S(t)imulations

[T]his stage of serial reproduction (that of the industrial mechanism, of the factory belt, of expanded reproduction) is ephemeral. As soon as dead work wins out over living work — that is, as soon as the era of primitive accumulation is over — serial production yields to generation by means of models. And here it is a question of a reversal of origin and finality, for all the forms change once they are not so much mechanically reproduced but even conceived from the point-of-view of their very reproductibility, diffracted from a generating nucleus we call the model. (Baudrillard, Simulations, p.100).

Practically and historically, this signified the substitution of social control by the end (and by a more or less dialectical providence which surveys the accomplishment of this end) for social control by anticipation, simulation and programming, and indeterminate mutation directed by the code. Instead of a process which is finalized according to its ideal development, we generalize from a model. Instead of a right to a prophecy, we have the right of registration. There is no really radical difference between the two, only the schemes of control have become fantastically perfected. From a capitalist-productivist society to a neo-capitalist cybernetic order that aims now at total control. This is the mutation for which the biological theorization of the code prepares the ground. There is nothing of an accident in this mutation. It is the end of a history in which, successively, God, Man, Progress, and History itself die to profit the code, in which transcendence dies to profit immanence, the latter corresponding to a much more advanced phase in the vertiginous manipulation of social rapports (Baudrillard, Simulations, p.111).

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