Suffering is a always a suffering of the world's pathetic indifference towards us (the pathos of the Stoics).
We should be amazed not that there is so much chaos and violence, but that there is so little and everything functions so well. Given the level of aggression of every car driver, the frailties of the equipment and the mad scramble of the traffic, it's a miracle thousands aren't killed every day, a miracle we only rarely slaughter each other and only a few of these disastrous possibilities come to fruition. When you see the immense bureaucratic chaos, the number of absurd decisions, the universal fraud and squandering of our civic virtues, you can only be amazed by the daily miracle of this machine which, somehow or other, keeps on going, dragging its detritus along in is orbit. Apart from a few episodic breakdowns (no more frequent, ultimately, that earth tremors), it's as though an individual hand manage to telemonize all this mess, to normalise this anomie. This is perhaps the same miracle as the one which prevents everyone from succumbing daily to the idea of death or to suicidal melancholia.
In a system as perfect as this, you only have to be deprived of breakfast to become unpredictable.
Philosophy would like to transform the enigma of the world into a philosophical question, but the enigma leaves no room for any question whatever. It is the precession of the answer which makes the world indecipherable.
The political class's current problem is that what is required today is not that it should govern, but that it should maintain the hallucination of power. And this demands very special talents. Producing power as illusion is like juggling with hot money, like dancing in front of a mirror.
The compact disc. It doesn't wear out, even if you use it. Terrifying. it's as though you'd never used it. So it's as though you didn't exist. If things don't get old any more, then that's because it's you who are dead.
At Disneyland in Florida they are building a giant mock-up of Holly wood, with the boulevards, studios, etc. One more spiral in the simulacrum. One day they will rebuild Disneyworld at Disneyworld.
It is easy to adapt to Australian or American life because they are the zero degree of the style of life. but the zero degree is also that of the extermination of all others, and the temptation of ease is the temptation of death.
The perfect crime, the only one, is suicide. because it is unique and final, whereas murder has to be repeated endlessly. Because suicide achieves the ideal confusion of executioner and victim.
The absolute precondition for thought is the creation of a void, for in any void the most distant objects are in a radical proximity. In the void, any body whatever, whether celestial or conceptual, shines out with a silent abstraction.
Prophesying catastrophe is incredibly banal. The more original move is to assume that it has already occurred.
There is no point questioning reality when more than ten are present. Every audience of more than ten automatically turns defensive and reacts violently to any challenge to reality and manifest truth. no radical statement can be made to more than ten people.
Why don't we accord more importance to the star signs of death, when we pay so much attention to birth signs? It's barely imaginable that the star sign you are going to die under doesn't exert an anticipatory power equal to the one you were born under ... This final determination certainly influences us like a strange attractor ...
... the serenity with which Brazilians take the failure of their projects or programmes. Nothing is destined to go straight to its target, no one can expect to take an operation through to its conclusion. No the end, the remainder, the denouement have to be left to chance, to the devil, to fatality.
Crisis is for the upper echelons of the capitalist class, who rake in all the profits from it on a world scale. Catastrophe is for the middle classes, who see their reasons for living disappear. The others (80 per cent) are so far below the level of the crisis, they don't even experience it. they survive it, if they can, instinctively. Having no economic existence, it is easier for them to find a symbolic catastrophe equilibrium.
Intellectuals are doomed to disappear when artificial intelligence bursts on the scene, just as the heroes of silent cinema disappeared with the coming of the talkies. We are all Buster Keatons.
God exists, but I don't believe in him. God himself doesn't believe in Him, according to tradition. That would be a weakness. It would also be a weakness to believe we have a soul or a desire. Let us leave that weakness to others, as god leaves belief to mortals.
Captive events, like captive animals and captive audiences; they no longer reproduce in captivity. over-information leads to their gentle extermination.
Communism had succeeded in wresting entire generations away from the work ethic, in killing in them the slightest desire to produce, in making them lazy. This historical scandal is coming to an end. The whole of Europe is going to work in concert. But the question still remains: shouldn't we have preferred a certain enforced idleness, linked to voluntary servitude, a certain aboulic and apathetic ethos to our frenzied go-getting utopia? to our suspect feverishness? Which will win out in the long term, enforced idleness or frenzied activism?
Our cultivated, high-society set only gorge themselves on Beckett, Cioran, Artaud and all today's hallowed forms of cynicism and nihilism the better to evade any analysis of the current forms of despair. they denounce with the greatest moral and political energy every present instance of nihilism, of the nihility of our values, while 'culturally' savoring the heroic but anachronistic forms of nihilism and the inhuman. They glorify the accursed share, but keep the holy water handy.
The transparency of those whose images, whose secrets, whose obscurity have been stolen, and who stand there, full in the light, more naked than naked, the transparency of people whose shadows have been stolen, of the hostage whose death has been stolen, of the world from which all appearance has been stolen, of the real from which all illusion has been stolen.
True poetry is that which has lost all the distinctive signs of power. If poetry exists, it is anywhere but in poetry. Just as, in the past, the name of god was scattered through the poem in accordance with the anagrammatic rule, today it is the poem itself which is dispersed into non-poetic forms. the same goes for the theatre: theatre today is anywhere but in the theatre. True theatre is elsewhere.
So it is with philosophy: if it exists, it is anywhere but in works of philosophy. And the only exciting thing is this anamorphosis, this dispersal of philosophical forms into all that is not philosophy. the whole world has become philosophical, since it has disavowed reality and the self-evident. There is no point questioning it as to its end: it is beyond its ends. Nor as to its cause: it knows only effects. So philosophical criticism is, in substance at an end. Cynicism, sophism, irony, distance, indifference and all the philosophical passions have passed in to things. All of philosophy and poetry come back to us from places where we were no longer expecting to find them.
Baudrillard, Cool Memories II