By Zygmunt Bauman
'Community' is a kind of phrases that feels strong: it's stable 'to have a community', 'to be in a community'. And 'community' feels reliable a result of meanings which the note conveys, them all promising pleasures, and in general the type of pleasures which we wish to adventure yet appear to omit.
'Community' conveys a twin of a hot and comfy position, like a hearth at which we hot our palms on a frosty day. in the market, on the street, every kind of hazards lie in ambush; in the following, in the neighborhood, we will chill out and suppose 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 could lead us there.
yet there's a fee to be paid for the privilege of being in a neighborhood. group gives you defense yet turns out to deprive us of freedom, of definitely the right to be ourselves. defense and freedom are both invaluable and coveted values that can be balanced to a point, yet not often totally reconciled. the strain among safety and freedom, and among group and individuality, is not likely ever to be resolved. we can't break out the difficulty yet we will take inventory of the possibilities and the hazards, and at the very least try and stay away from repeating earlier error.
during this very important new e-book, Zygmunt Bauman takes inventory of those possibilities and risks and, in his distinct and very good style, deals a much-needed reappraisal of an idea that has develop into imperative to present debates concerning the nature and way forward for our societies.
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Additional resources for Community: Seeking Safety in an Insecure World
It is important to note, however, that the ‘porosity’ of the social is not necessarily a defect in the concept any more than it results from 36 Simmel and ‘the Social’ a failure of sociologists to grasp it. I would argue instead that porosity is a semantic characteristic of the social; it is not a negative but a positive component of the notion. Porosity does not render the social conceptually unusable. On the contrary, it is only when we ignore or deny its existence that we run into analytical problems (Gustafsson, 2001).
By drawing from Graham Harman (2009, p. 127), relationism could be specified as a view according to which entities are defined by their relations, not by any hidden essence. So, for relationism, the more interconnected things are, the realer they become. We can take sensuous objects as an example. Simmel writes in a piece entitled, ‘Religion and the Contradictions of Life’: A physical object becomes real for us by appealing to different senses simultaneously; we would not call a ghost an object if it were only visible and not tangible.
Meillassoux describes correlationism as a view according to which we can have access neither to the subject nor to the world/object as apart from one another, only 42 Simmel and ‘the Social’ in relation to one another. He argues that modern thought is predominantly correlationist. Modern philosophy gives primacy to the relation over the terms related. , p. 6). Clearly, given his roots in Kant’s transcendental philosophy, Simmel is a correlationist in the sense just specified above. For Simmel, we cannot know anything of the world that would go beyond our relation to it.