Zygmunt Bauman: communicating the uncertainty

From the globalised fear to the individual sense of uncertainty and vulnerability, Zygmunt Bauman reflects on the psychological and social impact of liquid modernity. And he warns: the line of historical development, which is pendulum-like, has just changed course

Uncertainty, fear, sense of vulnerability: the recent terror attacks in Paris and Copenhagen and the current international tensions seem to confirm what had been anticipated by Zygmunt Bauman in this unreleased interview made a while back for ICS Magzine and just as pertinent today (watch video).

With his usual intelligence and wisdom, the renowned sociologist reflects on the psychological and social impact of “liquid modernity”, that is the tendency to constant change, which – according to him – leaves feelings of ignorance, impotence and, above all, uncertainty: this latter is so much widespread and generalised that it became the distinguishing feature of contemporary society

«People who dream freedom – says Bauman – when they actually get it, are appalled by the number of risks which are involved: freedom always comes with some uncertainty, the future is unpredictedable and that's also unpleasant».

A direct consequence of this uncertainty would be a sort of “nostalgia of security”: «I came to the conclusion – argues Bauman – that the line of historical development is not straight, progress is pendulum-like. If once the goal was a greater freedom, even sacrificing a little security, over the last few years we've experienced “reverse” signals, with people ready to limit their freedom for a little more security».



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