Zygmunt Bauman, Polish-born sociologist and philosopher of a globalized world, the author of renowned books on modernity and Holocaust, on liquid modernity, rootless life, immigrants and terrorists and inequities of the contemporary world, a Pole, a Jew, a whole-hearted European, a communist, a soldier, a patriot, an erudite, one of the most influential and thoughtful contemporary thinkers and (ironically, as he was never an anti-globalist himself) an anti-globalist icon, died today.
His life was unbelievably complex and full, yet I will still deeply mourn his passing, despite his long (91) years of life. Bauman was a constant critic of our sated, self-satisfied times; always on watch against inequality, injustice, irrationality and mindless fear. Always a vocal advocate of solidarity, freedom, morality and democracy. A staunch believer in good inherent in the human species. A wise and deeply caring social thinker, ceaselessly analyzing the world around us. He probably wasn’t one for fantasy or sf, too engrossed in the reality around us, and yet he still touched the most important facets of human life.
I am currently finishing his over decade-old book Europe: an Unfinished Adventure and I’m amazed at how valid it is today. I don’t agree with everything he wrote; I don’t believe that all his diagnoses were correct – although I do believe he was right in many, many cases – but his passing will leave a huge, gaping hole in the modern social thought.