By Zygmunt Bauman
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Extra resources for Alone Again (Demos Papers)
But nor can much be expected from the entities meant to compensate for the harm they have done to the moral backbone of human selves. Back to the family? Processes of privatisation reach deep into the heart of family life. And even making parents unpaid policemen, as those who propose fining parents for their children’s misbehaviour want, would hardly stem the tide. Back into the community fold? Here, moral responsibilities are more likely to be put into deep freeze than resuscitated. More than two centuries after the Enlightenment promise to legislate for an ethical and humane society, we are left, each of us, with our own individual conscience and sentiment of responsibility as the only resource with which to struggle to make life more moral than it is.
Some rights reserved. uk/openaccess 25 Alone Again: Ethics After Certainty keep at a distance from each other. And because these communities, unlike modern nations well entrenched in the coercive and educational institutions of the nation-state, do not have many legs to stand on except our individual loyalties, they require an unusually intense emotional dedication and shrill, vociferous and spectacular declarations of faith; and they sniff in the half-hearted, lukewarm and undecided fringes the most mortal of dangers.
Only such responsibility makes the citizen into that basis on which can be built a human community resourceful and thoughtful enough to cope with the present challenges. Conceivably… And no more than that, since no guarantee is given that such a community will indeed be built, and since there are no foolproof methods to make sure that it is. In fact the only assurance is 36 Demos This page is covered by the Demos open access licence. Some rights reserved. uk/openaccess New Ethics in Search of New Politics the relentless effort of the builders itself.
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