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Jakarta Post

Solidarity in global risk society

  • Roy Voragen

Bandung   /   Fri, February 18 2011   /  10:33 am

We live, according to German sociologist Ulrich Beck, in a global risk society. In our society decisions are clouded by radical doubt and our actions have unexpected and unwanted side effects. In risk society, more knowledge only raises more complicated questions (the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk urges us to ask what the moral consequences are for us now that we are able to modify ourselves through genetic engineering). In risk society, we have to deal with uncertainty and contingency. In present-day modernity — which has been given many names to symbolize our uncertain times: late, radical, liquid, second, reflexive and post-modernity — radical doubt is turned against itself and it is no longer possible to colonize the future with a grand gesture so that certainty supposedly becomes secured. However, we have to make decisions even if we cannot know the consequences.A good exa...