Ja, hva mener de, det er en stund siden jeg har arbeidet med disse, men jeg kan sitere litt fra Stanford-dictionary:
Baudrillard posits another divide in history as radical as the rupture between premodern symbolic societies and modern ones. In the mode of classical social theory, he systematically develops distinctions between premodern societies organized around symbolic exchange, modern societies organized around production, and postmodern societies organized around “simulation” by which he means the cultural modes of representation that “simulate” reality as in television, computer cyberspace, and virtual reality. Baudrillard's distinction between the mode of production and utility that organized modern societies and the mode of simulation that he believes is the organizing form of postmodern societies postulates a rupture between modern and postmodern societies as great as the divide between modern and premodern ones. In theorizing the epochal postmodern rupture with modernity, Baudrillard declares the “end of political economy” and of an era in which production was the organizing form of society. Following Marx, Baudrillard argues that this modern epoch was the era of capitalism and the bourgeoisie, in which workers were exploited by capital and provided a revolutionary force of upheaval. Baudrillard, however, declared the end of political economy and thus the end of the Marxist problematic and of modernity itself [...]
People are now, Baudrillard claims, in a new era of simulation in which social reproduction (information processing, communication, and knowledge industries, and so on) replaces production as the organizing form of society. In this era, labor is no longer a force of production but is itself a “one sign amongst many” (1993a: 10). Labor is not primarily productive in this situation, but is a sign of one's social position, way of life, and mode of servitude. Wages too bear no rational relation to one's work and what one produces but to one's place within the system (1993a: 19ff.). But, crucially, political economy is no longer the foundation, the social determinant, or even a structural “reality” in which other phenomena can be interpreted and explained (31ff.). Instead people live in the “hyperreality” of simulations in which images, spectacles, and the play of signs replace the concepts of production and class conflict as key constituents of contemporary societies.
For Baudrillard, modern societies are organized around the production and consumption of commodities, while postmodern societies are organized around simulation and the play of images and signs, denoting a situation in which codes, models, and signs are the organizing forms of a new social order where simulation rules. In the society of simulation, identities are constructed by the appropriation of images, and codes and models determine how individuals perceive themselves and relate to other people. Economics, politics, social life, and culture are all governed by the mode of simulation, whereby codes and models determine how goods are consumed and used, politics unfold, culture is produced and consumed, and everyday life is lived.
Baudrillard's postmodern world is also one in which previously important boundaries and distinctions — such as those between social classes, genders, political leanings, and once autonomous realms of society and culture — lose power. If modern societies, for classical social theory, were characterized by differentiation, for Baudrillard, postmodern societies are characterized by dedifferentiation, the “collapse” of (the power of) distinctions, or implosion. In Baudrillard's society of simulation, the realms of economics, politics, culture, sexuality, and the social all implode into each other. In this implosive mix, economics is fundamentally shaped by culture, politics, and other spheres, while art, once a sphere of potential difference and opposition, is absorbed into the economic and political, while sexuality is everywhere. In this situation, differences between individuals and groups implode in a rapidly mutating or changing dissolution of the social and the previous boundaries and structures upon which social theory had once focused.
Det er høytflygende, men interessant å jobbe med, på sett og vis så Baudrillard endringer i samfunnet (dette var på 70-tallet) jeg vil si meg høyst enig i, og de går også godt sammen med Marshall McLuhans ideer, "the medium is the message".
Baudrillards kritikk starter med en kritikk av produksjon- og varesamfunnet, utifra en idé om symbolsk utveksling han henter fra bl.a. Marcel Mauss og Bataille (altså teorier om gaveøkonomi i sosialantropologien).
Baudrillard og andre hevder at det at man ga opp gullstandarden utgjør et viktig vendepunkt i nettopp dette. Jeg vet ikke i hvor stor grad jeg er enig i det, men det understreker den relasjonelle forståelse for hvordan verdi oppstår eller skapes, og det er nettopp denne forskjellen mellom produksjon og utveksling Michael Heinrich forsøker å vise til i sin lesning av Marx, en forskjell han mener er underkjent. Marx' verditeori har tradisjonelt blitt lest som en objektiv, substansiell bestemmelse av verdien, mens Heinrich i stedet ser på det relasjonelle i verdiformen, altså på utveksling, sirkulasjon, en slags monetær lesning av Marx.