An Economic Simulation Plan
“The real is not only what can be reproduced, but that which is always already reproduced.”
— Jean Baudrillard
The flat screen does not show a reflection of anything real. If it did, we’d see the faces in the crowd of the metaphorically homeless middle class who’ve been evicted from their unfaithful copy of reality called the good life.
The screen was meant to pretend to be real, to show a realistic enough simulation of a good life, realistic enough to suspend our disbelief enough to get us to believe that if we buy one small thing in the scene, the rest of the good life will come with it. As foolish as that seems, we bought it.
The one small thing they’d not have us buy is that there is no one small thing.
But wait, there’s more! The people who brought you the above counterfeits and copies now bring you a new and improved simulation. Call in the next 10 minutes and get a fetish absolutely free! (Shipping and handling extra)
And that fetish–an object to be used in symbolic exchange– is of an illusion, as it’s not actually a representation of any “thing” real; because to re-present, an image must be resemble something that exists or existed.
These flat screen fetishes don’t do that, they are no longer icons, signifiers by resemblance to something real, they are now symbols, signifiers by convention; ideology disguised as objectivity. To be continued…
“Something for all, so that none may escape”–Adorno & Horkheimer