Gilles Deleuze said that a "simulacrum is a system in which different things relate to different things through difference itself".

We should remember that, for him, difference and repetition explain countless phenomena, and this theme was even the subject of his doctoral thesis, a work in which various simulacra are discussed.

The classic meaning of simulacrum is found in the Greeks. For them, a simulacrum is a representation of a person, of an individual. It is, for instance, the idol, the image that imitates. A simulacrum is a copy that can include the idolized or worshipped, and it is thanks to this, for example, that the various religious faiths spread. Icons, representations, copies, and the creation of illusions all constitute simulacra.

Nowadays, to simulate is to create a representation of what is going to happen. It's a powerful tool for controlling variables. Simulacra are the upholsteries of plans B, of emergency exits, they are the strategies to be built and maintained.

When Deleuze says that a simulacrum is a "system in which different relates to different by means of difference itself", he affirms, while at the same time breaking with, the classical Greek definition. To be a repetition, to be a copy, is to be the same, just as much as it is to be different.

Reproductions are copies that only survive when placed in a context of comparison. Living beings are reproductions, but they don't lose their originality. It is never said that the son of man is a copy of man. Identifications do not express fissures. It is the whole that shows itself. In this sense, wholeness is realized without fragmentary editions.

Copies always involve something or someone copying, hence the invasion of other realities in the process. Simulacra are most often used to create illusions. It's how to deceive, how to imitate, and how to copy that encourages the use of the simulacrum. Everything is imitated.

We have an extreme example in Japan, where even families and emotional relationships can now be rented out, a relatively common practice among the Japanese population. Life is simulated. In the overwhelming greed of capitalist markets, through commodities, everything is a simulacrum, the result of the illusions of gain reflected in the daily lives of their producers, and so coffee is bought at the same price by those who grow it in Brazil, Colombia or Ethiopia and by those who consume it in the United States, Paris or China.

Living with the future in mind, with the expectation of success in everything, is a simulacrum of life. It's the effort used to maintain the illusion that sustains alienating systems even if they are established within the family itself. In this context, what is familiar becomes strange when it is based on the objectives to be achieved. Families are invaded by the demands that are alien to them, and so their daily lives become imitations of certain religious or even political communities.

It's common in therapeutic processes for clients to simulate an improvement in their difficulties, in the hope that appearance will be what actually exists. This desire is the result of a life of appearance. In this context, the important thing is to repeat, pretend and copy.

Society is also mirrored in imitation and copying, as it is structured on codes and rules of well-being and success, on competition and evaluation between individuals, generated by economic and social differences. The simulacra of well-being are used to feed social networks, and television programmes as well as family and friendship relationships. The important thing is to appear, not to be. What is concealed and hidden does not appear and this is the great illusion followed by most people.

This process of seeking social success increasingly deceives and deludes, creating psychopathies. Deception invades everything, lies are the sacrosanct land of all. The appearance of democracy, of recognized rights, are illusions that often hide absolutism, privileges, and the usurpation of citizens' rights and possibilities. To believe in slogans, pseudo-truths, and fake news is to be unable to discern and understand the processes. Increasingly, all of this is manipulated, creating simulacrums or shams of improvements, such as human rights, the non-distinction of ethnic groups by creating quotas to heal differences, demands for equal salaries, and actions that do not affect or structurally change the lives of those who are deprived or discriminated against.

The valorization, belief, and use of simulations result in the exploitation of others in deceptions that permeate everything from relationships and the imitation of expensive food to designers who create in their own ateliers but allow copies made in Asian warehouses to spread because they make more profit. The newcomer from poverty who pretends to be rich and the malevolent user of women and children who pretends to be a good guy, a good husband, and a good father, are all simulacra who manipulate the neediness of others in order to achieve their goals.

By copying colleagues' papers and using other people's texts, doctors and propagators of deceptive honesty and intellectual probity are maintained. Plagiarizing, using, and misleading are the repetitions that hide one's incapacity and expose what one would like to be.

Fantasy, the use of drugs, whether licit or illicit, is also a way of simulating happiness and joy, just as much as the polarization of interests and motivations for the big days: Christmas, Carnival, events in which one is obliged to be happy and satisfied, in which the simulacra encompass everyone.