I always watch Al Jazeera for news. This is different, but it is remarkably enriching.
There are two things necessary for human societies.
First is security, where in people are given reassurance that things will be the same, and will get better. The other is freedom, where people are given the liberty to do whatever it is that they please.
In the modern times, there has been a rise of number of people which Bauman calls “the Precariat” (similar to ‘precarious’ in English and ‘precariate’ in French). The precariat is characterized by being a working middle class, who with enough effort and dedication, has earned status in society. The precariat has earned security and freedom through years of hard work. However, the precariat is afraid of losing all they have worked for.
The precariat has been willing to trade some freedom for more security, which is why presidents like Trump (and Duterte) are getting more popular. (Bauman also mentioned the French PM, but I forgot her name).
“Give me power, I will give you security”, is their tagline. This is not just a series of isolated cases, but is actually a global phenomena across the modernized world. Bauman compares it to the previous generation, where in they actually traded security for freedom (which was the call of the times back in the day).
The precariat is also afraid of immigrants and refugees, thinking that these people would take their means of security (example is take their jobs, take their homes, lose their market etc).
The precariat deals with what Bauman calls “Liquid fear”. Fear is liquid because like water, it always finds empty space to flow into. The precariat will always have something to worry about. This liquid fear is sometimes illogical, but is perfectly understandable given the circumstances.
Finally, Bauman says that he is pessimistic, short term; but is optimistic for the long term. We are in what he calls “in the swinging of the pendulum” and we are about to reach the point of exchange from kinetic energy to potential energy.
We must brace ourselves for the great changes that are about to come.
You can watch the interview here.