CHARACTERS ´ Does Ethics Have a Chance in a World of Consumers? (Institute for Human Sciences Vienna Lecture Series)

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CHARACTERS ´ Does Ethics Have a Chance in a World of Consumers? (Institute for Human Sciences Vienna Lecture Series) ☆ الأخلاق في عصرالحداثة السائلة» ترجمة لكتاب باومان الصادر باللغة الإنجليزية بعنالأخلاق في عصرالحداثة السائلة» ترجمة لكتاب باومان الصادر باللغة الإنجليزية بعنوان «هل للأخلاق فرصة في عالم استهلاكي؟» صدر الك?. In Aristotle’s Ethics he spends the largest part of the book discussing happiness and a large part of this is spent in discussing friendship For Aristotle the notion that we are essentially social animals was much obvious than it is to us today – and much to our costIf a good life is to be found in being happy – or as the American constitution would have it in the pursuit of happiness – then the answer to the uestion this book is entitled ‘Does ethics stand a chance in a world of consumers’ can only be answered in the negative The problem is that a consumer society does not and cannot exist with happy customers A consumer society can only exist if it has a growing store of customers or by growing what the current store purchases and you only get a growing store of customers if they are constantly made to feel dissatisfied with what they already have If you were totally satisfied with what you have there would be no need for you to buy anything else – and that would be or less the end of the consumer society A consumer society works by making the distance between the showroom and the rubbish bin as short as possible In achieving this it needs to constantly create new needs and new needs are new dissatisfactions – new desires Clearly dissatisfaction is the opposite of happiness and so people in a consumer society are by definition never properly happyA consumer society is also a society of choice We tend to euate choice and freedom – but what is interesting here is that if ‘choice’ is to be real it needs to also involve risk And while we like to think of freedom as being an uneuivocal good the roll of the dice that bankrupts us – an unfortunately likely outcome in a risk society – can hardly be seen as a boon even if the constraints of a risk less society are hardly likely to attract usThis book starts with a discussion of a fascinating experiment Biology has long told us that social animals – bees or ants say – cooperate because they share genes with the rest of the hive or nest and that is the only reason such cooperation is possible And by analogy this is often applied to human societies nation states in particular We despise the other – the stranger and the alien – because they are likely to pose a threat to our way of life We need to protect ourselves from their different ways – in much the same way that a hive will eject or kill other bees that invade it to protect its purity However while biology has always known this to be the case it has only been recently that we have had the ability to check the actual DNA of insects to test this axiom I say axiom rather than hypothesis because I do feel we have used this to build a whole structure of biology – rather than just propose some possible outcomes And when the DNA was tested on a community of wasps in Panama it was found that “56 percent of ‘working wasps’ change their nests in their lifetime” p5 That is they went to work in other nests where they shared no DNA with those they helped I can’t help finding this a stunning result And one that does an awful lot to give us hope for our own futures tooThe discussion here on the nature of the holocaust and why it was not an aberration but rather a natural continuation of the ‘modern’ world project is deeply disturbing For Bauman the nation state project was always one of ‘cleansing’ – the ideal state was always one that reuired removing from it the botched and bungled and Nietzsche liked to say and this purification process was a cleansing through the death of the other the other that infected the perfect order being striven for and therefore needed to be disinfected The construction of the other as not only less than human but as an active pollutant is a necessary precondition for genocide One of the major concerns in this book is its discussion of the implications of the end of the power of the nation state and the growth of globalisation For Bauman the main problem with globalisation is that it has meant that we are no longer able to address the issues that confront us via political means – and this is because we have no global political institutions This is an important point And he makes sure that his point isn’t confused here – he is not talking about there not being multi national political bodies but rather that there are literally no global bodies where the political will of the people can be realised As such the global problems that confront us tend to be mitigated if at all by national governments that have diminished power to address them and so tend to either seek to pass the negatives onto other nation states the undeveloped world or anyone ‘downstream’ without the power to force us to clean up our own mess or we are told there is nothing we can do to fix a problem and little point in even trying since others will only continue to make worse think climate change This general impotence is similarly multiplied in the consumer society – consumers aren’t citizens our choices are between what already is and has been created for us not about how to make what is even better And as such we see politics as irrelevant to our lives He uotes a survey that found that “Right at the bottom of the list came politics; going to a political meeting ranked on a par with a visit to the circus as one of the British public’s least likely things to do” p55There is a long discussion here again about his idea of pointillist time My understanding of this is that time once could be conceived as being a cycle – with seasons of birth and death spring to winter beginnings and endings spiralling eternally Then with the enlightenment we came to think of time as a kind of progress – an arrow – that didn’t cycle so much as have a direction always up and onward Today we tend to not think of ourselves as being defined so much by our past – in fact consumers are defined much by what they own than by who they have been Lifelong learning implies also ‘lifelong forgetting’ we don’t know which bits of the knowledge we have acuired will become useless or worse – actively undermine our ability to get on but we do know that some of the knowledge we currently hold certainly will prove useless to us eventually We need to constantly be on the lookout for the ‘new’ knowledge we will need and the ‘old’ knowledge we need to forget The past then is as much a burden as a support In this new world time isn’t progressive any longer – progress being a building upon what already exists – but rather it is like a series of points that have infinite potential and that can either explode with possibilities and provide us with infinite riches or explode in our faces and leave us nothing As such it is almost impossible to prepare for such futures – all that exists is a kind of hope that good will come to us but with no real basis to ground such a hopeI’ll end with some uotesA swarm has no top no center; it is solely the direction of its current flight that casts some of the self propelled swarm units into the position of “leaders” to be followed for the duration of a particular flight or a part of it though hardly longer 15Uncertainty is the natural habitat of human life— although it is the hope of escaping uncertainty that is the engine of human pursuits 18roots are part of the plant’s design and predetermined shape—there is no possibility that any other type of plant will grow from them—but anchors are only tools that facilitate the ship’s temporary attachment to or detachment from a place and by themselves they do not define the ship’s ualities and capabilities 19The Other may be a promise but it is also a threat 35almost everything—in that unraveling history depends on human choices the conditions under which choices are made are not themselves a matter of choice 72An effective response to globalization can only be global And the fate of such a global response depends on the emergence and entrenchment of a global as distinct from international or correctly interstate political arena It is such an arena that is today most conspicuously missing 76The modern state was about the activity of cleansing and the purpose of purity 80A new name had to be coined for the act of “categorial murder”—for the physical annihilation of men women and children for reason of their belonging or having been assigned to a category of people unfit for the intended order and on whom for that reason a death sentence was summarily passed 80The totalitarian adventure was not an aberration an “accident of history” that can be explained away and dismissed as a cancerous deformation of the otherwise healthy modern political body but was a sustained effort to stretch that body’s fitness to its ultimate potential 86Before it was undertaken the Holocaust was unimaginable To most people it remained inconceivable when already well under way Today it is difficult to conceive of a world that does not contain a possibility of a holocaust or even a world securely fortified let alone insured against the implementation of such possibility We all have been alerted and the alert has never been called off 90Whatever you do I’ll do as much and and with greater passion and severity The exchange of blows turns into a competition—in ruthlessness mercilessness cruelty 100In our globalizing world power no longer resides with politics 108Happiness eualed freedom of experimentation liberty to take right and wrong steps freedom to succeed and to fail to invent try and test ever new varieties of pleasurable and gratifying experience to choose and to take the risk of erring 116I would suggest that the idea of “melancholy” stands in the last account for the generic affliction of the consumer Homo eligens man choosing by behest of the consumer society resulting from the fatal co incidence of the compulsionaddiction of choosing with the inability to choose 165And as we know from Freud the end to toothache makes one happy but nonpainful teeth hardly do 166Consumer society thrives so long as it manages to render dissatisfaction and so in its own terms unhappiness permanent 170A map of pointillist life if one were charted would look like a graveyard of imaginary or unfulfilled possibilities 173the reason to hurry is not to acuire and collect as much as possible but to discard and replace as much as one can 173the late modern “tyranny of the moment” with its precept of carpe diem gradually yet steadily and perhaps unstoppably replaces the premodern tyranny of eternity with its motto of memento mori 176But the consumer is an enemy of the citizen 190Each lived through moment is pregnant simultaneously with a new beginning and the end—once sworn antagonists now Siamese twins 217power holders tend to deploy power for rendering the habitat congenial and supportive for the kind of power they hold 239The American superpower is no exception Its strongest asset being military might it naturally tends to redefine all planetary problems—whether economic in nature social or political—as problems of military threat and military confrontation as problems amenable solely to military solutions and calling for no solutions other than military solutions 239Tanzania earns 22 billion dollars a year which it divides among 25 million inhabitants The Goldman Sachs Bank earns 26 billion dollars a year which is then divided among 161 stockholders 249

Zygmunt Bauman í 1 CHARACTERS

?اب عام 2008 وتضمن قراءة لعدد من الظواهر الكبرى التي تسم العالم المعاصر بما يسمّيه باومان «الحداثة السائلة» المحور الرئيس لتلك ال?. ma piuttosto un'insieme di frasi ad effetto L'etica in un mondo di consumatori non sviluppa o se lo fa io non lo ho colto in discorso in divenire su come cambiano i concetti di bene o di male nel mondo liuido Mi sembra piuttosto la giustapposizione di una serie di pensieri tutti di impressionante acutezza occorre dirlo del grande sociologo sull'evoluzione del mondo globalizzato dei primi anni duemilaSi parla di società europea e di società mondiale si parla di estetica si parla molto poco di eticaE' passato diverso tempo da uando Zygmunt Bauman ha scritto uesto libro e forse alcune delle considerazioni che vengono trattate sulla futilità degli sforzi di fermare la disumanizzante globalizzazione con metodi novecenteschi potrebbero sembrare banali ma se pensiamo a uanti milioni di europei ed americani credono alle vuote promesse dei nuovi costruttori di muri sarà poi vero uanto dobbiamo considerare importanti gli ammonimenti sulla necessità di un nuovo concetto di Europa e di Mondo in un tempo in cui le sfide son o globali e sono pertanto affrontabili solo a livello globaleIl binomio fra etica ed estetica tra arte e morale mi ha sempre affascinato E le pagine di uesto libro che affrontano l'estetica del mondo liuido non fanno eccezione Se il compito dell'arte è sempre stata uella di rompere gli schemi e di buttare lo sguardo avanti allo stesso tempo la stessa arte non ha mai potuto prescindere dalle strutture logistiche ed economiche che le istituzioni statali uanto di più inerte e conservatore si possa immaginare le mettono a disposizione e uesto aodio ha caratterizzato la produzione artistica dall'impero romano ad oggiSolo che nel mondo liuido le istituzioni stesse che sono al servizio del mercato esattamente come l'arte sono esse stesse divenute nemiche di ogni sorta di durevolezza e non possono essere più nè uel fondamento su cui la produzione artistica poggiava né il comodo bersaglio cui tirava i propri strali In uesto senso Zygmunt Bauman spiega la grande crisi dell'arte moderna e la sostanziale impossibilità del nostro tempo di produrre opere d'arte durevoli Se penso a Christo Javacheff che trasforma oggetti della nostra storia in prodotti da supermercato elevati ad opera d'arte un'opera d'arte che ha la durata di un happening faccio fatica a dargli tortoE la morale In tutti le opere di Bauman è spiegato in modo chiaro ed evidente che nel mondo liuido è buono colui che compra e che conseguentemente spreca altrimenti si cesserebbe di essere consumatori Per la società di oggi l'escluso l'emarginato chi non è in grado di consumare non è visto solo come un problema è visto proprio come malvagio; in una morale che vista la volatilità del reddito che ci permette di essere consumatori e la perpetua tensione cui l'etica del consumo ci costringe ha ben poco di consolatorio Ma proprio dal punto di vista dell'idea del bene e forse è da ui che nasce il titolo del libro si può partire per mettere freno alla pericolosissima e sempre più rapida deriva del mondo liuido All'etica del ciclo desideriopossessospreco il sociologo polacco contrappone l'etica del dono e della disponibilità verso l'altro un'idea che il mondo di consumatori giudica assurda ed incomprensibile e dalla uale pertanto viene messa in crisi E' abbastanza strano peraltro come un concetto così smaccatamente cristiano venga descritto come strettamente intrinseco alla natura umana uando appare fin troppo evidente osservando i comportamenti degli uomini e degli animali che è vero il contrario Bauman non riesce a contemplare il Cristianesimo con sufficiente distacco per trarne i concetti che restano validi e farne uso Nel complesso come tutti i libri che Zygmunt Bauman ha scritto sul mondo liuido anche L'etica in un mondo di consumatori è un utile esercizio per riflettere sul nostro tempo Però gli rimprovero uno sforzo troppo limitato nell'assegnare un filo conduttore ed un senso di fondo a uella che resta solo una seuenza di pensieri e soprattutto un soffermarsi troppo sulla pars destruens sull'evidenziare le caratteristiche alienanti del mondo contemporaneo e troppo poco sulla ricerca e l' enunciazioni delle possibili strategie alternative a livello personale sociale e globale

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Does Ethics Have a Chance in a World of Consumers Institute for Human Sciences Vienna Lecture Series?واهر هو الشأن الأخلاقي الذي ينظر إليه المفكر البولندي من زاوية تأثّره بسيطرة الاستهلاك في عالم سريع التغير على المستويات كافة ?. الكتاب مفيد جدا والترجمه رائعه