[printer friendly version ]

ISSN: 1705-6411

Volume 3, Number 2 (July 2006)

The Principle of Reversal


Hsiang (Kevin) Hsu
(Doctoral Student, European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland).
 

In the crystalline eye of the bird sitting crowned on the steeple,

With stealth he retraces his steps and effaces them all.1
 

I. Principles and Paradigms

            Theoretico-empirical failure of thoughts of difference to seize or want to master opposition without reducing it to itself, or diffident insurgency of the one from more-than-one rather than its trailing the later, calls for something that does not divagate in vicarious sociality/guilt, lecture on naïve dialectics or yearn for postmortem systematicity. A contemporary genus of “redescriptors” (and predescriptors) dare to ask whether totality still exists and dissemble theories in return for phenomena: either conditions must expand or theories must change. It is my hope that the theories of Jean Baudrillard are an antidote to the cant of subjective critique. This paper attempts more a “redescription” of Baudrillard’s theories and claims nothing more or (it is hoped) less.

            To define reversal in its hypothetical status delimits its operant function in immanently constructed paradigms (philosophy, poetry, cinema, photography). To articulate an hypothesis or principle in a paradigm (“Baudrillard”) or nested paradigms, effects a silence. Dual signification denoting presence and connoting absence – the ascendance of the example to its excepted ineffability – intelligible and unintelligible, knowable and unknowable. Here and now a frame’s tacit self-testament between the intractable and the specular.
 

II. Baudrillard or A “Theory”

            A photograph is a monograph, indifferently obsessive and poignantly obscene. Roland Barthes invoked Sartre: “In the image… the object yields itself wholly. …I can say nothing about this photograph”.2 Meaning and judgment do not occur in elision or suspension but “fascination” as superfluous signification, which signifies imperially something like a death of romance (“Love’s a bluff!”).3 An absolute light – photographic in the literal sense – demanding not to be looked at, but rather, that we close our eyes to it and the inner darkness it enfolds.4

            Montaigne once said to philosophize is to learn how to die, and it is not surprising he reversed his thesis.5 Fascination of death, “reversion of death”.6

The unbinding of energies is, however, the very form of the current system, which consists in a strategic drift of value ...For the system is master: like God it can bind or unbind energies; what it is incapable of (and what it can no longer avoid) is reversibility.7

This is the beginning, contraption and conception, of reversal. Death. What is at stake is reversibility of reversibility (“reversality”8), a single reversal itself. To learn how to die is to follow death, to death.

            Jean Baudrillard’s “theory” is the surreptitious parade. “Theory” is most imperial, sans multitude, so annihilates itself, signifying duplicity. For this duplicity it appears interchangeable with thought. Lyotard countersigned:

Why can’t he see that the whole problematic of the gift and symbolic exchange, as he receives it from Mauss, with or without the deflections of Bataille, Caillois and Lacan, pertains completely to imperialism and Western racism – that is the good savage of ethnology, slightly libidinalized, whom he inherits with the concept?9

The problem with libido is exactly it is never libidinal – only lascivious, maybe. Here the good savage “puts on” again and again, incapable of giving in return. Libidinal economics is the anticlimax of difference, secondary or incidental imperialism. It does not supersede reversal. It only reverses it. This is the first lesson of Baudrillard’s symbolic theory.

            The second and perhaps prima facie exposition is inaugurated by the move to spectacle. The most epigrammatic (perhaps summary) critique to date of this theory is Jean-Luc Nancy’s, which traces the move10: it is not really (and cannot be) a critique of Baudrillard but rather of theoria via rent of praxis (sense-signification or signal-sign11. Again neither praxis nor system supersedes reversal. Both precede and phenomenalize (“signal” or “signify”) it. This leads to the principle of exchange.

            The principle is not at all primary, nor inexchangeable, merely inexorable.  Baudrillard:

We must see that the symbolic processes (reversibility, anagrammatic dispersal, reabsorption without residue) are not at all mixed up with the primary processes (displacement, condensation, repression). They are mutually opposed, even if together they are opposed to the logical discourse of meaning ...A radical theory can be based neither on their [Marxism and psychoanalysis’] ‘synthesis’ nor on their contamination, but only on their respective ex-termination’.12

Symbolic processes are degree zero (of) primary and secondary processes: they are kept by their impossibility (hence reversal of symbolic exchange in Impossible Exchange – things cannot be exchanged because they change and interchange: exchange never takes place because it is always already taking place); primary and secondary processes only confuse things: “to take the side of the primary process is still a consequence of secondary processes”.13 Exchange can only be symbolic: reversal of impossibility.

            Symbolic processes do not play secondary processes off against primary ones: they are their abolition. Similarly Giorgio Agamben says, “For an intention to refer to itself and not to an object, it must exhaust itself neither in the pure absence of an intentum nor in its presence”,14 which one could augment: for an intention to refer to itself and to an object, it must exhaust itself in either the pure presence of the object or its absence. One could also say this is the nothing that haunts (all) nothing. Only it does not irrupt but reverses.

            One sees the other extreme, reduction of “the radical theory of ambivalence to a theory of intertextuality and the ‘plurality of codes’”.15 Baudrillard: “There is no materialist reference in the symbolic operation, not even an ‘unconscious’ one: rather there is the operation of an ‘anti-matter’”.16 Finally “radical ambivalence [symbolic exchange] is non-valence [impossible exchange]”.17 “Radical” non-valence is bivalence (exchange “proper”) again in the actualization of codes.

            And in a physical sense: reversal is not metaphysics’ scion (good “versus” evil).

“...[W]hat science senses now ...is ...a possible reversibility of physical laws ...not some ultra-formula or meta-equation of the universe (which the theory of relativity was ...not only particles into anti-particles, matter into anti-matter, but the laws themselves)”.18

This is also what Baudrillard means by “everything is seduction, and nothing but seduction”19 – pure “physical” status, whether of objects, appearances or any intermediary vocation or lot. One thus finds the grace to enter that state of concrete difference, the state of reversality.
 

III. First Order or Reversals

            Une transparence en verre dépoli.20
 

            In the currency of difference is not indifference maximized and exhausted in circulus?21 The ultimate lesson of theoria: annihilate difference, reduce difference to itself. Return of concrete difference – even to difference itself.

            The order of concrete difference contains and sets up reversals. This first order is the primal (“symbolic”) order of reversality and primality of the order of reversals, which contain primal concrete difference. This is difference itself: nothing is outside or inside it, only itself – not a void but transcendental emptiness contained in nothing. Only then reversals “take over”. Contrast Deleuze’s difference in itself:

...[I]s it not rather the only extreme, the only moment...? The difference ‘between’ two things is only empirical, and the corresponding determinations are only extrinsic. However, imagine something which distinguishes itself – and yet that from which it distinguishes itself does not distinguish itself from it ...Difference is this state in which determination takes the form of unilateral distinction.22

Deleuze wished to tame the cruel monster into a docile companion or invoke, bring out and to surface, the “animal-self” always already teras. Again secondary or incidental imperialism: “[d]ifference must leave its cave and cease to be a monster; or at least only that which escapes at the propitious moment must persist as a monster, that which constitutes only a bad encounter, a bad occasion”.23 This is the primal concrete difference, indissoluble for all it is worth: pet (domestication) and monster (interiorization) not imminently reversible but immediately reversed. Reversal is the only extreme and engenders infinite oppositions.24

            It is true, as Deleuze pointed out, “[i]t is not difference which presupposes opposition but opposition which presupposes difference”.25 What it presupposes – “a swarm of differences, a pluralism of free, wild or untamed differences” of “the original, intensive depth which is the matrix of the entire space and the first affirmation of difference”26 – is primal concrete difference – difference, which cannot be represented qua representation, for it must be contained, suppressed, mercantilized, by differences, concrete differences in general (“[d]ifference must be shown differing”).27 It is this paradoxical limit, limit of all limits, the liminal, which gives itself to opposition. The “epiphenomenon” of opposition, reversal, has so re-turned to difference, returning it, returning difference to itself and itself to itself. Opposition absolves difference, meanwhile reabsorbing itself without trace by letting itself be dissolved in difference, which always already “engenders” oppositions, the first-born being concrete difference, zero-opposition. Reversal rises from and against difference and always already wins “over” it via the double agent of exchange and opposition.

            Contrast Jacques Derrida’s différance:

First, différance refers to the (active and passive) movement that consists in deferring by means of delay, delegation, reprieve, referral, detour, postponement, reserving ...Second, the movement of différance, as that which produces different things, that which differentiates, is the common root of all oppositional concepts that mark our language, such as, to take only a few examples, sensible/intelligent, intuition/signification, nature/culture, etc. …Third, différance is also the production, if it can still be put this way, of these differences, of the diacriticity that the linguistics generated by Saussure, and all the structural sciences modeled upon it, have recalled as the condition for any signification and any structure ...From this point of view, the concept of différance is neither simply structuralist, nor simply geneticist, such an alternative itself being an ‘effect’ of différance.28

Différance is the non-full, non-simple, structured and differentiating origin of differences. Thus, the name ‘origin’ no longer suits it”.29 Différance is not “play” of difference (this would be too big an investment, too vulgar a stake) but absconding to indifference – concealment.30 Nancy’s nice metaphor:

The coming is infinite ...the inconclusiveness of its coming – and of the ‘going’ that corresponds to that coming ...The coming (but is there ‘the’ coming, and not rather a ‘to come’ that comes without allowing of substantialization?) demands something else, and no doubt, first of all, a letting-come and a letting-overcome, an aptitude (necessarily inapt) for the surprising of sense, and also for its letting-go.31

“Surprising”, never calculation or calculus (if such a totally inapt one) – no matter how (much) one “plays” there is never surprise, for even its most apt stand-in, chance, is calculated into the game. A romantic notion, différance. Agamben again:

Nevertheless, it would be the worst misunderstanding of Derrida’s gesture to think that it could be exhausted in a deconstructive use of philosophical terms that would simply consign them to an infinite wandering or interpretation ...Derrida enters into the Paradise of language, where terms touch their limits. And ...he ‘cuts the branches’; he experiences the exile of terminology, its paradoxical subsistence in the isolation of all univocal reference.32

It would indeed be the worst misunderstanding of différance to think that it could be exhausted in play; it is always already exhausted in it. It is always too full or empty (or not full or empty enough). He continues:

[T]he apparent aporias ...instead express the complexity of the messianic task that is allegorized in ...[them] ...The concept ‘trace’ is not a concept (just as ‘the name différance is not a name’) ...Grammatology was forced to become deconstruction in order to avoid this paradox (or, more precisely, to seek to dwell in it correctly) ...The experimentum linguae that is at issue in grammatological terminology does not (as a common misunderstanding insists) authorize an interpretative practice directed toward the infinite deconstruction of a text, nor does it inaugurate a new formalism. Rather, it marks the decisive event of matter, and in doing so it opens onto an ethics.33

Différance is neither deferral nor deferral of deferral but immediate referral; neither coming nor coming of coming but cyclic becoming; neither name nor name of name but immanent nomenclature; neither matter nor matter of matter but anti-matter; neither ethics nor ethics of ethics but conscienceless guilt. In “opening onto” it is subject to reversal: “[o]ne cannot say ‘Here are our monsters’ without immediately turning them into pets”.34 Baudrillard warns:

But take care! Out of this private and asocial universe, which does not enter into a dialectic of representation and of transcendence towards the universal, out of this involutive sphere which is opposed to all revolution from the top and refuses to play the game, some would like to make a new source of revolutionary energy (in particular in its sexual and desire version). They would like to give it meaning and to reinstate it in its very banality, as historical negativity. Exaltation of micro-desires, small differences, unconscious practices, anonymous marginalities. Final somersault of the intellectuals to exalt insignificance, to promote non-sense into the order of sense. And to transfer it back to political reason. Banality, inertia, apoliticism used to be fascist; they are in the process of becoming revolutionary – without changing meaning, without ceasing to have meaning. Micro-revolution of banality, transpolitics of desire – one more trick of the ‘liberationists’. The denial of meaning has no meaning.35

The denial is the first step to invest nihilism as a fresh face of totality (nihilism seems to have fulfilled its promise just making itself over ex nihilo):

As we know, the effect of force is always the effect of repression, as the effect of reality is always the effect of the imaginary. We must write the ‘Mirror of Desire’ as we have written The Mirror of Production.36

However it is not enough reversals detour by way of the signifier (negativity “is not” nothing); they must absolve and resolve both signifier and signified, dissolving linearity in all forms, except the linear,

...dead-end of difference. The problem of difference is insoluble, for the simple reason that the terms involved are not different but incomparable. The terms we are used to setting in opposition to each other are quite simply incompatible, which means that difference has no meaning ...This goes for all traditional oppositions ...They are not on the same plane, and it is an illusion to oppose them ...The whole effort will be to reduce this antagonistic principle, this incompatibility, to a mere difference, to a well-tempered play of opposition ...All that seeks to be singular and incomparable, and does not enter into the play of difference, must be exterminated.37

Thus reversal is extreme planarity.38 As for causality, “...it is not indeterminacy that is opposed to causality, but obligation. The latter is neither a linear chain, nor an unchaining ...it forms a reversible chain”.39 On seduction:

...seduction is more intelligible than love...it operates at the level of a higher form, a dual form, a perfect differential form. Sex, of all differential forms, is the one where difference matters least ...It is not the dual form of seduction that is mysterious, it is, rather, the individual figure of the subject tracked by his own desire or in quest of his own image.40

Seduction does not begin with distance but immediacy or fascination. It is not de-severance. Rather it throws around signs of distance, its non-constitution. This is how it challenges and forecloses production and vacates ontology, instituting iconology. Reverence. Enigma of the one. Chung-tze: “Division is the same as creation; creation is the same as destruction”.
 

IV. Second order or Reversal of logic

            Indifference:

The indifference of time ...space ...political indifference ...sexual indifference ...The individual’s indifference to himself and to others is a mirror-image of all these other kinds of indifference: it results from ...the subject’s being inscribed in the order of identity, which is a product, paradoxically, of the demand he be different from himself and from others ...For this identitary individual lives on the hymning and hallucinating of difference, employing to that end all the devices for simulating the other. He is the first victim of that psychological and philosophical theory of difference which, in all spheres, ends in indifference to oneself and others ...We have conquered otherness with difference and, in its turn, difference has succumbed to the logic of the same and of indifference.41

As indifference is not different from difference, reversal does not denounce difference; rather it renounces it. It exhausts primacy and sovereignty of difference, that is primacy of primacy, and gives it up to symbolic primal order (as it must). As epiphenomenon it can adopt and adapt difference, arrogate it as difference founds and is “useless” without it. Indifference (objective not subjective) is re-nunciation and reversal of difference. The recollected go forth to lives of renunciation.

            Jean-Pierre Faye’s Langages totalitaires shows the immanent fear of total renunciation beneath and amid all “oscillations”, that words have themselves withdrawn from history, the world, even language: there is nothing to renounce.42 Prosodie du récit, et de l’histoire même. Prosodie qui n’est pas «fixe»: prosodie oscillante. Qui annonce et apporte la mort, ici”.43

            Confluence of totality and totalitarianism: Faye seems to echo on the other side of Laozi’s admonition (“Use words sparingly, then all things will fall into place”) when he says, “[L]e langage est le plus dangereux de tous les biens. A travers lui, ici, le danger de l’histoire peut se voir”.44 Words are talismans, animals or science. Oxymoron of sacred means. They are even revered and resented in Eastern thought: “Language should be intelligible and nothing more”.45 The reverse nature of language seems to be that of the world, become perverse in politics, naive in philosophical thought: “[t]he poetic is precisely the mutual volatilization of the status of thing and discourse”.46

            Jean Hyppolite said in an outline of Hegel,

Nature and history are the presentation of the Absolute in space and time, but this Absolute thinks itself as the Logos; it knows itself. This Logos is not a divine understanding which would exist somewhere else in another world. It is the light of Being in human reality.47

But he then stated, “The ground of self-consciousness is what, in nature, presents itself as disappearance and death ...By apprehending death, man becomes the supreme abstraction which was nature’s interiority, its nothingness...” [emphasis added].48 Heuristic reversal, reverse heuristics, of epiphenomenon. “[A]nimals die but know nothing of it”, same fate of god.49 “Immanence is complete” is nostalgic;50 logic becomes illogic, anti-logic, non-logic. Pure nostalgia Michel Foucault foresaw: “[O]ur anti-Hegelianism is possibly one of his tricks directed against us, at the end of which he stands, motionless, waiting for us”.51 The closer one escapes the further he is sequestered, and Hyppolite foreclosed Hegel, a gesture philosophers of difference would rehearse and reverse (indeed reserve – logic of reserve?) undecidedly in yearning and boredom. Schopenhauer: “Only  those who have been handed over to boredom are not pressed and plagued by time”.52 May it not be necessary to replace logics of being, essence and concept or sense with logic of reversal?

Do not be troubled by the fact that languages ...consist only of orders. If you want to say that this shows them to be incomplete, ask yourself whether our language is complete; whether it was before the symbolism of chemistry and the notation of the infinitesimal calculus were incorporated into it; for these are, so to speak, suburbs of our language.53

            The necessary condition of incompleteness makes possible supra-lapsus of completion. Completion and incompletion are only orders. Wittgenstein: “That philosophical concept of meaning has its place in a primitive idea of the way language functions. But one can also say that it is the idea of a language more primitive than ours”.54 He continued: “If language is to be a means of communication there must be agreement not only in definitions but also (queer as this may sound) in judgments. This seems to abolish logic, but does not do so.”55 Reversal of logic (in order) does not abolish logic if logic reverses abolition (collapse of levels of reference). Is this immanence? One is reminded of Louis Hjelmslev’s thesis: “Here language is a means to a transcendent knowledge”.56 Abolition and immanence (“here”) are possible only in transcendence (confluent with ascendancy) via language in reverse form.57 Logic and logion, logos, reverse logos, reversed by logos, logic that is reversal, illogic, anti-logic, non-logic.

            For all its metaleptic bouts and discomfiting formalisms, peregrinations and pilgrimages, linguistics has as its object non-language. Likewise reversal has as its object nothing. One must upgrade the banality “There is no metalanguage” to (because) “There is no language”. “Speaking” of reversal founds reversibility (epistemic and epidemic of reversal). In this sense it makes no sense to say x is a, y is b et cetera except such a equals a', and a' equals b or b equals -a, as preempted play on the game board. There is no truth, only “very true”; further it makes no sense to say x is quite beautiful, y is extremely ugly – there is one extreme by definition. All logic spires for the horizon.

            Series of thought have multiplied curves to delimit or trace the other side only to signify the horizon. By a turn, be it dialectic (in the original use of the word, as Gaston Bachelard’s philosophy of no),58 disastrous (catastrophe, Georges Bataille’s nonknowledge)59 or determined (recently François Laruelle’s non-philosophy),60 strains of thought have favored reversal and its reversal. They surrogated antithesis, excess, “Stranger”,61 overlooking in reversal of logic the simple logic of reversal. They are as Elias Canetti said “reversal crowds”, “...whose discharge consists mainly in...[their] collective deliverance from the stings of command...”.62

            Baudrillard pushes everything to the extreme: what is reversed is reversible; what is reversible is reversed.

The hypothesis of this reversibility has always been affirmed by the great metaphysical systems. It is the fundamental rule of the game of appearance, of the metamorphosis of appearances, against the irreversible order of time, of law and meaning.63

It must be a fact of style. “Reversal” must be metaphor, which ironically carries nothing, educes nothing but an entropic abyss beneath two things.

Until now reversibility has in effect remained metaphysical...But it may now be in the process of disturbing the physical order and shaking it to its foundations. With it disappears the rational principle that prevents the effect from turning back on the cause to cancel it out; it prevents the effect from being the cancellation of the cause – or prevents there never having been causes, but a pure and simple chain of effects. Reversibility kills any determinist (or indeterminist) principle of causality in ovum, in the egg.64

“The game of the world is the game of reversibility”.65 There is one level: rules are symbolized in game, cloned as laws, in a turn of logic. Reversal of logic entails logic of reversal.
 

V. Third order or Logic of reversal

            Things in extreme must reverse. Is the only gift as Derrida says that of time, that is non-gift?66In non-presence of time does not being-to-death reverse (“dying-to-live”)? Does time itself not reverse (definition of presence)?

            Reversal is not “in time”. It is too late or early. But the price of timelessness is timeliness: such is the fate of the gift (and counter-gift that renders and abolishes the gift). Counter-gift simulates the gift, forecloses the symbolic and collapses itself.

            Symbolic exchange has nothing to do with the gift. As Lyotard said interpreting Marcel Mauss so forecloses the essential positivity (circular essence, circulation) of the gift, putting it to disuse.67 One can add to this the auto-impossibility of the interpretation (there is nothing to suppose its impossibility, itself). Hence criticisms of empire or utopia are irrelevant at best (or symbolic themselves). Rather symbolic exchange is to borrow a term from Laruelle “given-without-givenness” opposed to the gift.68 The always-already counter-gift. Reversibility in its true form. (However Laruelle supplants “reversibility” with “version” – still a banal, real version of science by fiat.69)

            Slavoj Žižek characterizes the gift:

...[T]he notion of an excessive ‘first move’ that founds the symbolic order...the notion of gift, of a primordial ‘there is’ (il y a/es gibt: ‘it gives’), introduces an aspect that is heterogeneous to the standard ‘Derridean’ problematic of différance-trace-writing. This ‘there is’ qua event names the counterpart to the movement of différance, of the irreducible dissemination-deferral: presence itself in its ultimate inaccessibility...The ‘there is’ of the gift consists of the gesture of a pure Yes!, of an accordance that precedes the movement of dissemination-deferral. What forever eludes the subject’s grasp or the Logos is eventually presence itself in its non-mediated, pre-discursive ‘there is’. The ultimate excess is that of the event of presence itself.70

Subjectivity as fantasy-phantasm is accessible to the real, but this is tautological, for what is fantastic is really accessibility. The objective is (the) formally inaccessible (for instance “private language”) and functionally symbolic (language games, Carnap and logical positivism). Objectivity has nothing to do with the real or its bastard reality. Yet there is “a pure Yes!” and the analyst comes close to acknowledging reversal functional, not just formal, to the symbolic order. One should say instead a pure No! that “counters” anti-logos, il-logos, non-logos and returns excess to nothing.

What differentiates language from a natural entity or system is the presence in it of the element designated by Lévi-Strauss the mana-signifier: the ‘reflective’ signifier that holds the place, within the system, of what eludes the system, of its not-yet-signified. The ‘openness’ of a symbolic system has nothing whatsoever to do with the pressure of the ever-changing external circumstances that compel the system to transform; in the case of a symbolic system proper, this openness has to be inscribed into the ‘closed’ system itself in the guise of a paradoxical signifier that represents non-sense within the field of Sense...71

Pure negativity does not precede sense, which always already internalizes and externalizes language and reverts to non-sense in form of difference. The error is the conception of mana-signifier, which is always already (super)nature of pure positivity “Reversibility is the only source of enjoyment”.72

            Baudrillard:

The gift, under the sign of gift exchange, has been made into the distinguishing mark of primitive ‘economies’, and at the same time into the alternative principle to the law of value and political economy. There is no worse mystification. The gift is our myth, the idealist myth correlative to our materialist myth, and we bury the primitives under both myths at the same time. The primitive symbolic process knows nothing of the gratuity of the gift, it knows only the challenge and the reversibility of exchanges. When this reversibility is broken, precisely by the unilateral possibility of giving (which presupposes the possibility of stockpiling value and transferring it in one direction only), then the properly symbolic relation is dead and power makes an appearance: it will merely be deployed thereafter throughout the economic apparatus of the contract. It is our (operational) fiction, our metaphysics, the idea that it is possible to accumulate stock-value in its head (capital), to make it increase and multiply: this is the trap of the accumulation of capital. It is equally our fiction, however, to think that we may relinquish it absolutely (with the gift). The primitives know that this possibility does not exist, that the arresting of value on one term, the very possibility of isolating a segment of exchange, one side of exchange, is unthinkable, that everything has a compensation, not in the contractual sense, but in the sense that the process of exchange is unavoidably reversible. They base all their relations on this incessant backfire, ambivalence and death in exchange, whereas we base our order on the possibility of separating two distinct poles of exchange and making them autonomous. There follows either the equivalent exchange (the contract) or the inequivalent exchange that has no compensation (the gift). But both, as we shall see, obey the same dislocation of the process and the same autonomisation of value.73

 

Foreclosure of counter-gift, the reverse originates the universe (as the only cosmology and its obsolescence), premium exchange of matter and energy, and the dual is foreclosed to the singular. Counter-gift founds exchange, and the unilateral is unilateral qua bilateral. Reversal of one-every level.

            He continues:

We must emphasize that it [symbolic exchange] stands opposed to the entire liberal or Christian humanist ideology of the gift. The gift is the source and even the essence of power. Only the counter-gift, the reversibility of symbolic exchange, abolishes power.74

Everywhere reversal is banalized, especially in phenomenology, Jean-Louis Chrétien’s response (countered by Pierre Clastres’s Society against the State) for example,75 but epiphenomenon stands above and opposed to phenomenon: epiphenomenology.

Ambivalence awaits the most advanced systems that, like Leibniz’s binary God, have deified their functional principle. The fascination they exert, because it derives from a profound denial such as we find in fetishism, can be instantaneously reversed ...Things must be pushed to the limit, where quite naturally they collapse and are inverted ...Simulation must go further than the system ...The only strategy against the hyperrealist system is some form of pataphysics, ‘a science of imaginary solutions’; that is, a science-fiction [anastrophe, palindromology] of the system’s reversal against itself at the extreme limit of simulation, a reversible simulation in a hyperlogic of death and destruction.76

One gives what he can.

            To the question of philosophy – why did Socrates die?—Deleuze gave an incisive answer:

...[A]s a consequence of searching in the direction of the simulacrum and leaning over its abyss, Plato discovers, in the flash of an instant, that the simulacrum is not simply a false copy, but that it places in question the very notations of copy and model. The final definition of the Sophists leads us to the point where we can no longer distinguish him from Socrates himself—the ironist working in private by means of brief arguments. Was it not necessary to push irony to that extreme? Was it not Plato himself who pointed out the direction for the reversal of Platonism?77

One now cannot distinguish simulacrum from its simulation. This is eternal return,

even this moment ...[t]he eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again. ..[H]ow well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal?78

Not a doctrine of simulacrum but “simulacrum of a doctrine” as Pierre Klossowski said.79

            In Difference and Repetition Deleuze wrote return in terms of excess:

A single and same voice for the whole thousand-voiced multiple, a single and same Ocean for all the drops, a single clamour of Being for all beings: on the condition that each being, each drop and each voice has reached the state of excess...80

But there are (as Baudrillard points out) as Octave Mannoni said “apparent constraints of a discourse that always tends towards the univocal, even though it exploits the equivocal”,81 by strategies of difference and repetition in simulacrum of a “mobile cusp”,82 which returns (to) logic of reversal, thinking extreme in terms of difference when it is reverse, error of relations and relations of relations (difference, opposition et cetera) – self-managing end of philosophical reduction, before (or after) duality.

[The void of logical reason is reduplicated exactly in order to be destroyed, and it is in the void thus created that laugh and enjoyment burst out (not, however, in order that this void ‘emerges from its subsoil and establishes itself’ – Lyotard). Freud puts this extremely well: Entfesselung des Unsinns – the unleashing of nonsense. But nonsense is not the hidden hell of meaning [sens], nor the emulsion of all the repressed and contradictory meanings. It is the meticulous reversibility of every term – subversion through reversal.83

            Return to Nietzsche: “Looking away shall be my only negation”.84 (Only musical analysis suits Nietzsche, music the image of philosophy.) Amor fati, the fatal against the fractal, becoming against change,85

opposite of Nietzsche’s Eternal Return ...Today’s Eternal Return is ...the obsessive repetition of things on a microscopic, inhuman scale [statistics, stochastics, calculus] ...the expression of our bad conscience about the irresistible and fundamentally immoral development of our sciences – a development which has brought us to this point and to which we secretly consent, while supplementing that consent with the moral delights of repentance.86

Where is that constellar sign of immutable consecration of a black sun?87 Not forage into symmetry (Roger Caillois),88 exhaustion of opposition for Darwinian mixology (Gabriel de Tarde)89 or psychocosmology (Jung)90 – these are local.

            Dual, duality, dualism. The dual (not the two or dyade which grounds all philosophy) is primal (one cannot say these or those are dual, particularizing or universalizing it in ontico-ontology). The dual is dual definitively. It constitutes the eccentricity or eccentricities of levels or level of reference (rather than eccentricity being a property of it), essences of something or essence of everything. However the dual is only evinced by duality, primary level of reference (in addition to secondary, tertiary, quaternary et cetera, for instance difference, opposition et cetera); this is how one can speak of the dual, in terms of duality, and duality in difference, and opposition and so on. Dualism is any philosophy, theory or thought of the dual. Reversibility and reversality (thought of reversibility, vice versa) are absolute epiphenomenon to the dual, as science, the science (theory, cosmic principle, whatever) of nothing (opposed to absolute phenomenon of (n)one-all). More singular than singular by definition, absorbing itself and everything else so without trace. The dual reverses the different and total. (Yet the dual does not exist, that is without reversibility or reversality.) “The simulacrum will be ahead of us everywhere”.91 (Synonyms extreme, extremity, extremism.)

            The logic of reversal is geometric whereas that of difference is “calculous”, between earth and stone. Reversal is generally but incorrectly expressed propositionally as p (p`) v p`(p ): this is partial, unilateral, transferring remainder subject to extension of the other term, relation of relay not reversal. Disjunct exclusion and disjoint expression of cogito, problem of transcendence. Reversibility is p <> -p. The particular problem: p <> -p cannot also be quantitative. It is singular but single, problem of immanence, which must be supplanted with the problem of transcendence to close the circle of quality and quantity as (n)one-all. The new relation is p R –p, which transformatively supplants the problem of transcendence, p r p`, instead of with inordinate, unwarranted conjunction, which serializes reversal, no better than effective recursion-regression of difference. Minimal immanence, which is contained. Metamorphosis: reversible relation of reversal, p r p`, reverse relation of reversibility, p R –p. Finally empty form: p (R, r). (Suppression of q, empty in q (p), equals de-serialization: rather than serializing reversal, reverse the serial.)

            Curves loop; loops curve (loop of loops), amounting to irreversibility, which is irreversible. Matter of subsumption. Level “one” corresponds to duality, then difference, opposition, negation, contradiction, consistency, complementation, identity, tautology and outermost reversal “level”. Reversal is the dual seen from vertiginous height, cosmic or un-thought thought (not in Maurice Blondel’s reserve sense but sufficient and evacuated or more accurately “invacuated”). It is (homeless) objectivity to borrow from Alexius Meinong (not empiricism and its mirrors). Its logic is pure antagonism, beyond dualism and monism, certainly pluralism.

            Transversals are scions of the East. The total self-reference of Western universe forecloses transversals. It has only reversals even in transversals.
 

VI. Reversality

            The scientistic legacy of the Occident (for example dialectics as science), and its relentless search and demand for questions and ways to ask them (a grand inquisition), now only takes on a gnostic vocabulary, which has no significance or consequence when answers are no longer wanted or needed, desperately reasserting its own possibility in form of metastasis and self-annihilation (exaltation and practice of masochism for example), parody of eternal return reduced to subjectivity (which pre-stages its transcendence or transference so – in the Greek drama). Only answers are radical by the fact there are none (or if there is one!), necessitated by questions, answers objectively as/to/from/in/of/for nothing. But as soon as answers are reified as such into radicality the radical becomes simulacrum (or reveals it has only ever been simulacrum) as Plato was puzzled, even disappointed, at Socrates in the end as philosophy bleeds into sophistry. So again radicality dis-appoints (itself).

            Philosophy, as everything else, ends positing its possibility. If the end of history is not reached because the end of science is not,92 one must ask in a Kantian fashion what is science’s hypothesis of its own end? (How do means justify ends?) In art, as in “ignorant art”, the same happens: ahistoricism closed on, devoured, itself, its history, as ouroboro.93 Nietzsche: “Why hast thou stolen into thyself, thyself”?94 Saying “medium is message” still confers message on medium, vice versa.

            It seems naive to call illusion real because one does not want to be deceived (or realize he cannot but be, similarly fight the system “from within”, “donner droit de cité à l’inhumain”, or Cassirer’s Homo symbolicum).95 Is poetry confined to theorizing difference? Radical openings, communities without communion, original ethics – last makeshift of philosophers. On one hand “(re)turn of philosophy itself”,96 the other non-philosophy,97 rigor mortis; one gestures end of beginning, the other beginning of end.

            To be in a spell, or hypnosis.

                        And though it is noon on the nail where the weathercock sleeps,
                        In the crystalline eye of the bird sitting crowned on the steeple,
                        With stealth he retraces his steps and effaces them all.
                        From the wall, silence falls,
                        From a trapdoor of stone, obscure exit-hole,
                        The silence of ghosts of victories returns...
                        Death and glory ever ticking, and the charcoal drumsticks roll:
                        The mygale lands flat upon the faces of the Drums.98

 

Hsiang (Kevin) Hsu lives in Austin, Texas and Taipei. He is a doctoral student at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. He holds a B.Sc. in  Molecular biology from the University of Texas. This paper is the result of an encounter between his thinking since his bachelor’s thesis and an encounter with the thought (and teaching) of Baudrillard.
 


Endnotes

1 Alfred Jarry. Black Minutes of Memorial Sand – Collected Works of Alfred Jarry Volume I: Adventures in Pataphysics. London: Atlas, 2001:117.

2 Roland Barthes. Camera Lucida. New York: Hill and Wang, 1981:106-7.

3 Nagisa Oshima. (Director): In the Realm of the Senses, 1977. ASIN: 6305049378.

4 Jean Baudrillard. Impossible Exchange. New York: Verso, 2001:142.

5 Michel de Montaigne. Complete Essays of Montaigne, Stanford University Press, 1958:56-8. The reversal has nothing to do with hope or hopelessness; rather it is pure experimentation that inscribes those things, hence “Essays”.  

6 Jean Baudrillard. “Preface” to Symbolic Exchange and Death. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE, 1993:5.

7 Ibid.:n.2.

8 “Reversality” is a neologism and its relation to reversibility is the topic of this paper.

9 Jean Francois Lyotard. Libidinal Economy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993:132.

10 Jean-Luc Nancy’s “Dialogue I” of Sense of the World (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997:164-5):

“But what if ‘worldliness’ were in fact nothing but the indefinite extension of appearances, wherein the universal, displayed without depth, gives itself the spectacle of itself, so ubiquitously diffused that you take it to be ‘sense’, whereas it is nothing but the general simulation of a circulation of sense?”

“In saying this, your only mistake is to believe that the general representation that the worldly indeed gives (itself) of itself is still a representation, but a dissimulating rather than an expressive one, and one that dissimulates its own lack. You still expect the world to be a sign of something other than itself. Moreover, you are missing the point of worldliness: for the very idea of a spectacle of the world can only be an occidental idea. It is not only the case that there is no spectacle for all those whom famine and misery do not grant the leisure to be spectators. Further, of those who are watching, at the other end of the world, the world show of multiplied screens, you do not have the right to presuppose that they are lost in the stupefied alienation you imply by your use of the world spectacle. You have neither the right nor the means to presuppose the sense that they are perhaps in the process of giving to practices of which you have only a nihilistic interpretation. At a given site, the world spectacle can constitute a breach in a system of interdictions, at another site, it can provide an opportunity for speaking together; at another, it can give rise to the kinds of unprecedented things that nourish invention. You are tetanized by ‘images’ – an old occidental reflex – and you are unaware of all the praxis that has already laid hold of them...”

“But finally, the spectacle signifies only itself: is this the whole ‘absent sense’ in which you take so much pleasure?”

“Yes, the spectacle signifies nothing but itself, and this is indeed the end of all the senses of the world that we have been able to signify up to now. But this very end addresses us anew to sense and situates it very clearly: no longer outside signification, but along the surface of the world and its significance.”

“But it is still a matter of sense: and sense must always, in one way or another, be signified, or else you are just playing with words.”

“Certainly. I would even say that sense must be signified in all possible ways, by each and every one of us, by all ‘individual’ or ‘collective’ singulars.”

“By all subjectivities?”

“You can choose whatever words you wish, along with the sense you give them. As for me, I would say: by all that can make someone somewhere expose him/herself to sense, to making sense, to receiving sense, to leaving sense open”.

“What you are describing, then, is “dialogue”, the quintessence of good intentions, so-called ‘openness’, ‘mutual enrichment’: the lowest form of spectacle.”

“You are not wrong. But I am talking about something else. Dialogue is the rhythmic interruption of the logos, the space between the replies, each reply apart from itself retaining for itself an access to sense that is only its own, an access of sense that is only itself...”

“But that belongs to none...”

“Yes. And to all”.

One can pit Baudrillard’s words from “No Pity for Sarajevo” in Screened Out, New York: Verso, 2002, 46, 47-8, 50, against this:

…[T]he worst of slogans: ‘We have to do something. We can’t just do nothing.’ But doing something just because you cannot not do it has never amounted to a principle of action or freedom. Merely a form of absolution from your own impotence and compassion for your own fate…[O]ur entire society is embarked on the path of commiseration in the literal sense, under cover of ecumenical pathos. It is almost as though, in a moment of intense repentance among intellectuals and politicians, a moment related to the panic currently surrounding history and the twilight of values, we had to replenish the stocks of values, the referential reserves, by appealing to that lowest common denominator that is human misery, restocking the hunting grounds with artificial game, as it were…A victim society. I suppose all it is doing is expressing its own disappointment and remorse for an unthinkable violence against itself…[T]he major objection to the bad-conscience offensive…is that, by perpetuating the image of…a Western conscience racked by its own impotence, it provides a cover for the real operation by lending it the spiritual benefit of the doubt.

11 Gilles Deleuze. Logic of Sense, New York: Columbia University Press, 1990, 261-262:

The signal is a structure in which differences of potential are distributed, assuring the communication of disparate components; the sign is what flashes across the boundary of two levels, between two communicating series... All physical systems are signals; all qualities are signs...There is always, no doubt, a resemblance between resonating series, but this is not the problem. The problem is rather the status and the position of this resemblance...It matters little whether the system has great external and slight internal difference, or whether the opposite is the case, provided that resemblance be produced on a curve, and that difference, whether great or small, always occupy the center of the thus decentered system.

As Jean-Jacques Lecercle and others such as Slavoj Žižek noted, Deleuze’s philosophy falls back to a “plain” (see Lecercle, Deleuze and Language, New York: Palgrave, 2002; Slavoj Žižek, Organs without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences, New York: Routledge, 2003; see also Alain Badiou. Deleuze: Clamor of Being, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999,  for a thoroughly political rendering.

12 Jean Baudrillard. Symbolic Exchange and Death. London: SAGE, 1993:237-8.

13 Jean Francois Lyotard. Libidinal Economy, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993:132.

14 Giorgio Agamben. Potentialities: Collected Essays in Philosophy. Stanford: Stanford, 1999:212.

15 Jean Baudrillard. Symbolic Exchange and Death (c 1976). London: SAGE, 1993:220.

16 Ibid.:236.

17 Ibid.:220.

18 Jean Baudrillard. Fatal Strategies. London: Pluto Press, 1999:163.

19 Jean Baudrillard. Seduction. New York: St Martin’s Press, 1990:83.

20 Jean Baudrillard. Cool Memories IV, Paris: Galilée, 2000:137. The translation is “A frosted-glass transparency” (Translated by Chris Turner, New York: Verso, 2003, 108). Borrowed from medical terminology en verre dépoli as in aspect en verre dépoli (“ground-glass pattern”, referring to the common radiographic marker of certain lung diseases) can mean “in ground glass”. Compare verre, verse (pouring), renvers (overturning, re-pouring, knock over, spill, fall backward) and revers (reverse). It reminds one of the “drink of water” in Zen – as one pours in he pours out, re-pours, de-poured to no container.

21 Editor’s note: The Latin word for “circle, ring”; formerly often used in Anatomy, Astronomy, and other sciences; also as a technical name of various instruments in Surgery, etc.; a tool for cutting circular portions of glass, also “for cutting off the necks of glass-ware”

22 Gilles Deleuze. Difference and Repetition. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994:28.

23 Ibid.:29.

24 Laozi wrote of the Great Extreme, which engenders two forms (yin and yang), which engender four images (or phenomena), which engender the eight trigrams (of I Ching, or bagua), which engender sixty-four hexagrams of I Ching, which engender “ten thousand changes”.  

25 Gilles Deleuze. Difference and Repetition. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994:51.

26 Ibid.:50.

27 Ibid.:56.

28 Jacques Derrida. “Implications: Interview with Henri Ronse”, and “Semiology and Grammatology: Interview with Julia Kristeva” in Positions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982:8, 26.

29 Jacques Derrida. Margins of Philosophy, Chicago: University of Chicago, 1984:11.

30 Heidegger’s alētheia, for example, reversal of concealment and revelation. 

31 Jean Luc Nancy. Sense of the World. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997:35, 36.

32 Giorgio Agamben. Potentialities: Collected Essays in Philosophy. Stanford: Stanford, 1999:209.

33 Ibid.: 174, 213, 219. There is a interesting note on positivism: “As Reach showed for Carnap’s attempt to name the name through quotation marks ...the logicians’ expedients to avoid the consequences of this radical anonymity of the name are destined to fail” (213-4). This is the worst misunderstanding of the positive project, which was never on “naming” (a philosophical project) but “observing” (scientific one). The effect of “nomic form” (“basic law”) is subject to experiment, which is “ahead” of nomination (as reversal to difference), so does not fall back to it but is it in a vain cycle: “If we wish to study causality, we can do so only by examining those laws, by studying the ways in which they are expressed and how they are confirmed or disconfirmed by experiment” (Rudolf Carnap. Philosophical Foundations of Physics. New York: Basic Books, 1966:212-3, 277). Positivity is the strict nemesis for objectivity, evincing the nihility of description, general language.    

34 Jacques Derrida. “Some Statements and Truisms about Neologisms, Newisms, Postisms, Parasitisms, and Other Small Seismisms” in States of Theory, New York: Columbia, 1990:80. “In-ethics” is closer to ethics qua ethics than itself.

35 Jean Baudrillard. In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities, or, the End of the Social and other Essays. New York: Semiotext(e), 1983:40-1.

36 Jean Baudrillard. Symbolic Exchange and Death. London: SAGE, 1993:37.

37 Jean Baudrillard. The Perfect Crime. New York: Verso, 1996:122-3.

38 For example Lyotard’s reversal of Leibniz’s compossibles, and reversal of this reversal to differends (see Jean-Francois Lyotard and Jean-Loup Thébaud. Just Gaming. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985; See also Jean-Francois Lyotard. Differend: Phrases in Dispute. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988).

39 Jean Baudrillard. Seduction. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1979:148. He continues:

In Deleuze’s pure, nomadic chance, in his ‘ideal game’, there is only disjunction and dispersed causality. But only a conceptual error allows one to dissociate the game from its rules in order to radicalize its utopian form. And the same intemperance, or the same facility, allows one to dissociate chance from what defines it – an objective calculus of series and probabilities – in order to turn it into the theme song for an ideal indeterminacy, an ideal desire composed of the endless occurrence of countless series. But why more series? Why not a pure Brownian movement? But then the latter, though it seems to have become the physical model for radical desire, has its laws, and is not a game (149).

40 Jean Baudrillard. Fatal Strategies. London: Pluto Press, 1999:107. Insofar as there is Baudrillard against production, the social, culture et cetera one might posit him against seduction and fatality.

41 Jean Baudrillard. Illusion of the End, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994:108-9.

42 Jean-Pierre Faye. Langages totalitaires. Paris: Hermann, 1972. Consider also Martial Guéroult’s Dianoématique (Paris: Aubier, 1979). History thus is not without ceasing to be philosophy and forever sets itself up as its agonist.

43 “Prosody of narrative, and of history likewise. Prosody that is not ‘fixed’: oscillating prosody. That announces and brings death, here” (Ibid.:9).

44 “Language is the most dangerous of all goods. Through it, here, the danger of history can show” (Ibid.:10).

45 Attributed to Confucius.

46 Jean Baudrillard. Symbolic Exchange and Death (c 1976). London: SAGE, 1993:235.

47 Jean Hyppolite. Logic and Existence. New York: S.U.N.Y Press, 1997:178. The Absolute has two absolutes: that it must (necessity) and does not have to (possibility). One will return to this absolute of reversal.

48 Ibid.:184.

49 Ibid.

50 Ibid.: 176. Hyppolite in conversation with Georges Bataille seized his phrase “Seeking your own nothingness” as world-historical moment of logic and experience, whereas it seems to the author Bataille was less like say Max Stirner in the statement “...I cannot know the unknown. I have only really spoken about myself” as solipsist of action and apathy or indifference than nihilist on a different level of valorization and curse or suffering (Georges Bataille. Unfinished System of Nonknowledge. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001:73, 157; see also Max Stirner, Ego and Its Own, New York: Cambridge, 1995).     

51 Michel Foucault. Archeology of Knowledge. New York: Pantheon, 1982:235.

52 Arthur Schopenhauer. Parerga and Paralipomena. Volume 2, New York: Oxford, 1974:292.

53 Ludwig Wittgenstein. Philosophical Investigations, London: Basil, 1981:8.

54 Ibid.:3.

55 Ibid. 88.

56 Louis Hjelmslev. “Study of Language and the Theory of Language”. Prolegomena to a Theory of Language, Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1961:5.

57 See François Jullien. Procès ou création. Paris: Seuil, 1989.

58 See Gaston Bachelard. Philosophy of No. New York: Orion, 1968.

59 See Georges Bataille. Unfinished System of Nonknowledge. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001.

60 See François Laruelle. Dictionnaire de la non-philosophie. Paris: Kimé, 1998

61 Ibid.

62 Elias Canetti. Crowds and Power. New York: Noonday, 1984:58-9.

63 Jean Baudrillard. Fatal Strategies. London: Pluto Press, 1999:163.

64 Ibid.:84.

65 Jean Baudrillard. Ecstasy of Communication, New York: Semiotext(e), 1988:80.

66 See Jacques Derrida. Given Time: Counterfeit Money. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1994.

67 See Jean-Francois Lyotard. “Desire Named Marx” in Libidinal Economy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993. Lyotard described his relationship with Baudrillard as “co-polarized and synchronized” (104).

68 François Laruelle. Dictionnaire de la non-philosophie. Paris: Kimé, 1998:56-8. He is one of the most interesting (non-)philosophers (even allegorists) but wrong situating reversibility in (non-philosophy.

69 Ibid.:198-201.

70 Slavoj Zizek. Metastases of Enjoyment: Six Essays on Women and Causality. New York: Verso, 1994:195.

71 Ibid.:201.

72 Jean Baudrillard. Symbolic Exchange and Death. London: SAGE, 1993:232.

73 Jean Baudrillard. Symbolic Exchange and Death, London: SAGE, 1992:48-9 n.25. The critical passage has often been overlooked.

74 Ibid.: 49 n.28.

75 See Jean-Louis Chrétien. Hand to Hand: Listening to the Work of Art, Bronx: Fordham, 2003; and Pierre Clastres. Society against State: Essays in Political Anthropology. New York: Zone, 1989.

76 Jean Baudrillard. “Preface” to Symbolic Exchange and Death. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE, 1993:4-5.

77 Gilles Deleuze. Logic of Sense, New York: Columbia University Press, 1990:256.

78 Friederich Nietzsche. The Gay Science, New York: Random House, 1974:273-4.

79 Pierre Klossowski. Un si funeste désir. Paris: Gallimard, 1994:226.

80 Gilles Deleuze. Difference and Repetition. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994:304.

81 Octave Mannoni. Clefs pour l’imaginaire. Paris: Seuil, 1985:46.

82 Gilles Deleuze. Difference and Repetition. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994:304. Perhaps Deleuze was aware when he wrote: “Returning is thus the only identity, but identity as a secondary power; the identity of difference, the identical which belongs to the different, or turns around the different” [emphases added]’. Here he is close to acknowledging (in fact having acknowledged) the “power” of epiphenomenon, essence of reversal. He was able to continue: “Only the extreme forms return – those which, large or small [so the error], are deployed within the limit and extend to the limit [extend the limit] of their power, transforming themselves and changing one into another. Only the extreme, the excessive, returns; that which passes into something else and becomes identical” (‘Difference in Itself’, 41). Hegel’s end-means-object spread is rendered virtual; the world-historical moment is precession of simulacra.

83 Jean Baudrillard. Symbolic Exchange and Death. London: SAGE, 1993:232.

84 Friedrich Nietzsche.  The Gay Science, New York: Random House, 1974:223.

85 Jean Baudrillard. Impossible Exchange. New York: Verso, 2001:78.

86 Jean Baudrillard. Screened Out. New York: Verso, 2002:200-1.

87 As Licius said “unseen of sight, unheard of hearing, having no elusion, even said as change still which banks no form” (Perfect Book of Highest Virtue and Emptiness). Unpublished in English, my translation.

88 See Roger Caillois. Dissymétrie. Paris: Gallimard, 1973.

89 See Gabriel de Tarde. Opposition universelle. Paris: Germer, 1897.

90 See Carl Jung. Synchronicity. Princeton: Princeton, 1973.

91 Jean Baudrillard. Simulations, New York: Semiotext(e), 1983:5.

92 Francis Fukuyama. Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. New York: Picador, 2003.

93 “The destructiveness of war furnishes proof that society has not been mature enough to incorporate technology as its organ, that technology has not been sufficiently developed to cope with the elemental forces of society” (Walter Benjamin. Illuminations. New York: Schocken, 1969: 252). It is not as Benjamin thought, dialectic intertwining of art and politics, but their esoteric polarization.

94 Friederich Nietzsche. Ecce Homo. Mineola: Dover, 2004:179.

95 Lyotard’s 1988 call to “give the inhuman citizenship”.

96 Alain Badiou. Manifesto for Philosophy. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1989:113-38.

97 François Laruelle. Dictionnaire de la non-philosophie. Paris: Kimé, 1998:56-8.

98 Alfred Jarry. Black Minutes of Memorial Sand – Collected Works of Alfred Jarry Volume I: Adventures in Pataphysics. London: Atlas, 2001:117.


©International Journal of Baudrillard Studies (2006)

[Main Page]   [Contents]   [Editorial Board]   [Submissions]