scene in the Matrix movie, Neo recovers a diskette hidden inside Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation, which Neo removes from his bookshelf. The following video describes the scene and introduces the listener to Baudrillard's concepts.The Desert of the RealBaudrillard claims that modern society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols and signs, and that the human experience is of a simulation of reality rather than reality itself
.The simulacra that Baudrillard refers to are signs of culture and media that create the perceived reality
; Baudrillard believed that society has become so reliant on simulacra that it has lost contact with the real world on which the simulacra are based.
Simulacra and Simulation identifies three types of simulacra and identifies each with a historical period:
- First order, associated with the pre-modern period, where the image is clearly an artificial placemarker for the real item.
- Second order, associated with the industrial Revolution, where distinctions between image and reality break down due to the proliferation of mass-produced copies. The item's ability to imitate reality threatens to replace the original version.
- Third order, associated with the postmodern age, where the simulacrum precedes the original and the distinction between reality and representation breaks down. There is only the simulacrum.
Baudrillard theorizes that the lack of distinctions between reality and simulacra originates in several phenomena:
- Contemporary media including television, film, print and the Internet, which are responsible for blurring the line between goods that are needed and goods for which a need is created by commercial images.
- Exchange value, in which the value of goods is based on money rather than usefulness.
- Multinational capitalism, which separates produced goods from the plants, minerals and other original materials and the processes used to create them.
- Urbanization, which separates humans from the natural world.
- Language and ideology, in which language is used to obscure rather than reveal reality when used by dominant, politically powerful groups.
Baudrillard claims we are living in a 3rd order Simulacrum
, associated with the postmodern age, where the simulacrum precedes the original and the distinction between reality and representation breaks down.The Murder of the Real
In the Murder of the Real, Baudrillard he points out that when reality is entirely artificial the people in it experience Nihilism
As the Power System loses power, the Power Systems Tries to Convince the Public that the Power System is All Powerful
What is happening now, with the Internet, Mainstream Media. Alternative media, controls over economy, controls over our liberties, controls over our travel, etc., is that the power structure is attempting to control our access to our own realities. They are attempting to control everything that we see and hear and think... whether is be through group pressure techniques or mass-propaganda. It is about controlling inputs... the inputs into our senses that lead to our brains.
We spend our days glues to TV screens, reading magazines, reading newspapers, reading the Web, all of these things are more and more controlled by their power base. Our reference and relationship with the "real" is less and less. We focus on and talk about AJ, about Glenn Beck, about Peter Schiff, about Obama, about ACORN, and everything else they throw our way. Our world is their
This is a cursory view into the Murder of the Real
. And if the power structure is allowed to progress, their control systems will gain a tighter grip, moving us into Matrix-like worlds, where we live out lives as the new movie "[URL="http://www.chooseyoursurrogate.com/"]Surrogates[/URL]
" attempts to portray. While these Hollywood representations are obviously egregious, they are accurate in their allegorical interpretation.
While I have inflamed many at these forums often, my message has always come from the vantage point that we should ignore them, ignore their system, ignore their dialectics, for they are manufactured for the purpose of control of the many by the few.
Turn to each other, turn to humanity, turn to faith, turn to what you believe is real. But these charades that they inject into our lives are not real. So, my goal is to help educate others that our best course of action is to turn away from their contrived systems, and to turn back to each other, humanity, and to begin to rebuild our society based upon the ideals that everyone here strives for.