Straight Talk on Israel
Israel isn't a democracy and never was.
by Stephen Lendman
Zygmunt Bauman is UK-based University of Leeds Emeritus Professor of Sociology. His work spans five decades. He's now aged 87.
His wide-ranging interests include consumerism, globalization, ethics, power, the status of workers, intellectuals in society, and nature of modern relationships.
He's best known for analyzing links between modernity and the Jewish holocaust, postmodern consumerism, and discussing broad moral/political perspectives.
He distinguishes between earlier modernity forms ("solid modernity") and what's commonplace today. It's characterized by fragile social relations, he believes. They're created and broken by neoliberal harshness.
His metaphorical use of "liquidity" captures the shifting character of individualized/globalized lives. His new book is titled "Culture in a Liquid Modern World."
Among other topics it discusses culture in a globalized world and what's happening in today's Europe. He describes utopia's end. In recent decades it's been privatized.
It once meant imagining well-designed societies. They guaranteed meaningful, dignified, gratifying lives. Today's world is inhospitable. It's beyond redemption, he believes.
In May 2012, he discussed today's Europe. After decades of rising expectations, he said, "present-day newcomers to adult life confront" them falling. "Individualized utopia coincides with the collapse and demise of the idea and hope for a 'good society.' "
It's happening "much too steeply and abruptly for any hope of a gentle and safe decent," he added.
Today's youth face "long-term unemployment and long stretches of 'rubbish jobs.' " They're "well below their skills and expectations."
"This is the first postwar generation facing the prospect of downward mobility."
Nothing prepared them for today's reality. Hopes are frustrated and stillborn. University degrees once "promised plum jobs." No longer. Once attainable dreams go unfulfilled.