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The Divine Left: A Chronicle of the Years 1977-1984

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An analysis of how Mitterand came to power in France and how political power seduced the French Left and became a simulacrum. First published in French in 1985, The Divine Left is Jean Baudrillard's chronicle of French political life from 1977 to 1984. It offers the closest thing to political analysis to be found from a thinker who has too often been regarded as apolitical. An analysis of how Mitterand came to power in France and how political power seduced the French Left and became a simulacrum. First published in French in 1985, The Divine Left is Jean Baudrillard's chronicle of French political life from 1977 to 1984. It offers the closest thing to political analysis to be found from a thinker who has too often been regarded as apolitical. Gathering texts that originally appeared as newspaper commentary on Francois Mitterand's rise to power as France's first Socialist president and the Socialist Party's fraught alliance with the French Communist Party, The Divine Left in essence presents Baudrillard's theory of the simulacrum as it operates in the political sphere. In France, the Left, and even the ultra-Left, had been seduced by power. This scenario -- dissected by Baudrillard with deadpan humor and an almost chilling nonchalance -- produced a Socialist Party that devoted itself to rallying the market economy and introducing neoliberalism, and replaced an intellectual class with the media stars and hyper-professionals of the spectacle. Starting from the elections of 1977, Baudrillard analyzes -- in "real time," as it were -- how the Left's taking of power had in fact been an enaction of not just its own death throes, but those of power itself. The Divine Left outlines a simulation of politics that offers discomfiting parallels to our political world today, a trajectory that has only grown more apparent in recent years: the desire and intention to fail.


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An analysis of how Mitterand came to power in France and how political power seduced the French Left and became a simulacrum. First published in French in 1985, The Divine Left is Jean Baudrillard's chronicle of French political life from 1977 to 1984. It offers the closest thing to political analysis to be found from a thinker who has too often been regarded as apolitical. An analysis of how Mitterand came to power in France and how political power seduced the French Left and became a simulacrum. First published in French in 1985, The Divine Left is Jean Baudrillard's chronicle of French political life from 1977 to 1984. It offers the closest thing to political analysis to be found from a thinker who has too often been regarded as apolitical. Gathering texts that originally appeared as newspaper commentary on Francois Mitterand's rise to power as France's first Socialist president and the Socialist Party's fraught alliance with the French Communist Party, The Divine Left in essence presents Baudrillard's theory of the simulacrum as it operates in the political sphere. In France, the Left, and even the ultra-Left, had been seduced by power. This scenario -- dissected by Baudrillard with deadpan humor and an almost chilling nonchalance -- produced a Socialist Party that devoted itself to rallying the market economy and introducing neoliberalism, and replaced an intellectual class with the media stars and hyper-professionals of the spectacle. Starting from the elections of 1977, Baudrillard analyzes -- in "real time," as it were -- how the Left's taking of power had in fact been an enaction of not just its own death throes, but those of power itself. The Divine Left outlines a simulation of politics that offers discomfiting parallels to our political world today, a trajectory that has only grown more apparent in recent years: the desire and intention to fail.

48 review for The Divine Left: A Chronicle of the Years 1977-1984

  1. 4 out of 5

    michal k-c

    impotence of the political class, impotence of “power”, the left reducing itself to simple reformers, the misery of leaders won’t cure the misery of the masses, so on and so forth. some pretty prescient stuff in here, not the least of which being the passage where he basically predicts Trump // reality tv politics

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lance Grabmiller

    So dependent on a particular time and political situation in France at that time, that it is pretty useless without some context and almost none of that context is given. The notes are practically useless. Could be brilliant, but it's impossible to give it much consideration without a lot more information that this slim volume provides. So dependent on a particular time and political situation in France at that time, that it is pretty useless without some context and almost none of that context is given. The notes are practically useless. Could be brilliant, but it's impossible to give it much consideration without a lot more information that this slim volume provides.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Joaquín Ollo

    Un análisis sesgado, unilateral y rápido en sentencias, pero aún así un libro interesante.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bachpach

    Sorprendentemente (o no) actual.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sole

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rodrigo Escribano

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jake

  8. 5 out of 5

    Showmenicht

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nick

  10. 4 out of 5

    Vitaliy Zhuk

  11. 5 out of 5

    GMK

  12. 5 out of 5

    Antonia Rudel

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hussein A.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Maximiliano López

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ezri

  17. 4 out of 5

    Zach Brisson

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cihan Kardeşler

  19. 4 out of 5

    Miklós

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emre

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ángel Gustvo

  22. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    Review published in The French Review 60.5 (1987): 742-744.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Göker Makaskıran

  24. 4 out of 5

    Deniz Yenihayat

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mellie Macker

  26. 4 out of 5

    efenibot

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marcelo Aguila Maldonado

  28. 4 out of 5

    Martín

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael Koniar

  30. 5 out of 5

    michael Wells

  31. 5 out of 5

    never-been-in-a-riot

  32. 4 out of 5

    Gregory

  33. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

  34. 4 out of 5

    Mark Steven Ritter

  35. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Zera

  36. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  37. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  38. 4 out of 5

    Chloe

  39. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  40. 4 out of 5

    Tobie

  41. 4 out of 5

    efenibot

  42. 4 out of 5

    t

  43. 4 out of 5

    Jonny Sorgasm

  44. 5 out of 5

    Elif Güler

  45. 4 out of 5

    Conner

  46. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  47. 4 out of 5

    Jessie Rivas

  48. 5 out of 5

    Nilay Kaya

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