There's literally the quote on the wiki page on Simulacra and Simulation:

..The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth—it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true

But what are the implications? How is it different from nihilism for example? The assertion, that "anything stands true as long as enough people are buying into it" doesn't add anything significant, that's how it always has been for nihilism for example. That's just Nietzche's master-slave morality with extra steps.

Or, knowing Badrillard's position on art, was it just a prerequisite for his attack on art?

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Consider fiat currency. Bank runs clearly show that they only stand, as long as 'enough' people have trust in it. It is 'made up', by fiat, through an agreement. But, it has real infrastructure, notes and coins that are difficult to forge, digital payment systems, encryption protocols. Just because something stands as true as long as enough buy in to it, doesn't make what they buy into infinitely malleable, and subject to change whenever the consensus changes. Is money 'real'? That's not straughtforward to answer.

Baudrillard gives the example of the Borges story 'On Exactitude In Science', which he explicitly uses in developing his picture of the hypereal. The whole story is only one paragraph, so here it is:

…In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it. The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast Map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography.

(Suarez Miranda,Viajes devarones prudentes, Libro IV,Cap. XLV, Lerida, 1658

Here then is Baudrillard's picture. A community lost in it's fictions, falling into ruins around them. Consider for comparison the lure of money - there's a quote I haven't been able to attribute:

"We all hope to become rich enough to avoid the consequences of how we made our money."

By taking money as real rather than a mechanism of exchange that relies on mutual trust and trade of mutual benefit, we risk getting lost:

"When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money."

-Alanis Obomsawin, of the Abenaki tribe from the Odanak reserve, near Montreal.

The worlds many cases of largely fairly minor border disputes over areas of unlivable wasteland, like say the Sino-Indian Border Dispute, show the literal dangers of getting lost in maps.

I'd suggest reading Baudrillard, rather than ironically arguing with a strawman - a simulacrum, of Simulacra & Simulation...

  • 1
    nice analogy with banks! Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 12:47
  • Are you implying simulacra is some kind of "illusion" that you "can get lost in" but "should not"? Do you think Baudrillard meant it as something negative(in a sense that a person should not embrace it)?
    – Denis
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 12:55
  • @IoannisPaizis Why isn't the idea of money "infinitely malleable, and subject to change whenever the consensus changes"? Why do you consider having metal coins and hardware with encryption and so on as anything significant? If for example tomorrow a huge nuclear war happens - all the fiat and bank infrastructure will become meaningless probably. I don't see how it's different from any kind of value that might exist in society.
    – Denis
    Commented Nov 22, 2023 at 13:03

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