Recalling our opening comments on the performing of roles, and the nature of the self, we found that we are what we do. More precisely, "everything we have done actually constitutes who each one of us is."142 In a world of spectacle, wherein there is neither the god-given centre linking one in a great chain of being to everything around one, nor the self-given centre of the individual subject, that "who" that each one of us is, is necessarily characterised by the commodity, and the new great chain: the global economy.
In both the baroque and the postmodern, the nature of the self is fluid, transitional, unstable. In the baroque, this was movement away from the world of resemblance towards isolation, alienation, the separation of people into monads. In postmodernity, it is a movement toward homogenisation and heterogeneity at the same time.
In a postmodern consumer society, these fluid, unstable selves are prone to the new forces of resemblance. People who spend a lot of time together, doing the same things together, can come to resemble one another, through shared experience, a common wardrobe, a common music collection or library of novels - a resemblance of convenience. The immense choice available to them may, on the surface, allow them to appear greatly diverse in their tastes, yet each will share a pattern of consumption identical to all those around them. People at great distances from each other, with seemingly diverse backgrounds and surroundings, can come to resemble one another because the multinational chains enable them to buy exactly the same clothes and live in identical homes watching the same tv channels - a resemblance of emulation. People can come to resemble one another simply by dint of their partaking in the society of spectacle, being consumers, doing consumption - a resemblance by analogy. Finally, people can come to resemble one another because of the powerful, magnetic attraction in our decentred world to belong to something - anything - especially something which carries the glamour of the Spectacle; whatever fad or sub- culture it may be, the pattern of consumption will be the same.
Pluralism, in post-modernity, carries the great danger of a complete levelling, a homogenisation of us all into replicas of one another, not perhaps in the particular, but in the manner of doing/being. The Sympathy/Antipathy duplex in postmodernity, combining heterogenity and homogeneity at the same time, maintains the appearance of our isolation, maintains the effect of our individuality, at the same time as it draws us all into identical behaviour, identically defining social action constructing identical selves serving the ends of the Spectacle.
Even places are not immune to the forces of resemblance, as the world city of postmodern architecture sprouts up in locations all over the world, linked up with time-destroying immediacy by the information superhighway which trivialises and fragments our interactions.
Perhaps most worrying, in the end, is that the scrabble board of technological enframement, crowded now not just with the technologies of the body but with the technologies of commodification, consitutes an intense and accelerating field of battle for the forces of power to play out its rules with our Selves - its pawns - which will likely no longer brook of substantial change, short of tipping it over altogether.
Perhaps, with Callinicos, we should contemplate situating ourselves within some grand narrative of revolution, and do precisely that.