By Beatrice E. Rangel
Zygmunt Bauman left earth at the dawn of 2017 but the intellectual edifice he created to better understand our world will continue to shape our journey through civilization.
His conceptual creation "Liquid Modernity" is present everywhere at all times. Because, as Bauman's visionary mind and inquisitive talent surmised, change in modern society happens at a speed that makes absorption and internalization impossible, thereby condemning human beings to jug change without being part of it.
Modernity then fails to rationalize the world, leading human beings to cope with constant change without guiding paradigms.
They must create rationality out of an unending series of short-term projects and events that do not fit the concepts of "career" and "advancement."
Life then becomes a rosary of fragmented episodes, emotions and creations.
Fragmentation demands from individuals to be flexible and adaptable, to reject commitments and loyalties without regret and to jump into opportunities according to their current convenience. Time and life turn liquid. Uncertainty defines liquid times. Modernity turns liquid, forcing human beings to act under prevalent uncertainty.
The time it takes to fully consider options and make fully formed decisions turns into a kaleidoscope creating a magic and unreal reality.
America has been undergoing the effects of Liquid Modernity for some time now.
Ever since the internet became "THE MEDIUM", life began its inexorable march towards fragmentation.
Prior to the medium households gathered to follow the evening news led by true journalists whose only passion was objectivity and truth. Therefore, the whole nation shared more or less the same information package on events shaping their lives.
Today individuals are literally bombarded all day long with news fragments that, failing to be transmitted within a logical structure to understand them, leave individuals anxious and fearful.
Before Facebook everybody made time to share with peers or colleagues the incidents of life.
Today we all hang pictures capturing daily life or special moments believing that visitors to your wall will share the emotions and intellectual approach guiding those events.
Before the Internet, one had time down for oneself or the family to share endearing moments. Today the ubiquitous cell phone intrudes in every aspect of human life.
Continuing connectivity leads people to believe that they can and should take decisions with the speed of light disregarding whether all the information inputs are available and clear.
America is about to experience Liquid Modernity from the top guiding post.
President Trump is an intellectual offspring of Liquid Modernity in his approach to business, education and life.
He truly believes in light speed decision making. He believes regulations to be designed as a distant reference to those who are not fast enough to grab opportunities. He shapes public and foreign policy through tweets that create ripple effects in daily American life and abroad.
Tweets are very small fragments of reality that fail to address the sources of any dilemma but they create the illusion of movement and effectiveness. A world led by tweets is a world lacking coherence and sense. But this is the privileged means of communication by the upcoming POTUS.
In Latin America Liquid Modernity is bringing down the political edifice built by the authoritarian leaders of the Mexican Revolution without having anything to replace it and guarantee governance.
In Colombia Liquid Modernity, will soon prove to drive the country into a civic battle in the aftermath of the Peace Treaties.
In Venezuela Liquid Modernity led the opposition to think that they could jump totally unprepared into a dialogue with a rogue government without consequences while the government used the event to strengthen its repressive muscle and continuously create events that plant confusion in the opposing coalition.
I trust that Bauman is right and his forecast is on target when defining Liquid Modernity as the main tool to build a knowledge based society unencumbered by materialism. Or as he himself put it "A hundred years ago 'to be modern' meant to chase 'the final state of perfection' -- now it means an infinity of improvement, with no 'final state' in sight and none desired."Beatrice Rangel is President & CEO of the AMLA Consulting Group, which provides growth and partnership opportunities in US and Hispanic markets. AMLA identifies the best potential partner for businesses which are eager to exploit the growing buying power of the US Hispanic market and for US Corporations seeking to find investment partners in Latin America. Previously, she was Chief of Staff for Venezuela President Carlos Andres Perez as well as Chief Strategist for the Cisneros Group of Companies.
For her work throughout Latin America, Rangel has been honored with the Order of Merit of May from Argentina, the Condor of the Andes Order from Bolivia, the Bernardo O'Higgins Order by Chile, the Order of Boyaca from Colombia, and the National Order of Jose Matías Delgado from El Salvador.
You can follow her on twitter @BEPA2009 or contact her directly at BRangel@amlaconsulting.com.
Also by Beatrice Rangel in her Latin America from 35,000 Feet seriesBeatrice Rangel: Rio -- Demystifying the Olympic Games
Beatrice Rangel: The Luddite Syndrome in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Venezuela's Unexpected Transition
Beatrice Rangel: We Now Have a Wider Canal But Has Our Wisdom Expanded???
Beatrice Rangel: From Brexit to Tesla, Progress is Made by Leaders!!!
Beatrice Rangel: As the World Goes Latin, Latin America Gets Logical
Beatrice Rangel: On the Difficulties of Fighting Barbarism in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: The Impending Age of Housekeeping!!!!
Beatrice Rangel: What Happened to All Those Rosy Forecasts for Latin America?
Beatrice Rangel: On Dialogue and the Rules of Geopolitics in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: The Ides of Wisdom in Venezuela
Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Populism
Beatrice Rangel: Three Ladies in Distress
Beatrice Rangel: Trump, Lula, Kirchner and the Last Tupi-Guaranis
Beatrice Rangel: Time for Departures in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: A Contrarian View on the Panama Papers
Beatrice Rangel: Brazil's Lady in Her Labyrinth
Beatrice Rangel: Back to a Divided Home!!!
Beatrice Rangel: A Historical Take-Off in the Americas??
Beatrice Rangel: A Skipped Journey, a Reaffirmation and a Clearing of Path in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: The Demise of Civility in the Americas!!
Beatrice Rangel: The Americas from Boutros Boutros-Ghali to Ban Ki Moon
Beatrice Rangel: The Pope's Difficult Stopover in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Farewell to The “Diplomacy of Reason”
Beatrice Rangel: 2 Diseases in Latin America -- Different Prescriptions, Very Different Outcomes
Beatrice Rangel: On Health Alerts and the Long Arm of Justice in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: When Crime Meets Glory
Beatrice Rangel: Playing Hansel and Gretel in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Good News/Bad News Starts The Monkey Leap Year
Beatrice Rangel: The Gifts of Christmas!!!!!!
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Beatrice Rangel: A 21st Century Tale of Two Cities
Beatrice Rangel: Are the Americas Ready for President Trump?
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Beatrice Rangel: Paris and the Return of Fear
Beatrice Rangel: Marijuana & Latin America's Next Trade Corridor
Beatrice Rangel: Of Burning Airplanes & Argentinean Tsunamis
Beatrice Rangel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Americas!!
Beatrice Rangel: Buena Vista's Magic Covers the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Pride and Perjury in the Americas
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Beatrice Rangel: The Economic Consequences of Peace in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: Colombia, the FARC & the Makings of Gangland in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: When Extreme Weather Meets Extreme Politics Calamities are Bound to Happen
Beatrice Rangel: When Ladies Hit 70
Beatrice Rangel: About Uninformed Elites and Gullible Leaders
Beatrice Rangel: On US-Engineered Soft Landings in Cuba and Venezuela
Beatrice Rangel: On the Many Ways Cecil Matters
Beatrice Rangel: Blue Moons Lead to Extraordinary Happenings in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: On Why Embassy Openings Do Not Necessarily Herald Different Policies
Beatrice Rangel: When Jupiter meets Venus
Beatrice Rangel: When Markets and Manners Crash
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Beatrice Rangel: An Infuriated God & An Environmental Crusader Mark the Summer Solstice
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Beatrice Rangel: The Ugly Americas
Beatrice Rangel: How FIFA Corrupted the Beautiful Game in the Americas and World
Beatrice Rangel: Could the US RICO Act Be Applied to Latin America?
Beatrice Rangel: On the Discreet Charm of Commodities for Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: The End of the Chinese Free Lunch in the Americas!!
Beatrice Rangel: The Crooked Twig of Democracy in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Of a White Knight for Three Latin American Ladies in Distress
Beatrice Rangel: Withdrawal Symptoms?
Beatrice Rangel: The Un-Mannered Summit
Beatrice Rangel: Easter Miracles in Latin America and the World
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Beatrice Rangel: Killing Me Softly -- the Obama Administration’s Legacy in Latin America
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Beatrice Rangel: Latin America's Dangerous Exports to Europe & the Demise of an Old Fox
Beatrice Rangel: Of Sweet Deals, Sugar Daddies, Direct Mail & Obama’s Care
Beatrice Rangel: Of Latin American Singing Birds, Femme Fatales & Empty Shelves
Beatrice Rangel: When Flying Dragons & Rage Infusions Turn Against Their Latin American Masters
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Beatrice Rangel: 2015 -- A Year for Balance in the Americas???
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Beatrice Rangel: The Paint Brush Hanging from the Wall in Latin America
Beatrice Rangel: A Future for the Americas??
Beatrice Rangel: Going Forward, Going Backward -- It's the Americas!!
Beatrice Rangel: An Eerily Familiar Week in the Americas
Beatrice Rangel: Tale of Two Walls
Beatrice Rangel: Across the Americas, We the PEOPLE
Beatrice Rangel: Across Latin America, The Populist Beat Goes On!!
Beatrice Rangel: Oh My, The Patron of the Eternal Feminine Has Left Us!!!
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Beatrice Rangel: Kissinger’s World Order and Latin America
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Rangel: While US is Away, Latin America Rethinks Development Paths
Rangel: In the Midst of Riots, a Star is Born in Brazil
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