Baudrillard on the Symbolic Exchange and Death

© Nobuyoshi Araki

© Helmut Newton
“Identity is untenable: it is death, since it fails to inscribe its own death. Such is the case with closed, or metastable, or functional, or cybernetic systems, which are all eventually waylaid by laughter, instantaneous subversion (and not by a long dialectical labor), because all the inertia of these systems works against them.
Ambivalence lies in wait for the most accomplished systems, those that have succeeded in construing their own functional principles, like the binary God of Leibniz. The fascination that they exercise because they are constructed on such profound denials, as in the case of fetishism, can be reversed in an instant. Their fragility arises from this, and grows in proportion to their ideal coherence.
These systems, even when they are based on a radical indeterminism (the loss of meaning), become once more the prey of meaning. They fall under the weight of their own monstrosity, like the dinosaurs, and decompose immediately.”
Jean Baudrillard

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