Zygmunt Bauman: Behind the world’s ‘crisis of humanity’ – Talk to Al Jazeera

24 Jul

” One of the most prominent philosophers of our time is Zygmunt Bauman.

Born in Poland 90 years ago, he has thought and written extensively about the modern era, and what it is doing to us, coining the phrase, “liquid fear” – a tangible feeling of anxiety that has only vague contours but is still acutely present everywhere.

“Liquid fear,” Bauman explains, “means fear flowing on our own court, not staying in one place but diffuse. And the trouble with liquid fear, unlike the concrete specific danger which you know and are familiar with is that you don’t know where from it will strike. We are walking, that’s my favorite metaphor, as if on a minefield. We are aware that the field is full of explosives, but we can’t tell where there will be an explosion and when. There are no solid structures around us all on which we can rely, in which we can invest our hopes and expectations. Even most powerful governments, very often, cannot deliver on their promise. They don’t have enough power to do so.”

Bauman discusses different relational structures – the personal, the employer-employee dynamic and people and their governments – and the precariousness which defines them today.

“On every level of human life, you have the same situation. Uncertainty,” he says.

Source: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/2016/07/zygmunt-bauman-world-crisis-humanity-160722085342260.html

I decided to visit temple with my mother and brother. Am sad with my mother’s suffering and wanted to do ever thing possible to alleviate little bit of her afflictions.  On way back home my mother wanted to visit her dear friend. Me and my brother ended up watching Al Jazeera . We were both hooked to this brilliant and engaging conversation with Polish Philosopher and academic Zygmunt Bauman. This is a great interview from ” Talk to Al Jazeera.”  What struck me was at ninety, how contemporary the views are of the great philosopher and it’s sweeping and erudite take on many issues of Influx of refugees, multiculturalism, an all encompassing uncertainty which he calls ” Liquid fear” and why happiness is not  just one big pleasurable trip but it’s about overcoming unhappiness and troubles. This interview is  wonderful in it’s sweep. It’s also credit to the interviewer.

Given every  day horrific incidents once can’t help but share the philosopher’s ” short term pessimism and long term optimism”

Zygmunt Bauman is quite right on Donald Trump ” People want politicians who assert: “Give me the power and I will take responsibility for your future.”

Am personally no votary of such politics.  There are learning’s from this interview and it is instructive..

“There are two crucial values without which human life is simply inconceivable. One is security, a measure of security, feeling safe. The other is freedom, ability to self-assert, to do what you really would like to do and so on. They are both necessary. Security without freedom is slavery. Freedom without security is complete chaos where you are lost, abandoned, you don’t know what to do .So you need measure of one and the other. We are incredibly more free than our grandfathers or great grandfathers were. But we paid the price. We had to exchange it for security. ”

( Zygmunt Bauman)

Think about that….

We perhaps need a fluid  structure or a structure which adapts and makes sense of these uncertain times…there are no easy answers.

Good night dear friends!  Hope you like this Al Jazeera interview with Zygmunt Bauman.

Have a good day!

Love, Suresh



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