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Author: Keith Moser

Abstract

This chapter explores Jean Baudrillard and Michel Serres’s post-Marxist reworking of the concept of symbolic power. Both philosophers paint a dystopian portrait of the (post-) modern world in which the simulators of hyperreality endlessly strive to solidify their control by imploding the real through the simulacral imagination. Revealing the inherent limitations of any theories related to power that focus exclusively on production, Baudrillard and Serres develop highly original and cogent theoretical frameworks for understanding the nexus of power in the contemporary landscape. Baudrillard and Serres demonstrate that (mis-) information is now the opiate of the masses used to manufacture consent to a new social order and to suppress dissension. Nonetheless, their respective post-Marxist visions of power abruptly diverge in their late philosophy. For Baudrillard, the digital revolution represents the final proverbial “nail in the coffin” for the (post-) modern subject for whom resistance is no longer a viable option. Conversely, Serres envisions that the Internet could one day be the greatest democratic and liberating force that the world has ever known.

In: Imagination and Art: Explorations in Contemporary Theory
In: Imagination and Art: Explorations in Contemporary Theory
In: Imagination and Art: Explorations in Contemporary Theory
In: Imagination and Art: Explorations in Contemporary Theory
In: Imagination and Art: Explorations in Contemporary Theory
In: Imagination and Art: Explorations in Contemporary Theory
In: Imagination and Art: Explorations in Contemporary Theory
In: Imagination and Art: Explorations in Contemporary Theory
In: Imagination and Art: Explorations in Contemporary Theory
In: Imagination and Art: Explorations in Contemporary Theory