The Gulf War Did Not Take Place has ratings and 28 reviews. Spoust1 said: Three essays: The Gulf War Will Not Take Place, The Gulf War Is Not Taki. In a provocative analysis written during the unfolding drama of , Baudrillard draws on his concepts of simulation and the hyperreal to argue that the Gulf. The Gulf War Did Not Take Place. by Jean Baudrillard Trans. by Paul Patton. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 87 pp. $ Reviewed by Daniel .

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Baudrillard, whose simulacrum departed at the age of 77, attracted widespread notoriety for predicting that the first Gulf war, ofwould not take place.

During the war, he said it was not really taking place. After its conclusion, he announced, imperturbably, that it had not taken place. This prompted some to characterise him as yet another continental philosopher who revelled in a disreputable contempt for truth and reality.

The Gulf War Did Not Take Place :: Reviewed by Daniel Pipes

Yet Baudrillard was pointing out that the war was conducted as a media spectacle. Rehearsed as a wargame or simulation, it was then enacted for the viewing public as a simulation: The real violence was thoroughly overwritten by electronic narrative: Such had been Baudrillard’s name for the defining problem of the age since the s, when he wrote that the Marxian problem of class struggle had been replaced, in the “post-industrial” era, with the problem of simulation.

He thus anticipated, by a decade or two, later arguments about the nature of “virtual reality”.

Pop culture paid tribute to Baudrillard’s prescience in Andy and Larry Wachowski’s film The Matrix, about a near-future Earth where human society is a simulation designed by malign machines to keep us enslaved.

Hacker hero Neo Keanu Reeves hides his contraband software in a hollowed-out copy of one of the philosopher’s books, and rebel chief Morpheus Laurence Fishburne quotes Baudrillard’s most famous formula: Baudrillard was invited to collaborate on the sequels, but declined.


He later protested wryly that The Matrix had got him wrong: The Matrix is surely the kind of film about the matrix that the matrix would have been able to produce.

Baudrillard was born in the cathedral town of Reims in north-eastern Baydrillard.

His grandparents were peasants and his parents became civil servants. He was the first of his family to go to university, studying German at the Sorbonne in Paris, and he later said that this led to a break with his family and cultural milieu.

Baudrillard later said he “participated” in the student revolts.

The Gulf War Did Not Take Place – Wikipedia

That same year, his first book, The System of Objects, was published. With the sociologist Henri Lefebvre and hean cultural critic Roland Barthes as his intellectual mentors, he gave sharp, ironic readings of interior-design materials, gadgets, washing powder and other everyday phenomena.

In subsequent works, including The Consumer SocietyThe Mirror of Productionand Forget FoucaultBaudrillard developed arguments about the increasing power of the “object” over the “subject” in modern society, and the way in which protest and resistance were increasingly absorbed and turned into fuel by the symbolic “system” of capitalism. During this period, he also wrote on art and architecture for the journal Warr. The volume Simulacra and Simulation the book that later appeared in The Matrix gained a wide audience, and Baudrillard soon found himself a globetrotting academic superstar, discoursing on his themes of “seduction” the term that escapes the binary opposition of “production” and “destruction” and “hyper-reality” the simulated realm that is “more real than the real”.

In he moved from Nanterre, which had, he lamented, become “normalised”, to the university of Paris-IX Dauphine. Baudrillard characterised the s, with its wishful illusions about the “end of history”, as a “stagnant” period in which events were on strike. Eventually the strike was broken by the attacks on the US of September 11 Baudrillard called it “the ultimate event, the mother of all events”.


The Gulf War Did Not Take Place

Subsequently, for Baudrillard, there was no longer any need for the media aar virtualise events, as in the first Gulf war, since the war’s participants had thoroughly internalised the rules of simulation.

His essay, War Porn, observed how the photographs from Abu Ghraib enacted scenes of fetishistic pornography, concluding: Baudrillard took to calling his works “theory fictions”: So Baudrillard offered himself as an extrapolator, a canary in the cultural coalmine. InBaudrillard had hailed Ballard’s Crash as “the first great novel of the universe of simulation”. If he didn’t take himself particularly seriously, his critics complained that he didn’t take anything else seriously either.

Jean Baudrillard

A recurring charge was that it was politically and morally irresponsible, at the very least, to speak of the “unreality” of modern war, because to do so was to ignore the realities of killing and suffering. One sceptical British interviewer called Baudrillard a “philosopher clown”, a description to which he probably would not have objected, instead taking it as an invitation to think about the social function of clowns.

As he once argued: Baudrillard, who is survived by his wife Marine, had once written a playful account of his personal evolution, from “pataphysician” a scientist of imaginary solutions at 20, to “viral” at When I saw him inhe was 70 years old.

What was he now? It was my fateful strategy to go beyond the concept, so as to see what happens beyond. Jean Baudrillard’s death did not take place.

A man from the audience, with the recent death of Jacques Derrida in mind, mentioned obituaries and asked Baudrillard: In other words, who are you?

I am the simulacrum of myself.