Esteemed Polish Philosopher Zygmunt Bauman has some things to say about the global situation today and the growing fear among humanity. He says that upheaval across the globe is symptomatic of the diffusion of fear. Bauman says people across Europe are on edge as migration and economic uncertainties continue to grow. He notes that the political landscape is changing as there is a growing feeling that the old social structures and paradigms no longer work. So they are being replaced or challenged by the masses. And the SAME thing is happening in the USA! A serious divide is growing along race and economics says Bauman.
Bauman has written extensively about the modern age and what it is doing to the masses across the globe. He coined the phrase “liquid fear” which he has defined as a tangible feeling of generalized anxiety that we see everywhere on the planet today. He says that the problem with “liquid fear” is you don’t know where it will strike from unlike specific fear and danger which you know.
In an in-depth interview with Al Jazeera, Bauman said that humanity is “walking on a minefield.” He went on to say that there are “no solid structures around us on which we can rely, in which we can invest our hopes and expectations.” He notes that even the world’s most powerful governments can no longer deliver on their promises and this only adds to the fear and growing anxiety we all feel.
“ON EVERY LEVEL OF HUMAN LIFE, YOU HAVE THE SAME SITUATION. UNCERTAINTY,” Bauman says. He told Al Jazeera that today humanity is living in a “state of continuous uncertainty, which makes us afraid.” He points out that there are two crucial values that are vital to human life and those are Security and Freedom. Both are absolutely necessary to human existence he says.
“SECURITY WITHOUT FREEDOM IS SLAVERY,” Bauman pointed out, and “Freedom without Security is complete CHAOS where you are LOST, ABANDONED, and you don’t know what to do.” Today people find themselves “uneasy, lost, incapable of acting with certainty, with assurance.” He thinks what we see happening all over the world today is the “turning of the pendulum.” He notes that he believes people want politicians who assert “Give me the power and I will take responsibility for your future.” In other words, people all over the planet today are looking for a magical SAVIOR!!
“People are looking for MAGIC in leadership,” he says, but notes that is a waste of time! He also referred to the growing refugee problem in Europe and millions of refugees are flooding into Europe to escape war-torn nations in the Middle East such as Syria. He specifically notes that these REFUGEES are NOT people who are hungry without bread or water BUT that they are people who only yesterday were proud of their homes, their social positions, and often were very well-educated and well off financially. But now they are refugees and they “embody all of our FEARS.” They embody our own fears of losing everything and he says that makes our own anxiety and fears grow and he says in his estimation the “SHOCK is only BEGINNING.”
This generalized anxiety is not something new in my opinion because I think it’s been around for a long time. We felt it back in the late 70s for sure and since that time I think it has festered and grown. Humanity has been uneasy or anxious for a long time now! That anxiety is nonspecific meaning we can’t quite put our finger on it when it comes to identifying the source of our anxiety. ANXIETY IS UNSPECIFIC FEAR! That perhaps is the worst kind of fear there is. Continue reading