Who is Baudrillard? Why does he matter?

A "Confused" Lou Paulsen wrote: - Who is Baudrillard? Why does he matter? Does he really say that the Gulf War did not take place in the sense of being a media hoax, like the Mars landing in the movie "Capricorn One" which was filmed in a military base, or is he saying that it wasn't in the Gulf, or was not really a "war", or what?


and I just read a superb translation of Baudrillard's paper "In the Shadow of the Millenium".  Jean Baudrillard says there that: "...I had announced that 'the Gulf War did not take place.' Contrary to traditional prophets who always predict that something will happen, I had announced that something would not happen. I am the opposite type of prophet. In any case, prophecies are always wrong. What the prophets announce never takes place. So, when I say that something will not take place, it will then take place. The Gulf War did take place..."

No doubt it's a confusing way of writing. Anyhow, one can appreciate the beauty in his article, even if you don't grasp its whole meaning. It leaves an impression of confusion and uncertainty, which might very well characterize the way of thinking and the world-view (if any) of many of the dwellers of this planet these days.

Daniel from Cuba


Is this not the attitude of the majority of the public in USA and Uk about the war in the Balkans - just something on TV we don't want to look at? - So TURN IT OFF - and (no doubt) it will go away - or just change channels to look at the latest football match....

[But then the Irish government has banned (by denying visas to the visiting team) the match Ireland v Yugoslavia!!! - so perhaps there is something real going on after all.]

I feel that very few below the age of 60 have any conception of what bombing means (and that includes our "so-clever-clever" leading politicians) - as to considerations of International Law, rights of nations, etc. etc. that IS completely beyond the understanding of Western populations.....

Is THIS what Baudrillard is referring to?

E.C. " Paddy" Apling


Baudrillard, advancing the logic of the spectacle, is arguing that mediated events are hyperrealities which are neither realities nor nonrealities but exist in a new place created by technology. He notes in a classic piece that Disneyland is deliberate fantasy to convince us that what lies beyond Disneyland is real. The point of the exercise is to emphasize the constructed nature of everything. Baudrillard certainly does not deny reality; this is clear in his piece on the Holocaust and the erasure of history. It is not that things like the Gulf War do not happen, but rather the way such events happen and the way they are represented to the spectator is in something of a new zone. Baudrillard with his simulacra posits the opposite of simulation -- dissimulation, where