As far as I understand, at level 3 ostensibly factual statements are instrumentalized in the service of ideological concerns (ideology is the deciding agent), whereas at level 4 ideology itself becomes a malleable object that is instrumentalized in the service of the pursuit of power (in the limit case, Moloch is the deciding agent). At level 3, what matters is that your side is winning, at level 4, what matters is that you’re on the winning side.Level 1: “There’s a lion across the river.” = There’s a lion across the river.Level 2: “There’s a lion across the river.” = I don’t want to go (or have other people go) across the river.Level 3: “There’s a lion across the river.” = I’m with the popular kids who are too cool to go across the river.Level 4: “There’s a lion across the river.” = A firm stance against trans-river expansionism focus grouped well with undecided voters in my constituency.I too have trouble thinking of a non-political real-life example (professional politics, at least by reputation, very much seems to be a level 4 discipline), so feel free to disregard what follows, but a striking example would be some hypothetical ex-Soviet functionary whose career trajectory dictated seamlessly shifting between being a communist in the 80′s, a liberal democrat in the 90′s and early 2000′s, and a conservative nationalist by the 2010′s.
At level 3, what matters is that your side is winning, at level 4, what matters is that you’re on the winning side.
What a fantastic distinction, thank you.
I’ve talked about simulacra levels with Ben a ton and this comment is the single most helpful thing in understanding them or explaining to others.
Thanks! I appreciate the feedback, and I’m glad to hear my thoughts were in the right direction and helpful to others.
Yeah that helps a lot.