Increasingly Silent Majorities

Baudrillard argues that the Silent Majority, les masse, is not interested in the meaning that the vocal minority tries to inflict upon them but only in spectacle. Yet there is plenty of evidence of this same affliction among the knowledge professions as well, the supposed vocal minority. The university, the supposed training ground for the vocal minority, is not so much an institution promoting rigor and standards as it is a peculiar form of paid entertainment for the children of the elite. The ubiquity of Powerpoint from college lecture halls to corporate board rooms argues to this point. A recent book on effective communication for business and creative professionals argues that in order to get your message across it needs to be expressed visually.

I think the real question is not whether or not the “vocal minority” also prefers spectacle but whether this is something new, perhaps since the advent of visual media like television or the internet, or just the current manifestation of a perennial human way of functioning.

And what is Baudrillard if he is not himself a spectacle for the vocal minority?


~ by severalfourmany on November 16, 2010.

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