Postprotest and Baudrillard

Postprotest and Baudrillard

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I think Jean Baudrillard might be important for the reflection on postprotest. Postprotest sometimes proposes a combination of civil disobedience and production of positive alternatives, to create a constructive or proactive resistance. In this text, however, Baudrillard criticizes the focus on “alternatives” as a way to defeat a dominant system; instead he suggests singularities. Here he also criticizes reactive protest movements:

”Who can defeat the global system? Certainly not the anti-globalization movement whose sole objective is to slow down global deregulation. This movement’s political impact may well be important. But its symbolic impact is worthless. This movement’s opposition is nothing more than an internal matter that the dominant system can easily keep under control. Positive alternatives cannot defeat the dominant system, but singularities that are neither positive nor negative can. Singularities are not alternatives. They represent a different symbolic order. They do not abide by value judgments or political realities. They can be the best or the worst. They cannot be “regularized” by means of a collective historical action. [6] They defeat any uniquely dominant thought. Yet they do not present themselves as a unique counter-thought. Simply, they create their own game and impose their own rules.”

 

Per Herngren

October 28, 2007, version 0.1

 

Source

Jean Baudrillard, The Violence of the Global, Translated by François Debrix, Initially published as “La Violence du Mondial,” in Jean Baudrillard, Power Inferno, Paris: Galilée, 2002, pp. 63-83.

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