November 24, 2017

Jean Baudrillard on culture of bitterness Part 1

Despite the fact that the urban population has long prevailed over the rural population, we do not have so many works that track the changes that occur not only in psychology, but also in the worldview of a person as a subject of a socio cultural urban environment. Jean Baudrillard’s lecture “City and Hatred” is one of the most striking attempts to take such a meaningful view of the city space. The philosopher is sure that on the fertile urban soil the culture of anger and hatred grows, and the information society, indifferent to its values, only fuels this hatred. We publish the translation of Baudrillard’s lecture and a few thoughts about it.

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Cities began to form at a time when a person had a need to be confident in the future: to know that he will have food, protection, the ability to save the accumulated. But what cities have turned into today? Huge machines, consisting of millions of cogs, huge anthills, in which everyone seems to know their place, but does not know themselves, giant demographic black holes, attracting the population from smaller settlements.

As a result  a whole bunch of problems that surround us daily: environmental pollution, overpopulation, which leads to the marginalization of the population, the destruction of social ties, high crime rates, tensions in inter-ethnic relations, the creation of special areas  ghettos  where those who do not Managed to find his place under the sun in the city. By the way, about the sun  in the cities it is much less than, for example, in the countryside. And this is just another point in the series of negative factors of the aggressive urban environment, which leads to neuroses and constant stresses. Among them, of course: constant noise, speed, surrounding us, increased crowding of people, enclosed spaces. There’s a lot more, do not you know?

Painting, to put it mildly, disturbing. But the horror is that this is only the external side of the changes that are taking place today in the city  first of all, with people. And, alas, it’s not just about stress. Undoubtedly, the psychology of man is monstrously changing in such a hostile environment, but his worldview and, if you like, his philosophical status are subject to much greater changes.

Reflecting on the theme raised in the film “Hatred,” the French sociologist, culturologist and philosopher Jean Baudrillard, in his lecture “The City and Hatred” noted that the world is turning into a huge cesspool, but it’s not so bad:

Worst of all is not that we are overwhelmed from all sides by garbage, but that we ourselves become them. The entire natural environment has turned into garbage, that is, into an unnecessary, all disturbing substance, from which, like a corpse, no one knows how to get rid of it.

He is sure that such a reality was brought about by the “appearance of the masses on the horizon of modern history”, which in fact meant “an offensive and at the same time a catastrophic collapse of sociality.” It is the masses that make up the essence of cities that today form a society indifferent to their own values, a society that itself pushes to indifference and hatred.

This is a worldwide problem of garbage, for if violence is generated by oppression, hatred arises when a person is sent to the trash.

According to Baudrillard, an important role in this was played by the mass media, who all got vaccinated with indifference and this indifference became the basis of a culture of anger  a cold, inconstant, capable of spreading to any subject.

This picture is really eschatological. Is it hopeless? I do not know. But to get acquainted with his lecture is definitely worth it  if only to ask yourself the question  is not that hate that Baudrillard writes about me? In the end, as Erich Fromm noted in his work “The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness”:

In fact, all human passions, “good” and “bad”, should be understood not only as an attempt of man to overcome his own banal existence in time and go into transcendent being. Personality change is possible only if a person manages to “turn” to new ways of comprehending life: if he at the same time mobilizes all his vital aspirations and passions and thereby he learns much more acute forms of vitality and integration than those that were to him Are inherent before. And until this happens, it can be curbed, tamed, but cannot be healed. Despite the fact that viable passions lead to self-affirmation of a person, strengthen his sense of joy of life and much more promote the manifestation of his integrity and vitality than cruelty and destructiveness, nevertheless, both of them equally participate in a real human existence; Because the analysis of those and

You probably know how much success the French film recently brought to the film called “Hatred.” The film shows a number of violent events taking place on the outskirts of cities and in the suburbs; As actors (or, perhaps, extras?), It is a group of young people in whom “hatred” sits. “I have hatred in me”  an expression almost impersonal, it means not so much a subjective emotion or subjective state as an objective and causeless rage born in the urban desert, especially in the suburbs, turned into a real dump. The fact that the marginal “crime” has acquired an unprecedented scope (for a film like “Hatred” can be shot every day), indicates that we have a holistic social phenomenon in which a certain universal process is reflected  the process of concentration of the population And increasing waste production.

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This is a worldwide problem of garbage, for if violence is generated by oppression, hatred arises when a person is sent to a garbage dump. The concept of garbage should be modified and expanded. The material, quantitative waste generated by the concentration of industry and population in large cities is just a symptom of the qualitative, human, structural waste generated as a result of a global attempt to perfect programming, simulate the world, specialize and centralize functions (the modern metropolis in an obvious way Symbolizes this process) and the spread of these artificial constructions around the world. The worst is not that we are overwhelmed From all sides, garbage, but the fact that we ourselves become them. The whole natural environment has turned into garbage, that is, into an unnecessary, all disturbing substance, from which, like a corpse, no one knows how to get rid of it. In comparison with this, the mountains of organic industrial waste are just a trifle. The entire biosphere entirely in the limit threatens to turn into an archaic remnant, whose place is in the trash of history.

However, the story itself was thrown on its own cesspool, where not only the past passed by us and retired into the past, but also all current events are accumulated; Not having time to end, they immediately lose all meaning as a result of the dumping of the media, capable of turning them into a substance that is immediately ready for use, and then into the dregs. History turned into an information. Build exemplary cities, create exemplary functions, exemplary artificial ensembles, everything else turns like a remnant, in the garbage, in the useless legacy of the past. Building a freeway, a supermarket, a supermarket, you automatically turn everything that surrounds them into a desert. By creating autonomous networks of ultra-fast, programmable movement, you immediately turn the usual, traditional space of mutual communication into a desert zone. This is the case with transport arteries, along with which empty areas are formed.

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