By Zygmunt Bauman
During this new booklet Zygmunt Bauman - essentially the most impressive and influential social thinkers of our time - retraces the peregrinations of the idea that of tradition and examines its destiny in an international marked by way of the robust new forces of globalization, migration and the intermingling of populations.
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Additional info for Culture in a Liquid Modern World
The aim was to transform the disorientated, dismayed and lost entities – brutally 51 Culture in a world of diasporas torn out of their monotonous routine of communal life by the elemental and unexpected, rather than planned or anticipated modernizing transformation – into members of a modern nation and citizens of a modern state. The aim of enlightenment and culture was no less than the creation of a ‘new man’, equipped with new points of reference and flexible, adaptable standards in place of the lifelong rules hitherto imposed by traditional communities, from cradle to grave, which in the dawn of the modern era were gradually but implacably losing their pragmatic value, or falling out of use at an accelerated rate.
Marching columns are giving way to swarms. Swarms, as opposed to marching columns, do not require sergeants or corporals; swarms unfailingly find their way without the nosey interference of higher ranks and their daily orders. No one leads swarms to flowering meadows; no one needs to keep the members of swarms in check, preach to them, drive them on by force or threats, or keep them on course. Anyone who wishes to keep a swarm of bees on a desirable course is better off tending the flowers in the meadow, not drilling every bee in turn.
There is first of all an old tried and tested adage of ‘divide and rule’ which authorities of all epochs have willingly reached for as soon as they have felt threatened by an accumulation and concentration of varied and dispersed grievances, resentments and grudges. If only it were possible to prevent all the doubts and protests of the wronged from flowing together into a single stream; to ensure that each category of the downtrodden would grapple with their own particular and singular type of oppression separately and single-handedly, suspiciously eyeing other unfortunates doing the same.
Culture in a Liquid Modern World by Zygmunt Bauman