2013/07/12

'Incompatibles


 The incompatibility between baudrillard and D&G is clear. They are not the the same and to this end I offer the following. P110.   Guattari Reader : " are we not  then at the center of what, ...Lyotard [Baud] calls the postmodern condition, and which I unlike him, understand to be the PAradigm of Every Sort of submission, and every sort of compromise with the existing status quo." 


And



Felix Guattari continues, after describing the difference between his own and Lyotard's project,

to move on to Baudrilard and to group him in the same camp. One can hear the scorn which underrides the Guattari statement. The scorn of a man of practical theory and theoretical practice, a 'militant' and activist, a mental health worker  since his youth, using ideas to change life around him, and not perpetually lamenting the "loss of history " and all the other patent evasions whichone finds in the work of Baudrillard.

 I quote "In this Lyotard joins other`theorists', such as JeanBaudrillard, for whom the social and the political have never been more than traps, or "semblances," for which it would be wise to lose one's fondness. " P.111



 The whole chapter  The Postmodern Impasse, (from the Guattari Reader) deals with the traps that just Baudrillard and others fall into: The anomie of paralysis, the failure of nerve and courage among those who can no longer act and not able to act generalize about the social. I remember when I was first "exposed" to Baudrillard how depresssed he got me, how hopeless his work made me feel. unlike G&D which had had always given me hope and practical tools.

Cp _ Would you elaborate a little more
CD : Sure at Vincennes  as I've said before and at Kingsley Hall I saw in action the ideas of a new practice, a novel practice of analysis, and at Vincennes of philosophy.

And as you know we travelled, I travelled ... sometimes over in Europe then back and forth to England back to Canada and returning always as often as possible to hear the lectures at Vincennes.


In those days I was a mental health worker, a community organizer and reading Baudrillard added nothing to the tools I and those I worked with needed to affect change.
Nor were they of any use to me in my poetry, they would have been detrimental had I taken them to heart.
To make a difference in people's lives.
 CD: I never personally heard Guattari speaking about Baudrillard, for one I think he had no time for these sorts of ideas, and convictions of the negative... I suspect Baudrillard is a sort of Hegelian anyhow, and maybe it'd be better for Zizek to speak of it.


A few years later I read an interview with Guttari (which at the time I had read from an Italian translation from the French), this interview is reprinted int he Guattari Reader as well.

Another reference to Baudrillard reiterates the clear difference between the approachs taken. Baudrillard is (or was) fond of stating the social no longer exists etc. In a long interview with Lotringer he speaks of a personal depression which resulted fromhis own thinking. How unlike the thought of Guattari and Deleuze I thought!

Their thought prompted me to act and think and write in as many ways as possibble. Guattari always acted, like Jean genet and others, he wrote thought and acted, and never denied the existence of the social. "The social exists more than ever" P.127. In 1985 those words meant a lot, especially as the times were "dark" with the cold war and reagan/thatcher/brehsneve fascisms in full swing and in full control turning the world to the right and to the nuclear death. It was at that time that Virilio and Baudrillard became popular and no wonder! But Virilio is another story as is Lyotard, but Baudrillard never prompts hope, or action, or the social, or history or even ecriture. He invites death and despair and silence. The silence of the 4th removed reality he seems to over-rate. No we said, no, Men and Women can and do act inthe social and damn the simulacrum and the little black books that carry such depressing and useless ideas. Give me a praxis please and not another intellectual dank corner to dribble my black holes ot death and worse. And who is Baudrillard anyhow, who is he to say there is no social when cleary the sorrows of alienation are richer and more complex than a mere denial of history. History cannot be wished away, and we have Bosnia as justa prime example of that, and the Gulf war for all the theorizing Baudrillard has done about it, has notdisappeared, it did happen. Happened to the close to half-million dying children, and the loss of a rising middle class economy, and the loss of a potential which no one could have known its outcome.  However my critic of Baudrillard is not "glossy eyed" etc. It is fundamental and vital and there the line of difference betweeen the DeleuzeoGuattarian approach to reality and life, lies. One is a machine and  it is many machines, the machines of their works and lives, and what they have provided by way of example and more, and with that one can act, whatever form that action takes. This criticism of baudrillard is one based on the differences between two incompatible ways of thinking and living as I understand it. And thus there is no soft compromise one can make betwensuch differences, and there is no need to mull them over sentilmentalizing about their reputed similarity. A similarity where it exists is just that and nothing more, and that is the DeleuzianGuattarian point as I grasp it. Do not reduce difference to the same, do not make a resolution or a synthesis. Especially an emotional one. I think the two Frenchman like the rest of the madding crowd knew until their dying days that the social and history do exist.  I end my this intervention on the thought of the two Frenchman with a quote by their great Poetic Ancestor, Walt Whitman.  "If I contradict myself, it is because there are crowds inside of me."  Let them be crowds, and burly ones too, even apocalyptic ones, but that does not mean the social has ceased to exist, even when its forms have collapsed. "



For B. it is not even sure that the social has ever existed!" (Guattari Reader as above 127)



Finally,  and against such bluffing as Baudrillard offers,


One can only take a Nietzschean stance against thismurmuring of the wind,

and the failure of the will to live, and laugh.