The Mirror of Production

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The Mirror of Production (French: Le Miroir de la production) is a 1973 book by Jean Baudrillard. It is a systematic critique of Marxism. Baudrillard's thesis is that Marx’s theory of historical materialism is too rooted in assumptions and values of political economy to provide a framework for radical action. The fault of Marxism is in prioritizing the very concepts that founded capital, e.g. necessity, value, and labor.

For Baudrillard, Marx did not transcend political economy but merely saw its reverse or its “mirror” side. Marxism merely strengthens political economy’s basic propositions, in particular the idea that self-creation is performed through productive, non-alienated labor. In Baudrillard’s words, “[Marxism] convinces men that they are alienated by the sale of their labor power, thus censoring the much more radical hypothesis that they might be alienated as labor power.” Baudrillard proposes to liberate workers from their "labor value" and think in terms other than production.

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