Community: Seeking Safety in an Insecure World (Themes for the 21st Century Series)

By Zygmunt Bauman

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'Community' is a type of phrases that feels reliable: it truly is sturdy 'to have a community', 'to be in a community'. And 'community' feels sturdy as a result meanings which the notice conveys, them all promising pleasures, and quite often the type of pleasures which we want to event yet appear to miss.

'Community' conveys just like a hot and cozy position, like a fire at which we hot our palms on a frosty day. available in the market, on the street, all kinds of risks lie in ambush; in the following, in the neighborhood, we will sit back and think secure. 'Community' stands for the type of global which we lengthy to inhabit yet which isn't, unfortunately, to be had to us. this present day 'community' is one other identify for paradise misplaced - yet for a paradise which we nonetheless wish to discover, as we feverishly look for the roads that can lead us there.

But there's a fee to be paid for the privilege of being in a group. neighborhood grants protection yet turns out to deprive us of freedom, of the appropriate to be ourselves. safeguard and freedom are both helpful and coveted values which may be balanced to a point, yet rarely absolutely reconciled. the stress among safety and freedom, and among group and individuality, is not likely ever to be resolved. we won't break out the problem yet we will take inventory of the possibilities and the hazards, and a minimum of try and stay away from repeating earlier errors.

In this significant new booklet, Zygmunt Bauman takes inventory of those possibilities and hazards and, in his detailed and superb type, bargains a much-needed reappraisal of an idea that has develop into vital to present debates concerning the nature and way forward for our societies.

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By means of now this axis has been irreparably damaged. instead of turning into 'flexible', because the spokespeople for the courageous new international would want its new to be perceived, it has grew to become fragile and friable. not anything may perhaps (and not anything may still) be fastened to that axis with self belief trusting its toughness will be naive and may end up deadly. Even the main venerable workplaces and vegetation proud 46 occasions of Disengagement their lengthy and wonderful previous are inclined to vanish in a single day and without warning; allegedly everlasting and essential, 'cannot do with no' jobs evaporate lengthy earlier than the paintings has been accomplished; abilities as soon as feverishly hunted for, being in sizzling call for, age and are chanced on unsellable good ahead of their expected 'sell-by' date has expired; and task exercises are became the other way up ahead of they've been discovered. The 'pellet of nutrients' on the imagined finish of the line strikes or will get foul speedier than even the main clever one of the hungry rats be ready to study the trails resulting in i t . . . The social body of labor and livelihood isn't the just one that's falling aside, although. every little thing else round seems in a whirlwind. to cite Sennett once again, sixteen where the place the total of lifestyles is performed or was hoping to be performed 'springs into existence with the wave of a developer's wand, thrives, and starts to decay all inside a new release. ' In this sort of position (and increasingly more humans come to understand such locations and their sour surroundings the difficult manner) nobody 'becomes a long term witness to a different person's life'. where could be bodily crowded, and but frighten and repel the citizens through its ethical vacancy. it isn't simply that the areas seem from nowhere, on a domain uninhabited in human reminiscence, and that prior to the loan mortgage has been totally repaid they start to decay, turning from the hospitable into the repellent and prompting the hapless citizens into one other bout of househunting. it is very that not anything within the position remains an analogous for lengthy, and not anything endures lengthy adequate to be absolutely taken in, to familiarize yourself and to show into the comfortable, safe and cozy envelope the communityhungry and home-thirsty selves have sought and was hoping for. long past are the pleasant nook grocery retailers; in the event that they have controlled to resist the grocery store festival, their vendors, managers, the faces at the back of the counter 47 occasions of Disengagement switch a lot too frequently for any of them to harbour the permanence now not to be present in the road. long gone are the pleasant neighborhood financial institution or construction society branches, changed by way of nameless and impersonal (ever extra usually electronically synthesized) voices at the different finish of the phone cable or 'user friendly5, but infinitely distant, anonymous and faceless web site icons. long gone is the pleasant postman, knocking at the door six days per week and addressing the population through their names. In are the shops and high-street chain retailers, anticipated to outlive from one pleasant merger or adversarial takeover to a different, yet meanwhile altering their employees at a velocity which reduces to 0 the probabilities of assembly an analogous salesclerk two times.

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