Alone again: ethics after uncertainty

Alone again: ethics after uncertainty (

“Throughout Demos’work, a continuing theme has been that as old ideologies wane, ethics necessarily become more important. But whereas in the past we could rest our ethics on solid foundations – such as the Church, tradition or faith in a utopia – today ethics have become far less certain and far more complex.

Zygmunt Bauman has now written for us a compelling account both of why the old arguments won’t do and of how we should think about the new ethical landscape in which we live. Part of his argument concerns the changing nature of modern life: the spread of instrumental organisations, and the fragmentary and episodic character of the times.
Its most notable feature, he argues, is that life has become privatised in far-reaching ways. For him privatisation is not primarily about the sale of old state industries. Instead he means a much more sweeping shift in the character of everyday lives and concerns that has made people more concerned with their own space and less willing to make commitments.”