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Agony of Power (Semiotext(e) / Intervention Series) [Paperback]

Jean Baudrillard , Ames Hodges , Sylvre Lotringer
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Book Description

28 Jan 2011 Semiotext(e) / Intervention Series (Book 6)
History that repeats itself turns to farce. But a farce that repeats itself ends up making a history.--from The Agony of PowerIn these previously unpublished manuscripts written just before his death in 2007, Jean Baudrillard takes a last crack at the bewildering situation currently facing us as we exit the system of "domination" (based on alienation, revolt, revolution) and enter a world of generalized "hegemony" in which everyone becomes both hostage and accomplice of the global market. But in the free-form market of political and sexual liberation, as the possibility of revolution (and our understanding of it) dissipates, Baudrillard sees the hegemonic process as only beginning. Once expelled, negativity returns from within ourselves as an antagonistic force--most vividly in the phenomenon of terrorism, but also as irony, mockery, and the symbolic liquidation of all human values. This is the dimension of hegemony marked by an unbridled circulation--of capital, goods, information, or manufactured history--that is bringing the very concept of exchange to an end and pushing capital beyond its limits: to the point at which it destroys the conditions of its own existence. In the system of hegemony, the alienated, the oppressed, and the colonized find themselves on the side of the system that holds them hostage. In this paradoxical moment in which history has turned to farce, domination itself may appear to have been a lesser evil.This book gathers together two essays--"The Agony of Power" and "From Domination to Hegemony"--and a related interview with Baudrillard from 2005, "The Roots of Evil." Semiotext(e) launched Baudrillard into English back in the early 1980s; now, as our media and information infested "ultra-reality" finally catches up with his theory, Semiotext(e) offers The Agony of Power, Baudrillard's unsettling coda.

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Agony of Power (Semiotext(e) / Intervention Series) + The Administration of Fear (Semiotext(e) / Intervention Series) + The Making of the Indebted Man: Essay on the Neoliberal Condition (Semiotext(e) / Intervention Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: MIT Press; 1 edition (28 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158435092X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584350927
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 11.6 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 445,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Jean Baudrillard (1929--2007) was a philosopher, sociologist, cultural critic, and theorist of postmodernity who challenged all existing theories of contemporary society with humor and precision. An outsider in the French intellectual establishment, he was internationally renowned as a twenty-first century visionary, reporter, and provocateur. Sylvere Lotringer is Jean Baudrillard Chair at the European Graduate School, Switzerland, and Professor Emeritus of French literature and philosophy at Columbia University.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A collection of texts published post posthumously that Baudrillard was in the process of turning into a book, sadly illness prevented its completion.

Deleuze called Baudrillard "The shame of Paris". What greater recommendation do you need? I never went to university, nor have I ever had a conversation about theoretical matters, heard IRL a philosophers name dropped, or come into any kind of contact at all with what remains of the radical left. I've learnt from observing online that I have no place in this ingroup of self aggrandizing careerists, (assuming I could ever afford to come into contact with them!). Upon reading this book, I discovered exactly why there is such a dislike of Baudrillard among so many of this crowd. His elucidation of our predicament is simply far better than anything I've seen them produce. There is no vanity, guilt or appeals to agency within this work.

This is the only honest work of theory I have come across that I could recommend to someone without embarrassment. Reviled as a sophist preaching ignorance, scorned for not flattering the pretences of todays radical left, Baudrillard is perhaps the only guide you need to understand contemporary society and where we are headed. The facts and future theorized within are either impermissible in todays discourses or simply impossible to speak of within its limited imaginary.

Baudrillard as a writer manages to be lyrical, poetic, beautiful and coldly rational. When he is not being ignored, he is occasionally brought up today as an aside to be denounced as nihilistic or obscurantist. In fact, his thinking went far beyond simple nihilism or fatalism, and he speaks with a singular voice that sadly reminds us how unfortunate we are to have lost it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellant read 14 May 2014
By Blake - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have bought the entire series and would strongly suggest that you consider purchasing the entire series and reading, it is thought provoking and fairly and non technical text that almost anyone can follow if they are willing to make the time. It also has enough depth that a well versed reader will still be engaged and happy with the points and their supporting ideology's, and ideas. Although I had read a lot of the source material that the books draw's on for reference and basis I feel almost anyone could pick these texts up and not have a limitation by not knowing the source material or ideas in depth.
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