Sunday, October 28, 2007

Postprotest and Baudrillard

Jean Baudrillard is important for the reflection on postprotest. Postprotest sometimes proposes a combination of civil disobedience and production of positive alternatives, to create some kind of 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.”


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.


vairocana said...

Do you have any examples on Singularities?

I assume it is a way of circumventing the binary split we normally utilize in (at least) Western mind sets?

Per Herngren said...

I think you could see a group or activity as singular when it doesn't follow from another activity or group, or from a logic or from a trend. A singularity create its own logic, its own dynamic. A group which is innovative would be a singularity.File sharing is a singularity compared to the capitalist market. Plowshares actions are nonviolent singularities and not protest against war. Gandhis nonviolence went from negating violence to singularity (ashram, intervention, training)

Peace might not be a singularity but rather state of war - victory (Foucault).

To create an alternative or protest against something would be to stay in the "orginal" thinking rather than creating singularities.

I don't know if I answered your question??

vairocana said...

Aha, yes, I think I got it.

It is lie a lateral jump, not following the conventional and rational expectations, but still meaningful in an intuitive way?

Disruptive innovation maybe?