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.
Basically, what Bauman is saying is that the human race is now looking for a SAVIOR and that’s pretty unnerving IMO. That’s because it sets the stage PERFECTLY for some slick talking politicians to come along making us a bunch of promises that he/she knows damned well he/she can’t keep and, frankly, has no intention of keeping! But humanity will buy their rhetoric and empty words because I’ve noticed as humans become more and more anxious and fearful they become more apt to buy such rhetoric without a thought and on the hope that the “Savior” will “deliver.” I see this right now in the American political race for POTUS. Trump is full of slick words and promises even going as far as to say his is our “voice.” Clinton is doing the same thing! Why are they both plowing the same field? Because they already know just how AFRAID Americans are, just how ANXIOUS we are. And that fear and anxiety is being played out right now in the race divide we see growing in this country along with the economic divide between the “haves” and the “have nots.” Both Hillary and Trump are betting on our anxiety and fear! But don’t get me wrong. In my opinion NEITHER one of these candidates is going to deliver once they are in the CRAP HOUSE at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave!!
One of the most significant things Bauman says in the interview with Al Jazeera is, “SECURITY WITHOUT FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.” It would do us well especially in America today to KEEP THAT IN MIND! We’ve already given up too much of our freedom in the name of security! That’s why we see a growing POLICE STATE in this nation today. And here’s something else to keep in mind. NOTHING is SAFE in this world!! NOTHING!!! None of us came into this world with any sort of guarantee that life would be safe, warm, and fuzzy. If you believe that is the way life is supposed to be then you’re full of CRAP! In FACT, life is MOST OFTEN uncertain, unpredictable, and UNSAFE!! So get used to it, move out of your fantasyland, and get a REALITY CHECK!! Yes, there are terrorists and psychos in the world BUT there is NOT one around every corner or in every alley. We are faced with dangers every day and, in fact, every moment in our lives. The challenge is how to OVERCOME those dangers NOT to run from them or let them run over us as if we are a bunch of mindless SHEEPLE!! Human beings are NOT weak and our evolution has PROVEN THAT BEYOND DOUBT! Otherwise humanity would not even exist today. And our evolution as a species PROVES that human beings are SURVIVORS because if we weren’t then none of us would be here today either. Humanity has faced MANY challenges before and we have overcome them and we will do so again.
LIFE IS ABOUT CHOICES!! We make choices all of the time. Problem is many of us are making the same old unworkable choices over and over again while expecting different results! That’s why Einstein defined as “insanity” and it IS insane to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you want different results then you MUST make DIFFERENT CHOICES!! And the other problem is that most of us today are operating on AUTOPILOT! That is, we go to and fro through our lives half-ass conscious! Productive and positive choices REQUIRE that we get OFF of autopilot and start making CONSCIOUS choices instead of UNCONSCIOUS ones! IN my estimation we DON’T neither a Savior! What we need is a society of growing consciousness and growing SELF responsibility!!! STOP waiting for others to “do it” for you and DO IT YOURSELF for God sake! GROW UP! The way to overcome anxiety and fear is to CONFRONT it head-on. And the way you confront it head-on is by starting to make CONSCIOUS CHOICES different from the ones you’ve been making that DON’T WORK, obviously. I assure you that IF our “savior” appears on the world stage he/she WON’T turn out to be a SAVIOR at all but a TYRANT who will ENSURE that we have security BUT without FREEDOM and then we all will be locked into SLAVERY like it or not!!!
The world is in a growing state of chaos. FEAR IS A DESTROYER NOT A CREATOR!! We can face and confront our fears OR we can all kick back and await some mysterious “savior” whom when he/she arrives we may all wish he/she never came! Take your pick.