消費社會 01

消費社會 01

 The Consumer Society by Baudrillard 布希亞

Part I: The Formal 正式的Liturgy 聖餐儀式of the Object

 

1: Profusion 慷慨

 

There is all around us today a kind of fantastic奇妙的 conspicuousness 顯著 of consumption and abundance豐富, constituted 組成 by the multiplication 加倍 of objects, services and material goods, and this represents something of a fundamental mutation 變種 in the ecology 生態學of the human species 品種. Strictly speaking, the humans of the age of affluence 豐富are surrounded not so much by other human beings, as they were in all previous ages, but by objects. Their daily dealings處理 are now not so much with their fellow men, but rather– on a rising statistical 統計的curve曲線 — with the reception and manipulation 操控of goods and messages. This

runs from the very complex organization 組職 of the household, with its dozens of

technical 機械的slaves, to street furniture and the whole material machinery of communication; from professional activities to the permanent spectacle of the celebration of the object in advertising and the hundreds of daily messages from the mass media; from the minor proliferation 繁殖of vaguely obsessional gadgetry 機件to the symbolic psychodramas心理劇 fuelled 激發by the nocturnal 夜間的objects which come to haunt 縈繞 us even in our dreams. The two concepts `environment’ and `ambience’ 氣氛have doubtless only enjoyed such a vogue since we have come to live not so much alongside other human beings — in their physical presence and the presence of their speech — as beneath the mute gaze 眼光of mesmerizing 迷惑, obedient objects which endlessly repeat the same refrain 疊句: that of our dumbfounded 驚愕的power, our virtual affluence 富裕, our absence one from another. Just as the wolf-child became a wolf by living among wolves, so we too are slowly becoming functional 功用性

 

We live by object time: by this I mean that we live at the pace 步調 of objects, live to the rhythm 韻律of their ceaseless succession連續. Today, it is we who watch them as they are born, grow to maturity 成熟and die, whereas in all previous civilizations it was timeless objects, instruments or monuments which outlived活得更長久 the generations of human beings.

 

Objects are neither a flora 植物nor a fauna 動物. And yet they do indeed give the impression of a proliferating 增殖 vegetation, a jungle in which the new wild man of modern times has difficulty recovering the reflexes 反應 of civilization.

 

We have to attempt rapidly to describe this fauna 動物and flora 植物, which man has produced and which comes back to encircle 包圍and invade 侵犯 him as it might in a bad science fiction novel. We have to describe these things as we see and experience them, never forgetting, in their splendor 輝煌and profusion 豐富, that they are the product of a human activity and are dominated 支配 not by natural ecological 生態的 laws, but by the law of exchange-value 交換價值. The busiest streets of London are crowded with shops whose show cases 櫥櫃display all the riches of the world, Indian shawls 圍巾, American revolvers 手槍, Chinese porcelain 瓷器, Parisian corsets 緊身褡, furs 皮草from Russia and spices from the tropics熱帶, but all of these worldly things bear odious 可憎的, white paper labels with Arabic numerals 數字and the laconic 簡明的symbols £.s.d. This is how commodities 貨物are presented in circulation. 流通 (Marx) 馬克思

 

2

Profusion 豐富and the Package 包裹

 

Profusion and the package, piling high are clearly the most striking 顯著descriptive 描述性 features. The big department stores, with their abundance of canned foods and clothing, of foodstuffs and ready-made garments 衣服, are like the primal 原始的landscape, the geometrical locus of abundance. But every street, with its cluttered 塞滿, glittering 閃亮shop-windows (the least scarce 稀少的commodity 貨品here being light, without which the merchandise 貨物would be merely what it is), their displays of cooked meats, and indeed the entire alimentary 營養的and vestimentary 衣服的feast, all stimulate 刺激magical salivation 唾液. There is something more in this piling 堆放high than the quantity of products: the manifest 明顯 presence of surplus 多餘, the magical, definitive negation of scarcity 稀少, the maternal, luxurious sense of being already in the Land of Cockaigne. Our markets, major shopping thoroughfares 通道and superstores also mimic a new-found nature of prodigious 巨大的fecundity豐饒. These are our Valleys of Canaan where, in place of milk and honey, streams of neon flow down over ketchup 番茄醬and plastic. But no matter! We find here the fervid 熾熱的hope that there should be not enough, but too much — and too much for everyone: by buying a piece of this land, you acquire the crumbling 崩坍pyramid of oysters 牡蠣, meats, pears or tinned 罐裝asparagus 蘆筍. You buy the part for the whole. And this metonymic 換喻, repetitive discourse of consumable matter, of the commodity 貨物 , becomes once again, through a great collective metaphor by virtue of 憑藉its very excess — the image of the gift, and of that inexhaustible 耗不完的and spectacular prodigality 豐饒 which characterizes the feast.

 

32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

雄伯

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